New Law Regulates Afternoon Care Centers Costs, Rules

YERUSHALAYIM -
A child in a day care center. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The government has approved for legislation a new measure that regulates the functioning of after-school day care centers. The law, proposed by MKs Yifat Shasha-Bitton (Kulanu) and Rabbi Yaakov Margi (Shas), imposes stiff penalties on day care centers that violate rules on operation, and on the maximum amount that can be charged.

According to the law, afternoon day care centers – which many parents of small children rely on in order to ensure that their children are cared for while they are at work – will be allowed to have a maximum of 35 children per class. The law will also empower the Education Minister to set rates, including a maximum rate, for tuition. Centers that try to charge more than the maximum will find themselves paying a fine of NIS 50,000.

The law will apply equally to private and public day care centers. Many of the centers, especially in peripheral areas, are operated by local authorities, so overcharging there is unlikely – but trying to put extra children into a class is, Shasha-Bitton said.

“Many parents have publicly complained and worried about the after-school centers, and we in the Knesset are listening,” Shasha-Bitton said. “This law will end the situation where there is no supervision on the centers, which many families rely on.”