Minister wants to force immigrant children to attend daycare from an early age

Government proposal aims to tackle integration issues

The children and social minister, Mai Mercado, has unveiled a new proposal that with force immigrants to place their infants in daycare.

The proposal is part of a plan to tackle integration problems in Denmark, where about one third of all one to two-year-old children of immigrants are minded at home. In comparison, just 7 percent of one to two-year-old children of ethnic Danes are cared for at home.

“If you live in a ghetto and don’t participate in Danish society, then we will limit the practice of caring for kids at home. We will use more force to get more children in daycare,” Mercado told DR Nyheder.

READ MORE: Danish study: Spreading out immigrants a hindrance to integration

Cross-party support
The proposal, which had been backed by a number of other parties, aims to give children of immigrants a better start to their scholastic careers and life in Denmark in general.

Jacob Mark, the spokesperson for children issues for Socialistisk Folkeparti, agreed that children in vulnerable areas should be cared for by pedagogues instead of parents.

“When Mads and Mohammed begin in first grade, they often don’t have the same prerequisites for learning to read and maths, and that can follow them for the rest of their lives,” Mark told DR Nyheder.

“That disparity is something we can bridge by getting children into daycare so they hear and speak Danish from a very young age, instead of being cared for at home in an environment where they might not hear Danish at all on a daily basis.”