BEIRUT — Following the daycare scandal that surfaced earlier this week, caretaker Health Minister Firass Abiad on Thursday announced that his ministry has taken a series of decisions to better monitor daycares.
In an interview with Sawt Kel Lebnen radio, Abiad said "intensifying surprise inspection visits in addition to placing cameras that record what is happening at the daycare," are among the measures to be implemented.
"Daycares that don't abide by these measures will be stripped of their licenses or closed," the minister added.
Abiad also said that the ministry "should make sure that the workers in daycares have the required degrees." He said when workers are replaced "the ministry should also check that they are up to the standards."
What are the requirements needed to open a daycare in Lebanon?
Health Ministry decree Number 4876 establishes all the rules and regulations for the opening and maintenance of these establishments, which welcome children from 40 days to 4 years old. The ministry re-assesses daycare centers every two years to renew their license.
The main criteria are as follows:
- The building in which the daycare is established should be habitable. The center shouldn't be located underground, in a warehouse, in a school, a hospital or an industrial building. Tile floors must be covered. At least two fire extinguishers should be available and ventilation and lighting must be adequate.
- The building must include different rooms where the children can sleep, play, and eat. An infirmary, a kitchen, a bathroom and toilets must also be installed in separate rooms. The specifications for the furniture, including chairs, tables and bed sizes, are also specified in the decree. The toilets must also answer specifications, and no less than ten of them must be available for children older than a year and a half.
- The number of children that can be welcome is determined depending on the area available in the different rooms, with one square meter to be allocated per children in the classroom and play area and two square meters per child in the sleeping room.
- The owner of the nursery home must be Lebanese, not have a criminal record, and be insured for any accidents that may happen inside the center.
Each daycare center must employ :
- A manager holding a bachelor’s degree in nursery education, sociology, psychology or health sciences, administrative or economic science.
- A full-time nurse licensed to work from the Ministry of Public Health.
- For every ten children between forty days and a year old, an auxiliary nurse licensed to work from the Ministry of Public Health or holding a certificate of minimum five years of experience in working with children, certified by the syndicate of child care workers.
- A child care worker with a degree in education for every 20 children of more than one year.
- A physician licensed to practice in Lebanon, with specialization in pediatrics, general or family medicine, who is able to visit the center twice a year or whenever necessary.
- According to the license application procedure, all employees of the daycare should have a degree in first aid.