More than 1, 800 day care pupils in 63 Day Care Development Centers in Daraga are now tuition and participation-free, for the school year 2022- 2023.

According to Municipal Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), prior to the  implementation of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program, the parents of enrolled day care students would pay a participation fee of 70 Php each month.

Only the municipality of Daraga in the entire province of Albay has fully implemented the aforementioned program, allowing children between the ages of 3 and 4 to attend free daycare at any of the 63 Day Care Development Centers located among its 54 barangays.

“Under sa administration po ni Mayor Awin Baldo naimplementar an free day care services sa ubos na akus na 3-4 years old. Sa ibang munisipyo po kaya indi pa ninda pwedeng i-free dahil medyo ababa pa an monthly honorarium na narereceive sa barangay dangan munisipyo san day care worker, kaya need ninda mag-collect nin participation fee from the parents to augment the minimal compensation being received by the day care worker. Pero sa Daraga po, nagkaayo na nin increase and in fact si Mayor Baldo may plano pang dagdagan an compensation ninda,” as per Imelda Gonzaga, Day Care Service Program Supervisor of MSWDO.

(“The free day care for children aged 3-4 years old is implemented under Mayor Awin Baldo’s administration. In other municipalities, they cannot implement free day care service yet because their care workers receive a  bit low of monthly honorarium from their barangays and LGU,  so they still need to collect the participation fee from the parents to augment the minimal compensation being received by the day care worker. But in Daraga, we already had the increase and in fact, Mayor Baldo even plans to increase the day care workers’ compensation.”)

Other than the free tuition or participation fee, each barangay is responsible for providing the materials and other essential needs of the daycare centers, utilizing the 1% of fund from the Local Councils for the Protection of Children (LCPC) or from the Gender and Development (GAD) budget.

“Kaypwan tang mas ma-encourage an satun na mga kaakusan na mag-eskwela and syempre pati an mga gurang na pa-eskwelawn an saindang mga akus. Kaya dapat mairani ta sainda an edukasyon. Itu na kagaanan na yadi sa mga gurang na indi na ninda kaypwan pang isipon an bulan-bulan na babayadan sa eskwelan, and at the same time, dapat ma-compensate man an satun na mga day care workers nganing mas ganahan sinda sa pagturo,” Mayor Baldo expressed in his message.

(“We must urge both our youth and, naturally, the parents to send their children to school. So, we should make education more accessible to them. The parents will feel relieved since they won’t have to worry about the cost of school each month, but at the same time, we also have to compensate our day care workers so they will be motivated to educate.”)

Meanwhile, the MSWDO made it clear that any additional payments for classroom equipment or other necessities should be approved by the parents.