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Brazilian cities ordered to offer daycare for all children up to 5

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The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that city governments must offer daycare centers and pre-school facilities to all children aged 5 or lower.

The right is already enshrined in the Brazilian Constitution, which says all workers are entitled to “assistance for children and dependents of up to five years of age, in day-care centers and pre-school facilities.”

The southern city of Criciúma argued at the Supreme Court that the courts can’t impose obligations that incur expenses not included in the budget.

Justices ruled that the constitutional right to daycare centers and pre-school facilities does not require further laws or regulations. They also ruled that admissions can be claimed in courts with individual lawsuits.

According to the Supreme Court, over 28,800 similar lawsuits in Brazil are awaiting a final ruling. Recent data from standardized tests conducted by the Education Ministry shows that reading and math skills of Brazilian schoolchildren dropped at the beginning of the pandemic, especially among younger kids.

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