A new draft law governing the regulation of Qatar’s nurseries and kindergartens states that they should only employ women, the Peninsula reports.
The government’s Advisory (Shura) Council approved the draft legislation yesterday.
Details about the new regulations are sparse, but here’s what we do know:
- Licences for nurseries will be issued within 30 days of application, and will last for a year. They will be renewed based on the performance of the nursery.
- A new amendment to the law adds that the Ministry should give or refuse permission for a new nursery within 30 days, and that it should also give clear reasons why, if permission has been rejected.
- The law sets out 15 conditions for employing staff, but these have not yet been disclosed
- The law gives the Minister of Social Affairs the right to cancel a permit, appoint a temporary management for a nursery, or close a nursery down for up to three months, if rules are being broken.
There is a lack of clarification on the “women only” rule. Though the Peninsula reports that all staff must be female, Arabic daily Al Arab states that only “nursery management” must be female.
The new law is the latest in a series of new regulations which have been imposed on nurseries and kindergartens in Qatar since the Villaggio fire last May. There, 19 people, including 13 children, were killed in a daycare on the first floor of the mall.
Shortly after the tragedy, the Ministry of Social Affairs, which regulates Qatar’s nurseries, decreed that all nurseries must operate only on the ground floor. The rule was introduced quickly and prompted some short-notice closures and allegations of overcrowding in some nurseries, who found themselves lacking for space.
The law also required nurseries to be located away from busy roads, and mandated Civil Defense clearance before a new nursery was allowed to open.
The draft law now awaits the Emir’s approval.
Credit: Photo by Celio Azzurro