Day Care Challenges
See-Un Muang Day Care Centre, is situated in a small village near Chiang Dao. It continues to flourish despite the frequent demands brought upon the parents, many of whom are refugees/migrants who have fled fighting in neighbouring Shan state. Many of the Shan had temporary passports from the Myanmar government which allowed them to work and travel in Thailand. These passports were valid for 6 years but have now expired and for the past year the workers were without official passports or work permits – they were expected to return to Myanmar to obtain permanent international passports, obtain a Visa for Thailand, return through official channels and then obtain work permits. This was financially impossible for the vast majority of the workers.
Also, during this period, the Thai government decreed that children under the age of 3 years should not be in a daycare but at home looked after by their mother. Thus daycare centres would only be supported by the government if the children were older than 3 years. This was a blow especially for the migrant workers.
Thanks to the local community and land owners, it was decided to build a separate nursery for these babies. Financed by donations, a small day care nursery was quickly built and painted and decorated by the students from PREM International School. Mae Ho Nursery was created.
In the intervening period most of the migrant workers have received a “Pink Work Permit” card which allows them to work and travel within Chiang Mai Province.
When their children reach the age of 3 years old, they can attend the government day care again.
The nursery remains, there are some 20 babies between the ages of 1½ and 3 years, taken care of by Rath, the sole carer of the babies. The nursery is open Monday – Friday between 7 am and 4 pm. The parents pay 100 baht/week/child (approx. 2 GBP or 3 USD).
Carol Foo and Family from Singapore have been supporting See-Un Muang Day Care Canter for several years now. Carol sends money to buy provisions for these children. In this case it was milk. Other times it is what the day care specifies, it could be eggs, rice, fruit or a combination.
A big THANK YOU on behalf of the children
A more detailed account of the challenges faced by the migrant workers can be found by following this link: