VOX calls for measures to support approved private Infant Education Centers from 0 to 3 years old. By means of a Proposition not of Law that the deputy David Arranz has registered.
In it it is proposed that direct aid, such as fee bonuses, be allocated to families who enroll their children from 0 to 3 years old in these centers. And that an express provision and proportionate to this end be collected in the Autonomous Budgets for the year 2021.
Likewise, VOX in Aragón demands the control and inspection of all the centers in order to verify that they meet the requirements. Of ratios, qualified and titled personnel, training, schedules, facilities and monitoring of health, safety and hygiene protocols, including the specific ones established for Covid-19. In such a way that non-compliant centers are sanctioned or closed, due to accumulation of sanctions.
And, finally, the PnL proposes that the elaboration of agreements be studied, in similarity with other Autonomous Communities, to regulate the activity and regulations that must govern these centers.
0-3 years education centers in Aragon
This sector in Aragon is made up of self-employed and micro companies, SMEs with a very limited economic-financial capacity, who support these types of centers with enormous business and personal effort.
There are around 113 infant education centers from 0 to 3 years old in Aragon, which have the proper approval from the Department of Education, and serve some 7,000 families, according to data from this 2020-2021 academic year.
These centers employ 1,200 to 1,300 workers, being a very dynamic and young sector where qualified female profiles predominate.
The fact of being formally approved indicates that they meet a series of important requirements for the safety and quality of the service provided.
Thus, minimum ratios, training and qualification of personnel, infrastructures and spaces, conditioning, natural light, absence of elements that could be potentially dangerous … And full compliance with protocols for occupational safety, health, hygiene and, as a result of the pandemic, of the due protection protocols against Covid.
Compliance with these requirements makes the investment of these small entrepreneurs in the infant education sector from 0 to 3 years more expensive.
These centers face situations of unfair competition from others that operate under other names: toy libraries, nurseries, playgrounds … Centers that are in a kind of legal limbo or allegiances. Since, legally, they cannot attend to children in their facilities during school hours.
But in the absence of political will, with a homologation of regional and local regulations. And, above all, due to the lack of educational inspection in this regard, these centers compete unfairly with the approved infant education centers from 0 to 3 years old.
And with a minimum investment, without counting on the requirements of safety, health, qualified personnel, adequate spaces and ratios. Only with a simple license to operate as a recreational center, they do childcare and “child education” work.
“Aragonese Employers' Association of Infant Education Centers 0-3 years” (PACEI)
The approved private nursery schools from 0 to 3 years old offer a quality service. They flee from being mere “child keepers”. They have professionals who work on emotional training, psychomotor skills, socialization, awakening abilities, analyzing and perceiving reality, cognitive level training …
From this business association they denounce that unfair competition also exists with respect to prices. Logically, they are lower in non-approved centers, given the inferiority of conditions, service, salary and qualifications of the personnel and the investment made. The problem in times of crisis, they point out, is that families are forced to be guided by the price and not by the quality that the centers offer.
In addition, they recognize, it is a necessary service, demanded by society. That it does not have enough public places available, and that it does not have any type of public aid or concert.
Aragon, they point out, lacks the necessary regulation, as there are no agreements or concerts, as there are in the Valencian Community, Galicia or Andalusia. That they do have different models and modalities of support to the sector. Either by providing aid to the centers themselves or to families, in the form of a fee discount, for example.
Even, they denounce, it is the DGA itself that carries out a certain not entirely correct competition. By enabling them to enroll in minor schools from the age of 2. And that auxiliary personnel or support personnel work with them, which is still privatized or outsourced through service companies.
This association considers that conventional schools or educational centers are not the most appropriate and ideal environment for minors of such a young age. Since they need a more familiar and specialized environment.
The business association "Aragonese Employers of Infant Education Centers 0-3 years" (PACEI) is a member of the "National Federation of Infant Education Centers" (FENACEIN). It has been making claims for its sector and its legitimate rights and interests. But, to date, they have not been served by the Ministry of Education, despite the many attempts made.