Jun 15 2012
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Nurseries to need clearance from at least 6 ministries
DOHA: In the aftermath of the devastating May 28 Villaggio mall fire in which 13 children in the care of an unlicensed nursery perished, the government is busy framing stringent rules for daycare facilities to ensure safety of children in their care.
The regulations are expected to be enforced sooner rather than later and will require new nurseries or childcare centers being set up to seek clearances from at least six ministries to be eligible to be licensed by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
The new rules are likely to make it mandatory for all nurseries to make sure that no child in its care is more than four years of age.
And the owner and all the caretakers of a nursery will be required to seek character certificates from the Ministry of Interior once the new norms are in place.
Similarly, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning will have to confirm that a nursery applying for licensing has clearance from them or not.
The Ministry of Justice, on the other hand, will be asked to verify the authenticity of the tenancy contract if the premises a nursery is being housed in are rented. In case the premises are owned by the applicant, ownership is to be verified by the justice ministry.
The Civil Defense Department will play a major role as it will be responsible for checking safety conditions at the premises of a nursery or baby-care centre that is seeking the license and give its approval.
The role of the Traffic Department will be to approve the location of a nursery. According to the rules being framed, a nursery cannot be located in a busy area or along or even near a busy road.
The Medical Commission which falls under the Supreme Council of Health will run health checks on the caretakers of a nursery to make sure they do not have any communicable disease.
The Ministry of Labor will be playing its role by keeping a track on working hours of the caretakers of a nursery and to make sure that there are no labor-related violations.
A team from the licensing authority (Family Development Centre from the Ministry of Social Affairs) will finally check the premises of a nursery and it is only after their approval that a daycare center or nursery would be licensed.
The team will comprise not only inspectors from the Family Development Centre but also medical nurses, it is reliably learned.
© The Peninsula 2012
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