When the daughter of fiber optic technician Antonio Carlos Medrado, 37, was born 11 months ago, her position in the São Paulo daycare center scared him: 67th place. A vacancy came only after the city allowed Medrado to register a second address; in his case, that of a cousin who lives in the central region, where the line is shorter.
Every day, Jabaquara district (south zone) resident leaves his daughter in a municipal daycare unit in Bela Vista (center) before going to work in Vila Mariana (south region), six subway stations from home.
His wife leaves work near the Conceição subway (south zone), one subway station where they live, picks up the child, and returns home. "It's hard, but there's no other way," Medrado said.
Despite the extra miles they travel daily, they are luckier than thousands of parents of children as young as two still in line. Of the current demand for about 70,000 vacancies, 65,000 (93%) are babies up to two years old. The rest of the line is for children up to 3 years and 11 months.
Resolving demand in this age group is the bottleneck of the city, which launched on Tuesday (12) Mais Creche, a program to hire single vacancies in private units. Under the project, children in vulnerable situations will be able to obtain places in private schools with a value up to R $ 727 per month, the maximum passed on to the agreed units.
"We practically universalize the care in kindergartens for children over two years. Our main demand is in nurseries, which serve children up to 1 year and 11 months," said the municipal secretary of Education, Bruno Caetano.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon