|A teacher looks after children at a centre in Ho Chi Minh City's Thu Duc District. The city's pilot daycare programme for babies aged 6-18 months old has failed to attract interest. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Few babies aged six to 18 months have been registered at public kindergartens in eight HCM City districts under a pilot daycare programme targeted especially at workers and poor families.
The kindergartens — in districts Tan Phu, Tan Binh, Thu Duc, Binh Chanh, 7, 12, Nha Be, and Hoc Mon — began to receive applications for enrollment on June 14 after earmarking one room on their premises for the tiny tots.
In each district, one or two kindergartens are part of the programme and are required to take in 10 to 15 babies.
Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, head of the Department of Education and Training's Kindergarten Education Division, told online newspaper Giao Duc Thanh Pho (City Education) that the kindergartens had facilities and care givers available.
Phuong Hong Kindergarten in Tan Phu District's Phu Trung Ward has designated a room measuring more than 50 square metres for the infants, but only two babies have been registered so far.
Hoa Anh Dao Kindergarten in the district's Tan Thanh Ward has also got only two applications.
Hoa Mi Kindergarten in Nha Be's Phuoc Kien Commune has received just one.
Vinh Loc A Kindergarten in Binh Chanh has apparently received the highest number — eight.
Phan Thi Thao, a resident of District 12, said her girl was 11 months old but had not been accepted by any kindergarten because the family did not have a temporary or permanent residency book.
She said that her child now went to a private facility.
Nguyen Thi Mai Thao of Tan Phu complained to City Education newspaper that she had a permanent residency book in Tan Thanh Ward yet her eight-month-old child was refused admission by Hoa Anh Dao Kindergarten because she herself was a housewife.
A spokesperson from the kindergarten said it only accepted six to eight children a year and gave priority to those of district officials and police officers.
Other women with babies aged six to 12 months said they did not want to put their babies in any of these kindergartens since they would be required to go every noon to breastfeed them.
Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of the Nha Be District education office, said some people felt insecure about sending very young babies to kindergarten.
Do Thi Thu Ngan, who works at the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in District 7, is one such. Her child is six months old but does not go to kindergarten, she said.
"I have sent her to my parents in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. That is safe." — VNS