politics

A Young Woman Is Trying To Use Technology To Solve Brazil’s Daycare Crisis

legatum.mit.edu

If you ask most parents what it’s like to choose childcare, they’ll tell you it’s a real struggle. Wherever you may live, whatever your income is, good parents will want the very best for their child. And if they’re willing to settle for any childcare they can get, well that’s another issue in itself. The childcare dilemma isn’t an isolated one either. It’s something that people from all over the world are continually dealing with. Now, a new report shows just what that problem is like in Brazil.

Unlicensed daycare is increasing in Brazil because of the insufficiency of childcare in the country.

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A report by BBC says that because there are not enough daycare centers to meet the demands of the entire population in the country, more and more women are taking care of children even if they don’t have any background in childcare.

While the news report says that public childcare is free in Brazil, the waiting list is extensive. “It is estimated that 1.8 million infants and toddlers are shut out of daycare by a lack of places or excessive commutes,” the BBC reports.

The demand means that more unqualified people, who are not monitored or regulated by any law, are setting up their own childcare centers in order to provide care for those who are left out of the system.

The report tells the story of Lindassi Pereira, a 44-year-old woman, who takes care of 10 to 15 children at a time.

“Daycares would be good with hours where we could leave and pick up children outside of business hours, but unfortunately it’s not like that,” Luana Andrade told the BBC. She leaves her 3-year-old daughter with Pereira because she doesn’t work typical business hours. “We have to search and adapt. [Pereira is] a great person; I just have thanks to her and her family for helping me.”

The other issue, unfortunately, falls on low-income families who cannot afford to enlist their kids in private childcare.

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While families with privilege and wealth can seek private childcare, almost 34 percent of the most impoverished children go without proper childcare because it’s not available to them.

“In my suburb, there are just two daycares, but there are lots and lots of children,” Pereira told the BBC. “If there isn’t someone in the family to take care of them, then the daycares don’t help because there are so few and the waiting list is really, really big.”

However, there are signs that the childcare system in Brazil may be improving soon.

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Elisa Mansur, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, has created a startup called Mopi, which is a “network of home-based Brazilian daycare centers.” According to the BBC, her idea won the 2018 World Bank Youth Summit project competition.

According to World Bank, Mopi has the ability to serve 7 million underserved children in Brazil.

“I saw that there’s this informal system where women in their own houses charge to look after one, two, three, four, 10 or 15 children,” Mansur told the BBC. “So I said these women are making a difference but the government doesn’t look at them and the work they’re doing and aren’t giving them any support, and that they were completely ignored on the edges of society.”

Mopi will include a rating system based on family reviews of caregivers as well as a training course and a model for teaching lessons necessary at this stage of development.

The issue for the children of Brazil doesn’t just fall on the hands of the parents, who lack proper childcare, but the government’s mistreatment of those they already had in their care.

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In 2016, according to the Human Right’s Watch, an estimated 24,000 children and young adults were living in Brazil’s juvenile detention facilities. Many of those children also faced abuse and torture within the detention facilities from staff members.

(H/T: BBC)

READ: Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

Ahead Of Supreme Court Decision, Census Bureau Quietly Seeks Citizenship Data

politics

Ahead Of Supreme Court Decision, Census Bureau Quietly Seeks Citizenship Data

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The Census Bureau is quietly seeking information on the legal status of millions of immigrants in the United States. According to the AP, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would share personal data about noncitizens, including their immigration status, to the Census Bureau. The pending agreement between both agencies started since as earliest as this January. While the move is unprecedented, it is legal for the DHS to share the data if “it fits with a certain set of defined exceptions.” The news comes as the Supreme Court decides next month whether the Trump administration can ask people if they are citizens on the 2020 Census.

The pending agreement would give the bureau vital information about millions of immigrants in the country including social security numbers and addresses.

The DHS data that would be given to the Census Bureau would include names, addresses, birth dates and places, Social Security numbers and registration numbers. The AP reports that the data the bureau would receive would be more accurate than the information collected by the census every 10 years.

The proposed move raises some questions as to what the Trump administration will do with the data. It’s also raised concerns among privacy and immigration activists that argue it will be misused and would increase fears among noncitizens and legal immigrants. Some say the data can be used to build a database for legal cases and the deportation of immigrants.

Jessica Collins, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Services, told the AP that while no agreement is finalized, the information would not be used for law enforcement purposes.

“The information is protected and safeguarded under applicable laws and will not be used for adjudicative or law enforcement purposes.” Collins said.

This has all been reported in the same week a second federal judge called the proposed census citizenship question “illegal”.

In a ruling this past week, federal judge Richard Seeborg issued a court order blocking the Trump administration’s plans to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Seeborg says that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s effort to add a citizenship question “threatens the very foundation of our democratic system.” He also ruled that it was unconstitutional because it prevents the government from doing it’s job to count every person living in the U.S.

Secretary Ross made the choice last year to add the citizenship question to the census, claiming the Justice Department requested the question to improve enforcement of the federal Voting Rights Act. Critics say this is just another move to heighten voter suppression.

The proposed census question would result in a significant undercount of non-citizens especially Latinos and other communities of colors due to fears that the information would be used against them. These undercounts would also affect the accuracy of new population counts. These numbers play a role in determining how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes, including billions of dollars in federal funding, each state receives after the 2020 census.

Seeborg is the second federal judge to stike down the proposed census question after an earlier ruling in New York by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman earlier this year.

In April, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments to determine if the 2020 Census can include a citizenship question.

The proposed census question has become a contentious issue that would mostly affect blue states where Latinos live. Also, by having the Census Bureau go around the courts to receive information from the DHS, it only adds to this controversial issue.

While the census count happens just once every 10 years, it’s an important procedure that will certainly affect federal funding and serve as the basis for huge amounts of research. While federal law strictly prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing information, many fear having a question concerning legal status won’t help with building trust.

“It’s understandable that it’s alarming,” Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant on census issues, told the New York Times. “Given the anti-immigration policies of the administration, people who are fearful for their security and their status would see this as another possible effort to harm them.”

The Supreme Court hearing in April will allow Secretary Ross and the Justice Department to show their case that the question is needed to better enforce voting-rights laws. The court should make it’s final decision weeks after oral arguments begin.

READ: Miami Film Festival Cancels Screening of Immigration Doc After ICE Detained The Movie’s Main Character

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