Covid rules for reopening of creches “impossible”, say parents and educators

Monday is due to see the return to school of 11th and 12th year pupils, as well as creches. But the latter sector has slammed DGS health authority orientation, saying it is simply impossible to implement.

According to SIC television, it’s not just ‘educators’ who are against the long list of demands for their pre-school community, but psychologists and the children’s parents themselves.

A petition calling for all creches, pre-school and ATLs (tuition centres) to remain closed until September has amassed just under 21,000 signatures – enough to be presented to parliament.

As the text explains: “Children cannot, and don’t even know how to, social distance. They don’t know why they cannot hug, kiss, or ask to be cuddled. They are in constant direct contact with their colleagues, educators and those helping them. Even if they wash their hands regularly, they will never be clean as they touch the floor, toys, even the soles of their shoes …”

It has to be said DGS health directives published last Friday call for children to have their shoes removed the minute they arrive at creches, along with their clothes (to change into others) – but the message from those that know them best is clear: children won’t be able to comply; they won’t understand why their day-to-day has changed so dramatically, and they won’t be in the least bit happy with what is expected of them.

As one parent put it, authorities want to turn creches into ‘warehouses full of children’. Indeed, they want to turn children into robots.

Susana Batista of the association of private creches explained no educator will agree to stopping the sharing of toys, anyway, as that’s one of the fundamental social messages children learn at this stage is the importance of sharing.

Thus the fight is on.

Psychologists are right behind the feeling of despair, saying that a creche cannot be approached as if it was a sector of the economy. It is a place where children learn the basis of humanity.

No-one can tell how many children will be delivered into these ‘new-normal’ creches on Monday, nor how many will actually make all the efforts required to adhere to health authority stipulations.

Says SIC, educators are expecting only 25% of their children, with the majority remaining at home with parents who are entitled to stay at home, receiving government support, until June 1.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com