Working mothers lament lack of childcare centers

April 02, 2019

By Dhikra Al-Sulami

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

A number of Saudi women working for the private sector have complained about insufficient number of nurseries and childcare homes near their work places.

They said they were not able to benefit from the Qurrah program established by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to take care of their children while they are at work.

The mothers said there were no hospitality homes for the children in the east of Jeddah and because of this many of them had to quit their jobs to be with their children.

The ministry kept silent on the issue and its spokesman did not comment when the matter was raised to him.

According to informed sources, there are enough nurseries in many districts of Jeddah including Al-Hamra, Al-Rawdah, Al-Nahdah, Al-Mohammadiyah, Al-Salama, Al-Sanabil and others. The mothers, however, said the childcare homes did not geographically cover all parts of Jeddah.

They also said the ministry did not update the Qurrah program and it took them a long time to look for nurseries for their children.

The mothers also said the fees at the nurseries under the Qurrah program were highly expensive starting with SR1,000 a month and going up to SR2,500.

Nahla Abdullah, an employee in the private sector, said she could not find a nursery with a suitable price for her seven-month-old daughter.

“A private nursery near my home asked me to pay a monthly fee of SR2,000, which is too much for me as my salary is only SR4,500,” she said.

Maysa Amin said she could not find a Qurrah program nursery near her home so she registered her children in a private nursery paying SR1,000 a month per child.

“The nursery closes down at 2 p.m. while I finish my duty at 4 p.m. I asked them to keep my children for two extra hours but they asked for a lot more money for this,” she said.

Noura Ahmed, a working mother who lives in east Jeddah, said she had to resign from her job because there were no Qurrah nurseries in her area.

Meanwhile, the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) said as many as 22,556 working women have benefited from its transport and Qurrah programs.

The fund pays about SR800 for every workingwoman as its share of contribution in the transport program for six years while it pays a similar amount as fees for participant mothers in the Qurrah program for four years.

The fund said every workingwoman can enroll two children in the Qurrah nurseries for four years. It said the subsidy will be SR800 in the first year and will go down to SR400 in the fourth year.

Many say Labor Ministry’s Qurrah program doesn’t benefit them

Noura Ahmed, a working mother who lives in east Jeddah, said she had to resign from her job because there were no Qurrah nurseries in her area.

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