The Parliament passed on April 3rd new amendments for the 248/2015 law (food coupons for kindergarten), initiated by Reality Check. Out of 329 MPs, 327 were present, 326 voted in favor and 1 against. President Iohannis is to sign the new law in the immediate future and it will take effect starting Jan. 1st, 2021. There are 100,000 children who will benefit from this law.
The new law will (1) raise the income limit for the kids to be eligible from 284 lei/64 USD per family member to all children who also receive family support allowance (530 lei/120 USD monthly income per family member), (2) cancel the extra written request the parents were supposed to submit in order to enroll their children in the program (children who benefit from family support allowance will automatically receive the food coupons if they attend kindergarten regularly,) (3) increase the value of the food coupons from 11 USD to 22 USD per child/month and (4) add new responsibilities for mayors and school/kindergarten principals for organising awareness and enrolling in the program campaigns.
We would like to especially thank MP Petre Florin Manole, the initiator of this new law, for his amazing work through the whole legislative process. We would also like to thank to MP Tudor Rareș Pop (co-initiator) and to MEP Cristian Ghinea, who supported this project and whom are involved in monitoring this law ever since 2015, when the pilot project “Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță” run by Asociatia OvidiuRo was taken over by the Government and turned into a national program.
Our gratitude goes also to all the parties in the Parliament for their support, in a crisis time, for the long term strategic investments in early education. We would like to thank for their interventions to MP Camelia Gavrilă, MP Mara Calista, MP Cătălin Drulă, MP Nechifor Cătălin Ioan, MP Marius Pașcan – Partidul Mișcarea Populară Mureș and MP Szabó Ödön and to all deputies and senators who made this result possible. It is another statement that education is beyond political views and crucial to us all.
We would also like to thank Leslie Hawke & The Alex Fund, Maria Gheorghiu & Asociatia OvidiuRo and Codrin Scutaru for their support and collaboration.
We are sure we will continue the good team work we previously had with the national public authorities for having ready in time the methodological norms for implementing the new law and in promoting the changes that it brings, so all eligible children can benefit from support as of January 1st., 2021.