Published: 2017-11-01 11:30
Last Updated: 2017-11-01 12:07
The Minister of Labour, Ali al Ghazzawi, announced on Wednesday that the government would be opening 300 kindergartens in public schools across Amman.
The announcement was made as the minister opened the National Employment Forum, where he also addressed Jordan’s high unemployment rates.
Increasing access to day care facilities for working mothers has been a priority since studies have shown a link between poor access to child care and the low rates of female participation in the workforce.
According to a paper from the Jordanian Strategy Forum, the low rates of female employment in Jordan cost the economy approximately 22 billion JOD.
Meanwhile, a 2015 study showed that 34% of working women left the workplace because of family issues.
The high cost of private day care centres has long been an issue for working mothers in Jordan, in particular in Amman, where costs for full time child care can easily reach a third of a single salary.
The Ministry of Labour hopes that by opening free child care facilities in public schools, it will encourage women to stay in the workforce and contribute to economic productivity.
Supporters of free kindergartens also argue that free child care will boost productivity and reduce absenteeism and staff turnover.