The Free Childcare for All scheme, is a budgetary measure for 2014, announced by the Ministry of Finance and implemented by the Ministry for Education and Employment. The Scheme started in April 2014, with more than 95 % of the registered child care centres applying to form part of it. New child care centres opening in Malta and Gozo are also registering to be part of the scheme. The primary aims of the scheme is to both provide a more equitable and affordable provision of early care and education to all children irrespective of financial means and social background as well as to increase the active participation of females in the labour market. The proposal has already proved a success with childcare centre providers prepared to invest in facilities and expand. The educational aspect of the initiative would be given priority, so that children enjoy a stimulating educational experience to serve as a stepping stone for their future educational attainment.
This initiative represents one of the Government's major economic reforms, and through it, the Government is both increasing the female participation in the labour force, and also strengthening the country's skills as the initiative is also available to those parents seeking to further their education.
Actions set out in this scheme include:
- Families with both parents in full-time or part-time employment or in education will benefit from free childcare.
- Parents will benefit from the equivalent of their working hours as well one hour daily for commuting, together with an additional 10% of their working hours in childcare services per month.
- Parents who are students studying on a part-time basis will be entitled to 20 hours while those studying full-time will benefit from 40 hours.
Application forms and a list of all childcare centres registered in the scheme can be downloaded from the website www.education.gov.mt. For further information on the scheme and eligibility please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 2598 2174 / 2598 2772.