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How are Ukrainian mothers managing childcare in their host countries?

How are Ukrainian mothers managing childcare in their host countries?
© European Union

Two years after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the latest episode of Euronews ‘Real Economy’ looks at how millions of Ukrainian women and their children are adapting to life in their new host countries.

The emotional testimonies of Ukranian mothers who use the 'spynkas'  daycare centres of the Comenius Foundation in Poland show that access to childcare is a crucial step in the integration process.

"When we got here, my child barely spoke because of the stress but I see changes in my youngest son. He started to talk for the first time and communicates with other children now. He has made friends here. We can say he is happy," Maria Odinets, an Ukrainian mother, who is a child psychologist, tells Euronews.

The daycare centres have also freed up time for the mothers to find jobs. “It helps me because I now have free time […]. During this time I can study Polish, look for a job or help my older children and pick them up at school,” Odinets added.

Monika Woźniak, the director of the Comenius Foundation, told Euronews that she wants to open more daycare centres: "We are talking about children who, if they have a good foundation, will finally start living well."

The episode also highlights that Poland is using part of the €8.9 billion ESF+ funding to fight child poverty in the EU by notably expanding the number and improving the quality of places in nursery schools.

In an interview with Euronews, Dr. Ewa Flaszynska, Director of the Labour Market Department at the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, explains that by increasing the number of children assigned to a single educator, more Ukrainian women had time to job hunt. To date, almost two-thirds of Ukrainian people registered in Poland have found employment, according to government figures.

Watch the full episode online - by clicking here.