From online parental discussions to demands on the Latvian government

With ZOOM online greetings on the International Family Day on May 15, the Union of Latvian Large Families Associations started an online meeting project and the next meeting was held on June 11 together with the Latvian association “Parents’ Alliance”. It was dedicated to childcare problems this summer and prior to the meeting a survey of parents was organized on social networks with the aim of understanding the need and finding solutions for additional childcare options in order to have a safe and peaceful summer.

During the Covid-19 emergency, many parents had accumulated unfinished business or were already forced to use annual leave to look after their children at home and help them with online learning. Employers had also used all their reserves to help their employees, but Latvian children have three months of summer holidays ahead of them, because studies in Latvia resume on September 1. Parental survey and subsequent online discussion on June 11 showed parental concern and problems.

During the Covid-19 emergency, NGOs in cooperation with municipalities did not allow the development of projects for the organization of children’s summer camps, but the emergency situation in Latvia ended on June 9, the parents have returned to work and the issue of childcare has become very topical. Even children’s camps cannot be organized quickly in a short time and due to their small number they become expensive. Knowing that this week the Cabinet of Ministers will decide on the distribution of an additional 71 million euros to prevent the consequences of Covid-19, the Family NGOs represented in the discussion repeatedly decided to apply to the Latvian government with an open letter regarding the urgently needed state support for parents this summer to ensure safe childcare solutions and called for measures to address the Covid-19 consequences of the crisis:

  • for each child a one-time state co-payment in the amount of 75 EUR to cover the costs of a children’s summer or autumn camp;
  • to grant one of the parents of a primary school child or a disabled child an additional ten working days of paid leave paid by the state with the possibility to use it until 31 December 2020;
  • to urgently include these necessary state support solutions for Latvian parents and children in the “Law on Prevention and Management of State Threats Caused by the Spread of Covid-19 and its Consequences” and binding regulatory enactments, so that families receive support as soon as possible.

These demands were submitted to the Latvian government on June 13, and the participants of the discussion called on Latvian parents and other organizations to express public support for this demand for state co-financing of childcare solutions this summer.

The parents did EVERYTHING they could and did everything from the heart! Now we ask the Prime Minister to support families by saying thank you for their deeds!

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