Last month, the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women discussed a lack of funds for building new daycare centers in Israel. With the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics reporting a 92 percent increase in births in 2016 as compared with 1980, this blessing does not come without its challenges.
At the meeting, religious MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) stated that supporting daycare centers is an investment in Israel’s future, as well as the success of women in the workforce.
“These daycare centers will make it easier for women to leave home and find work, reduce [economic] gaps, and improve Israel’s economy,” he said. “Not building daycare centers in Israel causes harm to the public and to the State.”
Moreover, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics noted that there are approximately 131,000 single parent families in the country of which nearly 31 percent live in poverty, making helping women and their children succeed quickly become a top priority.
The Israeli government subsidizes daycare centers for babies and toddlers 3 months to 3 years old. However, Maklev argued that, with the exploding population, the existing budget is not nearly enough to support the need of hundreds of new daycare centers.
While Israel’s government struggles to decide where and how to subsidize daycare centers, the Colel Chabad charity organization continues to run 10 daycare centers throughout Israel.
“Proper day care is crucial to both the success of women and children,” said Rabbi Shmuel Lipsker, administrator for Colel Chabad, which has been serving citizens of the Holy Land since 1788, to Breaking Israel News. “Colel Chabad daycare centers provide a safe and supportive environment for children and are open longer hours than other daycare centers so that working parents and their children can succeed.”
Helping struggling families, especially widows, orphans, and single-parent families, is one of Colel Chabad’s top priorities. The organization is known for its sensitivity and care towards those who need it most.
Recognizing that struggling families may not have the means or way-with-all to send their children to daycare with food, Colel Chabad daycare centers provide their children with nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks.
Though the organization is run by Orthodox Jews, their daycare centers are in high demand by Israelis from all walks of life and are known to accept children from all backgrounds and degrees of religious observance.
“Every parent wants the best for their children, and working mothers know that Colel Chabad daycare centers provide a caring, warm and educational environment,” said Rabbi Lipsker. “Judaism believes that the most crucial years for a child’s healthy development are exactly the ages of daycare. We ensure that every child’s physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional needs are met.”
With the average family spending about 30 percent of their income on childcare, parents not only deserve confidence in the safety and cleanliness of where their children are spending time, but also want to know that they are receiving proper developmental and educational programs, said the Rabbi.
“We constantly invest in our daycare centers to provide the best environment for infants and toddlers and give working mothers confidence that they and their children will have the best chance for a successful future,” Rabbi Lipsker said. “The key to the survival for many families, especially those without a father, is the ability of the mother to be able to work. Providing children with proper daycare is crucial for this to happen.”
To help Israel’s children in need of daycare, please click here.
Written in coordination with Colel Chabad.