Edvânia Maria da Silva, 24, from Pernambuco, takes care of four children in the Dois Unidos neighborhood, in the northern part of Recife. A cook of snacks and sweets, she can’t leave the house to sell them, because she has no one to leave her youngest daughter, two years old. Just by selling the productions from home, it cannot supplement the monthly income of R$375, which comes from Bolsa Família and emergency aid.
For almost a year, she has been trying to enroll her in the municipal nursery Tia Emília, in Alto do Capitão – one of the three in the neighborhood and the one closest to her house – but there are no vacancies. “I already called the number to put her on the reservation and so far nothing”, he says.
Edvânia’s situation is not unique. Community leader Antônio Batista de Moura reports that this year he received 78 complaints of lack of vacancies in day care centers and schools from residents of the Dois Unidos neighborhood.
“The vacancies don’t exist. When the time comes for people to go [fazer a matrícula], mothers sleep in front of day care centers to see if they can find a place, but unfortunately they are not successful”, explains Moura.
The reality is common in Brazil: the absence of a school or day care center in the locality, lack of a vacancy or non-acceptance of enrollment due to the child’s age was the second most mentioned reason by parents as a reason for their children not to attend these establishments, according to the data from PNAD Education 2019, from IBGE. The national rate was 27.5% for children aged up to one year and 39.9% for two to three years. In the Northeast, the index for children aged two to three reaches 49.3%.
Today, Recife offers 6,500 places in 86 crèches in the municipal network. With the Childhood at Day Care Program, announced on August 24, the city plans to open another 7,000 places in 50 new units by 2024. Through the initiative, the municipality will invest R$ 150 million in the construction of new units; expansion and upgrading of existing ones; partnerships with non-profit institutions; and studies for a public-private partnership (PPP), to enable the construction of other crèches.
Mayor João Campos promised the opening of 26 day care centers and 1,800 vacancies for next year by announcing that the administration is already carrying out works.
“There are already 6 new day care centers under construction in our city, in addition to projects for another 10 being executed and another 10 being tendered to start the work immediately”, he said. The article sought the Recife City Hall for further clarification, but did not receive a response until the publication of this article.
Day care centers are essential for child development
In addition to enabling parents or caregivers to be able to look for a job or work, day care centers are also important for helping with child development, according to educator Thaís Santiago.
“In them, skills and competences are worked on that will facilitate the child’s adaptation in the next school years and in school life, as he has been placed in this situation of learning and interaction from the beginning”, points out the professional.
Thaís explains that, in early childhood education, fields of experience are worked on, such as “me, the other and us”, in which interaction with the other and self-knowledge is stimulated; “body, gestures and movements”, which exercises fine and gross motor coordination; “listening, speaking and thinking”, which focuses on orality and interpretation; in addition to “space and time” and “features, sounds, colors and shapes”.
The benefit can be even greater for children who live in situations of vulnerability, for whom the day care center becomes a space for care, hygiene and food, comments Thaís.
“What is presented to this child [na creche], at home she would not have this possibility of experiencing it. With the activities that are carried out, she can develop an individual capable of changing her reality”, he concludes.
Source: BoF Pernambuco
Edition: Vanessa Gonzaga