Photo Credit: Mark Neiman / GPO
President Reuven Rivlin reading to preschool children in Tel Aviv.

A strike by teachers and staff in the preschool and daycare system in Israel has ended.

Monday was the first day of school for children up to age 3, and some 80,000 very relieved parents who had no other child care options.

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The strikers were campaigning for better salaries and working conditions. In OECD countries, the average number of care givers to infants in child care centers is 1:4. However, currently in Israel the ratio is as high as 1:6 to 1:11, depending on the age group, according to Ynet.

The agreement reached between nonprofit organizations who run the daycare centers and Israel’s Finance and Social Service Ministries includes a holiday bonus of $415 this month for the new year (NIS 1,500) and a similar bonus for the Passover holiday in April 2019.

Such bonuses are de rigeur in Israeli government and corporate offices as well.

In addition, the government will establish a committee to review and improve conditions in the daycare centers, including streamlining staff training and employment practices, and increasing the number of staff to improve the staff per child ratio.

Social Services Minister Haim Katz said the agreement stands to “improve the quality of care for infants and correct an injustice for the care providers.”

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