Free Childcare Scheme in Malta sees over 15,000 children benefit – how does it work?
The Maltese Government has invested more than €63 million in its Free Childcare Scheme since April 2014, of which 15,800 children have benefitted, Maltese Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo has claimed while opening the government’s 14th childcare centre.
The scheme offers free childcare services to all Maltese parents who are working or studying provided either directly through government services or via registered childcare centres. At the start of the scheme, there were 69 childcare centres participating in the scheme, while today the government says there are 129 centres participating – 14 of which are government-run.
Approximately 700 children under the age of three years use the Maltese Government-run centres.
The Free Childcare Scheme entitlement is based on the numbers of hours worked by the principal parent or guardian. Hours of work are calculated on a monthly basis, and beneficiaries are entitled to an additional 10 per cent on working hours per month to take commuting time into consideration.
Parents who are studying full time are eligible for 40 hours per week childcare, while those studying part time are eligible for 20 hours per week.