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

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