In the debate on the State of the Nation, Prime Minister António Costa announced that he had finalised an agreement between the executive and the social sector to ensure that day care centres for children born after September 1, 2021 are free of charge for those who are attending for the first time from September 2022.

The agreement was made with the União das Misericórdias Portuguesas (UMP) and the National Confederation of Solidarity Institutions (CNIS) to comply with one of the main measures of the Budget.

Contacted by Lusa, the president of CNIS did not reveal the amounts agreed with the Government and the amounts of co-payments that will be paid, but he added that as of September 1st, the State will pay the same amount for all children who attend a crèche in the social sector for the first time, in order to guarantee that it is free for the family.

According to Lino Maia, in the next school year there will be around 80,000 children attending day care for free, as he estimates that there are currently around 50,000 children attending day care for free because their parents are in the 1st and 2nd income brackets, to which he admits that around 30,000 more will be added following the agreement with the government.

According to the president of the CNIS, the amount paid by the state includes food and hygiene, for example, while parents retain responsibility for paying for extracurricular activities or the necessary insurance.