Piñera unveils universal childcare bill


SANTIAGO – Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on Wednesday unveiled a bill that would enable the children of working parents to have free access to childcare centers or nurseries.

“Making work life and family life compatible is not easy,” Pinera said during the presentation of the bill in Santiago.

Current law requires a minimum of 20 women on a company’s payroll before it has to provide a childcare center.

Pinera said his plan would change the status quo “by establishing the universal right to a childcare center for the children of all working mothers and fathers.”

He said the proposed law would benefit three groups: children, who need encouragement and motivation from a very early age to fully realize their potentials; working mothers, who must “reconcile their work lives with family”.

At the same time, he called on Parliament to approve the project before September 18, the date on which the anniversary of Chile’s independence is celebrated, “as a gift for all women” of the country.
“This is a dear and heartfelt aspiration of the women of Chile, I ask you to give them great news before September 18,” said Piñera.

With available childcare, it is estimated that some 250,000 women would be able to enter the labor force.

Labor Day: Piñera pledges universal nursery, work-at-home jobs

The proposed law would also create a Solidarity Fund for the Social Benefit of Nursery Education at the Nursery Level, which would cover children aged six months to two years whose parents have jobs and meet certain criteria.

The Sala Cuna Universal project will allow every woman who wants to enter the labor market to be entitled to the nursery, regardless of the type of contract and the size of the company to which it provides service.