George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan has placed in the public domain an issue which has forced itself to the top of the agenda of countries around the world grappling with the challenges of reopening the economies.
That issue is; who looks after the children if parents are forced to return to work as lockdown is eased but while schools remain closed.
In a live social media post, Mr Bryan called on the government to provide clarity and guidance on the matter.
“Here’s where the problem lies,” he stated. “Who’s gonna watch the kids?”
He said “I was concerned about the lack of discussion” and the absence of a decision on the matter by the government “as its a real serious issue by families who may have to go back to work and have young kids.”
Referring to government regulations on social-distancing, including restrictions on people outside the immediate household, the George Town Central MLA lamented the challenges confronting parents where he said there are no educational facilities and no care services in place to support the parents in this situation.
Mr Brayan said he agrees with the plans top gradually reopen the economy but is worried that this critical aspect is being overlooked.
Saying he’d been contacted by his constituencies who have expressed concern about the uncertainties involved, MLA Bryan is calling on the government for clarity and “a real-life discussion which really needs to happen.”
“Where is the plan for this rollout?” he asked, stating, “I haven’t been involved in it. I want to be involved in it because somebody has to think about that.”
In a nod to advantages of female leadership, Mr Bryan said he was “worried that not enough of female touch has been involved in the thinking of stuff like that” especially when it comes to the care and welfare of children.
He is calling for wide public debate of the issue and is urging the government to come up with a clear policy plan and guidance on this issue which he said was a crucial hurdle to clear as the economy is gradually reopened.
“This is a very, very important hurdle as what we don’t want is for parents having to decide whether their children are protected or whether to keep their jobs.”
He said he also didn’t want businesses to be forced in that dilemma.
“Everybody is going to have a difficult choice to make if this matter is not addressed, and it needs to be thought about. It has to be discussed,” Mr Bryan said.
In urging the sharing of his Facebook Live post, he said it was important to get the government to address the matter as parents should not be placed in such an uncertain situation to make such a difficult choice between their jobs and their children.