Childcare centres around the island have decided to ban authorities from carrying out visits and checks in protest at the government’s refusal to relax COVID-19 restrictions in their industry.
“With immediate effect, none of the usually required visits and checks for this sector by authorities or entities will be accepted in any shape or form,” the Malta Chamber of SMEs and the Childcare Centres Providers Association said in a statement.
“Only emergency situations, which are to be brought to the attention of the association will be assessed and handled accordingly.”
Since their 2020 reopening after Malta’s initial COVID-19 lockdown period, childcare centres have had their maximum capacity limits decreased in an attempt to promote social distancing. These rules remain in place, even though the vast majority of COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
“We understand that like every other sector that has been allowed to operate freely, which is more than reasonable in the current circumstances, Childcare Centers are more than justified to demand for progress in this respect,” the Chamber and the Association said.
“The current restrictions are resulting into centres not being able to operate according to the thresholds given to them by the license and this is not just resulting in loss of revenues but also lack of services to parents.”
“Parents would have selected their preferred centre, many based on previous experience and convenience in terms of proximity, that would need to be kept on waiting lists or only allowed to attend for a very limited amount of time.”
“Some centres are therefore losing valued customers due to lack of availability or constrained not to give the service they wish due to the still present COVID-19 restrictions.
“It feels like we are living in a parallel universe where COVID-19 is only a threat in Childcare Centres. Otherwise, life is going on as normal, kids’ parties and all other activities are taking place as normal.”
“Following our numerous attempts in trying to resolve the issue related to childcare centers still being burdened by COVID-19 regulations we are now unfortunately forced to initiate action since the diplomatic route, patience and reason has clearly failed.”
“The stance to maintain such regulations in place is considered an unjustified and overly burdensome imposition on these businesses. Should the situation not be rectified, action will be escalated in the days to come.”
Do you think COVID-19 restrictions on childcare centres should end?