Surge in illegal nurseries as fees shoot up

September 01, 2014 - 2:17:46 am

DOHA: Illegal nurseries seem to be flourishing in the country cashing in on the high fees charged by the few 

licensed facilities.

With the summer holidays coming to a close and families back from their holidays, many nurseries and kindergartens have started increasing their fees, say parents and community members.

Several citizens have called on the authorities to impose strict monitoring on the nurseries to curb the high fees and ensure quality service.

The rising fees have forced many working parents to leave their children in the hands of unlicensed crèches functioning at homes, risking their safety, 

Al Sharq reports.

Despite a ban on such illegal facilities, advertisements are still appearing on websites and other public spaces, seeking admissions to those “home nurseries” which lack the basic safety requirements, said the daily.

With private nurseries getting highly commercialised, many citizens have called on the government to set up crèches at ministries and public institutions for the benefit of their women employees.

Justifying the high fees, nurseries claim that they have been given permission by the authorities to increase the fees by three to five per cent considering the hike in rentals and other overhead costs.

Parents, however, say that some nurseries that charged QR1,500 per month last year have increased their fees to QR1,800 this year. There are others charging upto QR2,250 per month including transportation and registration fees.

“Nurseries have invented different techniques to fleece parents,” the daily said, quoting a woman. 

Some are charging QR350 to QR1,000 as registration fees. Some facilities that are also operating kindergartens have imposed a fee of QR100 to QR200 for testing them for their ability to qualify for KG. There are special fees for booking a seat in a nursery.

According to Ahmed Al Muhannadi, a Qatari media expert, the number of unlicensed crèches in Qatar are much higher than the licensed ones.

Such facilities are flourishing in many neighbourhoods and families are forced to put their children in such unsafe environment. There is no proper mechanism to monitor the nurseries, he said.

Nursery managers, however, say that high building rents and high cost of study material and play equipment for children have forced them to hike the fees. 

They also say that their facilities are subject to frequent inspection and strict monitoring by the authorities concerned.