On October 10, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the draft regulations* developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development on providing support to local governments for the purchase of private preschool education services and childcare (nannies) services in order to promote the balancing of work and family life and equal opportunities for all families.
"The new initiative will serve not only to reduce local government budget expenses, but will also be a safe support for young families who need to significantly balance their work and family life, which is possible if a high-quality child care service is available near the parents' residence", emphasizes the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development minister Inga Bērziņa.
The total available funding is 19,140,000 euro, incl. European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) funding of EUR 16,269,000 and municipal funding of at least EUR 2,871,000 (minimum co-financing for municipalities is 15%, except for the municipalities of the Riga planning region, whose co-financing is at least 25%).
Municipalities that have children waiting for a place in municipal pre-school educational institutions will be able to receive support. In the selection of project submissions, it is intended to use the most current data on the queue as of October 1 of this year.
In order to provide support to as many families as possible and to provide services to as many children as possible, the support conditions provide for the maximum cost of the ESF+ project per child per month (364 euro), as well as the fact that the service will be available for one child for a maximum of three years. Thus, it is planned that a total of at least 1239 children will be able to receive support.
Childcare service providers will be selected by local governments in accordance with the procedure provided for in the regulatory acts in the field of public procurement. The selected service providers must be registered in the Register of Educational Institutions or the Register of Child Supervision Service Providers.
When providing private preschool education services, the support is intended for the remuneration, teaching aids and materials, communication, utility and information technology services, repair works and institution maintenance services, rent and lease for the provision of classrooms, various goods, inventory and other costs in accordance with the services to be concluded contracts. For the provision of nannies or childcare services, support is provided for remuneration, teaching aids and materials.
In project selection, priority will be given to projects in which less ESF+ funding per child per month will be planned for the provision of services, childcare services will be provided to as many children as possible for at least 1-3 years, and advantages will be provided for preschool children from socially and economically disadvantaged groups of persons.
The Central Finance and Contracts Agency, as a cooperation institution for European Union (EU) funds, plans to announce the selection of project submissions this year in November. Please follow the current information on project selections on the website of the Central Finance and Contracts Agency: https://www.cfla.gov.lv/lv/2021-2027-projektu-atlases
*European Union Cohesion Policy Programme for 2021-2027. 4.3.6. of the specific support objective "Promote the social integration of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, including the poorest and children" 18.104.22.168. event "Babysitting services"