Why this story matters:
Some may feel that work-life balance is no longer an issue for women in the 21st century, but in Hungarian society, there are still significant hurdles to reaching this much-discussed ideal.
A falling number of nursery schools and increasing problems with staffing existing institutions, means that every year more children miss out on the opportunity to learn useful behavioural patterns from an early age.
But the most dangerous consequence is that many parents -- mothers in most cases -- will have to stay at home for the first three years of their child's life. And losing over a year's worth of salary could push many families below the poverty threshold.
Details from the story:
- The European Union in theory has called for more nursery schools, but very few have materialized as a result.
- According to a 2002 EU guideline, by 2010, member states should have guaranteed for 33 per cent of children under the age of 3 to attend nursery schools.
- Hungary has not yet reached the target. Due to the lack of space only 16-17 per cent of the children under the age of 3 can attend nursery schools.
- In 2017 there were 70,000 children whose parents had no access to local nursery schools in Hungary.
- The Hungarian government announced that it would invest 10 billion HUF (about 32 million EURO) in nursery schools. Most of the money will be used to provide more space in existing establishments.