The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Labor approved, this week, 95 grants, totalling 198 million shekels to support construction, expansion and conversion of existing structures for day care centers. The requests from 88 local governments and seven public institutions represents the first phase of a 225-million-shekel program in 2012 to implement recommendations by the Trajtenberg Committee on Socio-economic Change, as well as Minister Shalom Simchon's program to increase the supply of daycare centers.
Noting the establishment of the centers as an "important tool" to encourage parents to work, Simchon said, "We are particularly satisfied with the applications from the minorities sector and the fact that overall in 2011-2012 there is no small amount of construction in the hareidi-religious sector. This construction boom in both sectors is the implementation of a policy, which we are leading, to encourage the integration of these sectors in the labor market." He estimated that some of the work will be finished before next year, ahead of the five-year deadline allocated by the government.