MPs back proposal to establish private babysitting groups

The lower house of Parliament on Wednesday backed a proposal to establish non-profit babysitting groups as a way of addressing an acute lack of places in kindergartens. The bill was approved in a first reading, and sent to house committees for further debate. The minister of labour and social affairs, Michaela Marksová Tominová told MPs these groups, with a maximum of 24 children, would not be generating profit, and could only charge parents fees to cover their expenses. The ministry believes around 1,100 such groups could be set up by 2015, allowing tens of thousands of parents to work. That would mean between 380 and 570 billion crowns in taxes and other revenues for the state budget.