Crèches get green light to run through night; operate out of containers

Government focused on improving “work-personal life/ family” balance

A notice published in State newspaper Diário da República today opens the way to crèches being open during “the nighttime period”; to crèches being run out of containers, and/ or integrated within hospitals, universities, companies and public entities.

The ordinance sets out to “improve the conciliation between work and personal and family life”, explain reports, adding that two university hospitals (Coimbra and the CHUCB, hospital centre of Cova da Beira) already run day care centres within them for the children of staff members.

According to the text, crèches now “can be set up in modular constructions, in existing buildings, or in spaces integrated into universities, hospitals, companies, and public entities”.

The news comes hot-on-the-heels of the decision to increase the number of children that can be integrated within each classroom. Minister for Labour, Solidarity and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho has raised the limit by a further two places per classroom, in a bid to create around “6,000 further places” in the nation’s day centre centres this year.

Making her announcement earlier this week, she said the increase in capacity “is fundamental to guarantee equal opportunities between men and women, and guarantee equal opportunities for children”.