Even as more businesses have been given the go-ahead to reopen from next week, child care services remain closed, the Prime Minister revealed this evening.
And while admitting that Government was still “working through the protocols” in having those services available, she instead called on “extended family members” to lend assistance to parents and guardians who have to go to back work.
Mottley also disclosed there were still several challenges that are hindering the reopening of primary schools and nurseries.
She revealed that consideration would be given to them when the country moved to Phase 4 of pandemic recovery.
The Prime Minister told reporters: “Looking at it, public health has some concerns that are real. I in my layman’s world would have said let’s get at least the primary school children back out but then there is the issue of controlling primary school children and them coming back into the household and all kinds of things so I’m not preparing to advise the Government on these matters, but suffice to say that that is part of Phase 4 at the earliest.
“We are working diligently but we are sensitive to the fact that some people who have to go back out to work do need the support for their children and somebody to keep them and in some instances where the grandparents are sick or at risk that is not an option.
“We are trying to get our heads around it; it is a serious issue not just for us but we see it globally.”
She said members of the extended family were crucial in this regard. But she did not indicate alternatives for those parents who had no such social network.
The PM said: “We are asking truthfully the extended family to play a role; this is Mia talking, this is not the Prime Minister talking. If you have family help out one another, that is what family is for.
“It may well be that you can’t go by your parents because they are at risk but you have a cousin, a nephew, a niece, somebody, because that is the Bajan way so let’s do it.”