Stay-at-home parents' children deserve right to free childcare too, PN insists

Therese Comodini Cachia says playschools not just babysitting centres but places where children can develop socially

File photo
File photo

The Nationalist Party has stood by its proposal to extend free childcare to stay-at-home parents, arguing that children deserve equal opportunities.

PN MEP and election candidate Therese Comodini Cachia said that playschools are not merely “a dumping ground” for pre-school children while their parents are at work but also provide an environment where children can develop socially.  

"Families are shrinking, and around 17,000 families only have one child," she said. "These children deserve the chance to enter a learning environment where they can engage with other kids and carers. A child's early years are the best days of their lives and must invest in every single child.”

Comodini Cachia argued that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat looks at free childcare as “merely a scheme to encourage mothers to find a job, but we think it should be open to all."

Comodini Cachia said that Labour's criticism of the PN's proposal is outdated and based on the mindset that housewives are “too lazy to find a job”.

She also dismisses the PL's criticism that the proposal will be stymied by a shortage of carers, arguing that a PN administration will improve carers' work conditions so as to promote caring as a career.

"Many ex-carers loved their jobs but had to find a new one because of their conditions," she said.

MEP denies paying PN strategist €28,000 through EU funds

Comodini Cachia denied reports by the Labour Party that she paid PN strategist John Zammit some €28,000 last year and said that Zammit stopped working at her office in February 2016 and was therefore only paid for the first two months of last year.

She refused to confirm how much she paid him for those two months but promised that it was far less than €28,000.

"If the report were true, it would mean that I had paid Zammit €14,000 per month, which is how much the government pays Sai Mizzi. I can assure you that Zammit earned less than Sai Mizzi," Comodini Cachia said. "I can't understand why Joseph Muscat has decided to lie about me in the final weeks before the election."

Labour has claimed that Zammit's monthly salary as PN strategist was paid from the funds allocated by the European Parliament to the PN MEP, which would be in breach of EU rules.

Comodini Cachia reiterated that her EP expenses have been audited and approved by the European Parliament.