Prague - Czech mothers on maternity leaves have come up with a solution of how to take care of their children and work at the same time.
While Czech authorities keep promising they will provide mothers with career opportunities, a new opportunity has suddenly emerged spontaneously for them - out of the baby boom that the Czech Republic has been going through in the past few years.
Many cities, especially the large ones, suffer from the lack kindergartens and creches. So some of the mothers that want to work but cannot place their children in kindergartens established their own kindergartens. Thus solving two issues at once.
"I wanted to found an ideal kindergarten for my daughter and I knew there was a large gap in the market," Markéta Hlavicová, one of the owners of a pre-school called Čertův vršek (Devil´s little hill) in Prague 8 said to Aktuálně.cz.
Not being able to find a quality private or public kindergarten that would still have a place to accommodate her daughter, Hlavicová went ahead and established her own.
The story of Jana Staňková, director of Veselá školka kindergarten, is a similar one. "Here in Stodůlky [in Prague] there is only one public kindergarten and now ours," she says. Her clients found her kindergarten just in a few days and in September when they start, the capacity will be almost filled.
Demand especially in larger cities
Municipal authorities closed down a number of kindergartens and creches in the 1990s because of the rapid birth rate decline the country witnessed after the fall of communism.
Now young women are having babies and the demographers estimate the current baby boom will last at least for another four to five years. But municipalities do not want to risk investments in building new kindergartens, which would be of no use in five years.
Therefore the number of private day-care facilities found by the mothers is on the rise, particularly in larger cities.
But these facilities are not typical large-scale kindergartens that need to be registered at the Education Ministry, but rather day-care centers where mothers attend to their own as well as other children. The earnings made per child vary from CZK 4,000 to 20,000 a month.
The state subsidizes registered kindergartens but to get the licence they need to obey strict educational programs.