Day mothers in legal limbo

Day mothers in legal limbo

They are a burgeoning but still unrecognized and minority figure who, like other communities, claim to operate within a legal framework regulated by the Generalitat. We are talking about day mothers, educated women, who offer their homes suitably adapted and equipped for a small group of children aged from a few months to 3 years old – a maximum of 4 -.

In Catalonia there are two organizations that represent these women: the Mares de Dia cooperative – with around fifteen cooperative members – and the Llars de Criança association – with around forty members, with solid experience in childcare. Both sides condemn “the trespassing of women who open businesses of any kind in their homes, most of them in the midst of an epidemic, without security measures or adequate training”.

Olga Costa's day to day

Olga Costa’s day to day

mane espinosa

These other women, they add, “present themselves as day mothers and they are not. Therefore, we have spent years demanding effective regulation from the Generalitat. Our members are receiving education, demanding safety measures, and our priority is the well-being of children and their families at a reduced rate. “We are another alternative,” says Tatiana Fernández, a teacher and representative of the cooperative in Catalonia.

Olga Costa has been a co-op member and day mommy at Sabadell for 18 years. It started with the Sadapi municipality project, which had the support of the FIAS Foundation, the City Council and the Barcelona City Council, but the project became financially unsustainable when the subsidy was withdrawn in 2010.

a baby on his back

Daytime mothers look after children up to the age of three


To this day, my mother trained as a higher education technician and “the job helped me reconcile this exciting profession I fell in love with to raise my children.” She now cares for four 2-year-old children. One of them, Max, arrives happily with his family at 9 am. “We are very pleased with Olga’s attention,” they say.

In countries such as Sweden, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom or Germany these carers are recognized and in some cases even subsidized. But in Spain they only have a legal framework in Navarra, Galicia and Madrid. The Catalans are in a legal limbo despite the government having two draft decrees from 2017 and 2020 in a drawer.


“There are centers that work without a license”

The employers’ association of private nurseries in Catalonia calls for “a single educational network for the 0 to 3 year old stage”. Her spokesperson laments the existence of “two parallel networks, one part of the Ministry of Education and therefore regulated by the Catalan Education Act (LEC), and the other not,” as Emma Miguel, director of Colorins kindergarten, laments. from Sabadell. Conxita Pericó, president of the Catalan Llars d’ Association, said: “It is very important to have arrangements that are the same for all and to put an end to confusion among citizens of similar denominations about which centers and which are not accredited by the Government.” Babies Perico concludes, “Described as a modern and innovative pedagogical option, these centers only need a municipal operating license, specifically an environmental license, to operate, and some people don’t even have it.”

Generalitat withdrew the Dolors Bassa project in January 2020 and announced a pre-summer regulation. It was never approved. The draft reveals that day mothers must hold a diploma, have a house of at least 70 m2, have a maximum of four children, and cannot provide dining room services, but families must bring them lunch. The decree also opens the door for them to receive salaries for up to six years in very small towns and unschooled places.

Why update now? At the end of October, it was revealed that Educació had detected “very serious irregularities” in a family support center in Terrassa, described as “daily mothers”, with more than 30 children in charge and many hired educators. The person who ordered the shutdown. At the beginning of 2021, the Government published a report that the center “puts at risk” the welfare and safety of minors, urging Terrassa City Council to request a cessation of activity.

“unfair competition”

After the news, Terrassa’s private kindergartens mobilized to demand “a clear arrangement for 0-6 age group care centers and day mothers due to unfair competition”. They met with Terrassa Ombudsman Isabel Marquès, who commented on the case to Greuges de Catalunya Ombudsman Esther Giménez-Salinas.

Last week, the industry met with mayor Jordi Ballart, who will ask Generalitat for “a regulatory framework that allows this industry to be regulated and sets operating criteria.” Ballart acknowledges that “due to the proliferation of activities framed in the family support centers and nursery field, daycare centers have been closed because they did not comply with the regulation under which they were required and authorized by the municipality.” secret nurseries”.

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Written by Adem

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