New law requires licensing for nurseries, childcare facilities to operate; offenders to be fined or jailed
According to a new law No. 1, 2014, nurseries, day care centers, play schools and similar facilities will now require licenses from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to operate in Qatar. To acquire this license, they will need to make a deposit of QR100,000 covering license duration and renewal in addition to fulfilling other conditions. The Ministry will refund this deposit if the nursery owner decides to shut down the nursery. It will also set up a separate entity to regulate the practices of these institutions.
Within a month after obtaining the license, nurseries will be required to formulate and submit a set of their internal administrative policies, including fee structure, healthcare, entertainment, food and other details to the Ministry for its approval, local newspapers report.
Existing nurseries and similar institutions will be required to comply with the new law within six months of its enforcement; the Ministry may extend this duration at its discretion. The penalties for a firm operating without a license could include a fine of QR100,000 and even a jail term of upto two years for the owner.
According to local newspapers, the following are some of the provisions of this law:
- Children above four years of age can be admitted to kindergartens while those below four years of age can be enrolled in nurseries, play schools or crèches.
- All licensed nurseries or play schools must have a female director, a responsible female official and an assistant supervisor. The facility must also have an arrangement with a qualified physician, nutritionist and a nurse, who will visit the facility regularly. Cleaning staff, security guards and drivers are also mandatory.
- While women must primarily manage the nursery, visiting doctors and persons who are not responsible for direct supervision of children may be men.
- All staff members of these facilities will be required separate certification from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and will be regulated by the Qatar Labour Law.
According to Qatar News Agency, the law will be enforced once it has been published in the official gazette.
Photo Courtesy: Bambinos Daycare