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Dear Nanny

There are several thousands of families in Latvia that are raising disabled children. The parents of these children have not abandoned them and have not given them to state care (children’s homes and later on boarding schools), but have themselves taken care and responsibility for them. These children have movement disorders ranging from mild complications, such as when a child’s walking is uncoordinated, to severe cases when a child is unable to walk or even sit up. Moreover, in cases of physical disabilities, the intellect and the mental development is usually preserved and leaving these children to children’s homes is a tragedy for both the parents and the children.

The second group of disabled children have mental disorders and caring for them is extremely difficult. Unlike children with severe movement disorders, these children cannot be left alone, not even for a short moment.

Usually in such situations, one of the parents is forced to leave work because he or she must constantly be together with the disabled child. Many of these families are single parent families, where the children are being raised by the mother alone. A painful problem is also the healthy children of the disabled child’s family, as their mother is simply not physically able to devote the necessary attention to them.

The state-provided support for a parent who is taking care of a disabled child was only LVL 50 per month in 2007; since 2008, it has been LVL 150 per month. This money is usually spent for the most necessary things such as medicine and food.

Mothers admit – one of the biggest problems is that these children cannot be left alone, not even for a moment, even at the age of 10 or 15. If a mother is raising such a child alone and has no relatives to help her, then she spends 24 hours a day with the child. But hiring a nanny for an unemployed, single mother is usually too expensive. Quite often, parents are driven to despair, when they have no strength left because of the lack of support from the State or municipality, and they are considering surrendering their child to state care.

What will be achieved by this programme? The support programme “Dear Nanny” provides for a subsidised nanny service, which beginning from 2008 will allow the parents of disabled children to apply for a partially subsidised nanny at least once a week. Mothers can use this time for their own needs – to visit a doctor, to go somewhere together with the healthy child of the family, or to do other things not possible when together with the disabled child.

Expenses with all taxes for one nanny per day are LVL 36.32 (including social income tax, gross salary – LVL 2.5 per hour or LVL 20 per day) and one nanny can look after 5 children. To create a co-payment and a responsibility for using the nanny service, parents will have to pay LVL 0.25 per hour for the nanny services.

The nanny support service will start its operation in 2008 throughout Latvia and the number of the families who will have received the support will depend on the available funding. Nannies will be specially trained in advance; all of them will be supervised in their work and they will be further educated.

Project implementer: Portal

Project published in the portal: 26 November 2007

The Project is placed online on: 01.01.2014

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