EL SALVADOR: HOW IS YOUR COMPANY PREPARING TO IMPLEMENT THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE CENTERS?

Published on Apr 17, 2024

Our labor law experts in El Salvador share this article on the implementation of the employer's obligation regulated in the Article 136 of the Growing Together Law, aimed at private sector employers with one hundred or more employees, which consists of providing the children of their employees with access to an Early Childhood Care Center (abbreviated "CAPI" in Spanish).

On June 22nd, 2022, Congress approved Legislative Decree No. 431, which contains the Growing Together Law for the Integral Protection of Early Childhood, Childhood and Adolescents, known as the "Growing Together Law", which entered into force on January 1st, 2023.

Pursuant article 136 of the aforementioned law, it is the employer´s responsibility to guarantee the children of their workers access to an Early Childhood Care Centre (CAPI), the purpose of which shall be to provide integral care for early childhood and to promote loving and sensitive care, timely stimulation and quality education to promote the physical, cognitive, affective and social development of children, when is private company with one hundred or more employees

This benefit will be applicable to the children (biological and/or adopted) of workers, or to those who are under their guardianship by judicial or administrative order, up to the age of four (benefit that extends until the end of the school year, when the child reaches his or her birthday during the school year).

The law establishes five modalities of compliance, and it is the responsibility of the employer to decide which of them will be implemented. Said modalities are:

  1. install and maintain a CAPI in a separate location within the same district where the workplace is located;
  2. install and maintain common CAPIs paid for by several employers in the same municipality where the work centers are located;
  3. hire independent services, offered by a CAPI duly authorized for its operation that is located in the same geographical area as the workplace, the worker's residence or the home of his or her children;
  4. contract the independent services offered by a municipal CAPI; and
  5. pay the worker the average cost of the services of a CAPI, when he/she chooses the CAPI that his/her child will attend, in accordance with his/her educational preferences and family values.

Regarding the latter modality, CONAPINA is awaiting the incorporation into the Regulations for the Installation, Operation and Supervision of Early Childhood Care Centres of the parameters for defining the average cost of a CAPI. It is also necessary for employers to establish the conditions of this benefit in their internal regulations.

By virtue of the amendments to the law approved and published in January of this year, the term for the implementation of this legal obligation will be twenty-four months from the entry into force of the Regulations and the Technical Standard for the installation and operation of Early Childhood Care Centers, which happened on February 24th, 2023.

Failure to comply with this employer obligation could result in employers being fined between 50 and 100 minimum wages in the trade and services sector, without this exempting them from complying with their obligation.

Authors:
Eduardo Ángel - Partner, ARIAS El Salvador
eduardo.angel@ariaslaw.com

Raquel Romero - Senior Associate, ARIAS El Salvador
raquel.romero@ariaslaw.com

The information provided by ARIAS® is presented for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers.