(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Sanaullah Ataullah | The Peninsula
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs yesterday launched three-month-long campaign to curb the practice of unlicensed nurseries and check the violations of licensed nurseries in the country with the help of countrywide awareness programmes and inspections drives.
The campaign which started yesterday will continue until December 1, 2019. Addressing the press conference on the launch of the countrywide campaign, Najat Daham Al Abdullah, Director of Family Affairs Department at the Ministry said that the campaign ‘Ayalak Amanah' (Your Children Entrusted to Your Care )aims at curbing the practice of unlicensed nurseries, educating the targeted people about the impact of erring nurseries on their children and creating awareness among them about the law for regulating nurseries.
She said that unlicensed nurseries are prime target of the campaign followed by the individuals especially parents.
Speaking about the role of the Ministry about regulating nurseries, Al Abdullah said: 'The Ministry is the only authority to issue licenses for building nurseries and monitoring them. The law for regulating nurseries stipulates double punishment — hefty fine and jail sentence — for establishing and running nurseries without proper licenses.
Regarding the monitoring of nurseries, she said that inspection campaigns are regularly launched on monthly basis to ensure that the nurseries are complying with legal requirements and rules, and staff are qualified to care the children.
'We have female inspectors armed with judicial power conducting inspection campaigns and we have chosen the female because all the nursery workers are women.
'All nursery staff should be women for better care and protection of children, said Najat Al Abdullah. She added that the law suggests punishment in accordance with the seriousness of offence. 'Incomplete paper work is also included among violations. In such cases, the nurseries will be given three to four days to produce the required documents, said Al Abdullah.
However, she said, in case of minor violations related to the health of children, the erring nurseries will be given warnings twice and afterwards a fine of QR10,00 will be imposed. The amount of fine is detected from the security money of erring nurseries. 'In case of serious violations, which could harm children and affect their safety and security, we will shutdown erring nurseries for three months until they remove the violation by rectifying the situation, said Al Abdullah.
Speaking about the penalties for those who violate the provisions of Law No. 1 of 2014 for regulating nurseries after obtaining the license, Ali Saeed Mallhia, Senior Legal Researcher at the Ministry, said that there are two types of penalties; administrative and criminal.
'The first type of penalties are designed to deal with administrative violations, which are due to a violation of one of the conditions that must be met by the applicant for the license, the establishment of nurseries, the management of them, transfer or change of their specifications before obtaining the license, said Mallhia.
He said that the second type of penalties was put in place to deal with violations of a criminal nature, which are regulated by article No. 20 of the law. It includes violation related to the purpose of the license and conducting an activity other than running a nursery. Such violations will carry a penalty of imprisonment and a fine of QR100,000 or one of them by the competent court.
The conference was attended by Abdulaziz Rashid Al Kubaisi, Director of Public Relations and Communications, and Ibrahim Ali Al Khaja, Social Programs Coordinator at the Ministry.