The Department for Social Welfare Standards (DSWS) has investigated the concern expressed by a number of parents regarding heat-related stress in one of the Smartkids centres. The Foundation for Educational Services has fully collaborated with DSWS and has taken all appropriate measures to address the situation. Labour spokesperson for family, children and persons wth disability Dr Justyne Caruana has raised the parents' concern about the standards of childcare centres in particular Smart Kids centers run by the Foundation for Educational Services this week.
The DSWS has been proactive in addressing this issue including that it has consulted with relevant health authorities like the Health Care Standards Directorate with regards to the recommended ambient temperatures and will also be conducting inspections to monitor the ambient tempertures within the childcare centres. From a public health point of view the recommended guidelines state that the acceptable temperature and humidity should be between 24-26 degrees C at a 50 percent maximum relative humidity.
Considering the high temperature level experienced during the summer months, it is recommended that child care centres
make use of fans to circulate air;
are properly ventilated to outside air;
should encourage children to drink water more often (especially during and after play)
ensure that the Staff in the centre frequently monitors children/babies for any signs or symptoms of a heat-related illness.