A modern public network of nurseries and kindergartens at an affordable cost is a pressing need
18 November 2023, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
The need for a modern public network of nurseries and kindergartens at an affordable cost was highlighted, among other things, at today’s open debate organised by AKEL in Larnaca.
The debate was held at the Creativity and Culture Multipurpose Centre in Larnaca, with the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL, Stefanos Stefanou, as the main speaker who stressed that the Party’s “Young Parents at the Forefront” campaign is a dialogue with working parents seeking to highlight their needs and the problems they face.
S.Stefanou pointed out the fact that Cyprus is far behind the EU average on social spending on family and children. He also underlined that in AKEL’s view, having a child must not be seen as a strictly individual matter that concerns only parents and grandparents, but rather a social matter that needs the state’s full support through policies, measures, infrastructure and resources. A modern social policy for families, children and working parents is an urgent necessity as it can provide comprehensive solutions to the problems of young parents in Cyprus today.
The Mayor of Larnaca, Andreas Vyras, was also present at the discussion and in his intervention he stressed the role of Local Government in social policy for families and childcare. Interventions were also made by AKEL’s Spokesperson, MP Giorgos Koukoumas, MEP George Georgiou and Larnaca AKEL MP Andreas Pasiourtides.
The debate was attended by representatives of agencies and parents, both male and female, who referred vividly to the major problems they face, which are reflected in the financial pressure they experience, but also the fact that young couples often delay or are increasingly hesitant to proceed with having a child.
Issues such as the shortage of nurseries combined with the huge cost of food, the need to extend maternity/paternity/parental leave and full salary coverage, the particular issues faced by single-parent families, the state underfunding of the Social Welfare Services operating nurseries in local communities in Cyprus, all-day schooling, summer public schools and the issues faced by parents of children with disabilities were all highlighted and recorded.