"My name is Jirka and I am almost three years old. I have two older brothers and we live in Litomyšl. When I was born, my mum had to take over our family company. My grandmother used to babysit me and my brothers at first. We must have given her a hard time – I don’t think so, but it is true that I like to climb on everything and have a lot of energy in general – because my mum decided that she would put me in a private kindergarten from time to time. But that cost a lot of money (I don’t understand that, but my mum said that).
One day, we went to visit some aunts who have children as well. The aunts live in a castle and their home is very nice. There is a sleeping room, a room full of toys, a kitchen and a big hallway. The best thing is that all the rooms are walk-through, so you can run through them and play tag. My mum took me to the play room. Have I told you that there is a tepee there? I liked it very much. My mum told me to play and that she would have coffee with the aunts in the kitchen, so I wasn’t afraid. Besides, there were other children in the room with me, so we played together. Then I found out that my mum had left, but I actually didn’t mind because the play room was really cool.
And well, that has been going on for several months now. I go to the castle to play with my friends three days a week. I've heard this place is called a micro nursery. While I am there, my mum can take care of her work stuff, as she says. Mostly, it goes like this: I play at first, then we go for a walk, then we get a snack and we go to sleep after lunch. My mum prepares the food for me and I bring it with me. I like it there. When my mum comes to pick me up in the afternoon, I actually do not want to go home."
There is really a family atmosphere in the micro nursery in Litomyšl. A random visitor can hardly tell who is a carer and who is a mother who has just brought her children there. “When I worked in Denmark, my colleagues could only hardly understand our three-year parental leave. In Denmark, it is common for mothers of little children to use babysitters or day care, so they could go to work,” describes Jana Urbanová from the Litomyšl Family Centre. “We had an idea to open something like that in Litomyšl and the opportunity to apply for a subsidy from the Operational Programme Employment came in useful,” she adds.
The micro nursery is a childcare facility for children between six months and four years of age in a group of four children tops. There is one carer for each two children. Eight children at about Jirka’s age now attend the micro nursery in Litomyšl. The youngest child was eight months old when he started, but he came together with his older brother.
The micro nursery is open from about 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The time got adjusted, so that the parents could pick up their children easily and would not have to hurry from work. Each child attends the facility differently; no child spends eight hours, five days a week there. However, it still stands that a maximum of four children can be there at once. “We support family, not career. We didn’t want to have four clients and four children who would be here from morning to evening,” says Jana Urbanová. Mothers use a disk shared online to type their requests into and the attendance is then set based on the requests.
Four carers in total, three working half-time and one under an agreement to complete a job, take care of the children. Some of them also have their own children in the micro nursery, which enhances the facility’s family character even more. All of them had to complete a retraining course. The premises where the micro nursery is located was provided by the town of Litomyšl. Originally, it was a flat intended for the local gallery’s management. The flat had to be repainted and furnished. The costs were covered by the subsidy. Thanks to the subsidy, the service is free for the parents. They only have to take care of food and they share the common costs such as paper towels, tea, syrup, etc. “The micro nursery literally came to my rescue at the right time,” concludes Jirka’s mum.
|Operational Programme||Operational Programme Employment|
|Project name||Micro Nursery in Litomyšl|
|Beneficiary||Rodinné centrum Litomyšl, z. s.|
|Realization||1. 8. 2017 - 30. 9. 2019|
|Subsidy||1 931 250,- Kč|