It’s almost Fall in Arequipa and the school term is beginning, including at the Cuna Jardin Corazon de Jesus. When the parents, usually single mothers, don’t have alternative child care arrangements the children come to the Cuna Jardin over summer holidays – January and February. Once the regular term – for nursery and kindergarten as well as the homework club for the older children – commences then about 120 children attend.
The Cuna Jardin is open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, providing both pre-school and after school care for the children. Because of the extended hours parents are able to work knowing their children will be well taken care of. Without the Cuna Jardin many parents would not have alternative child care arrangements; a common sight in Arequipa is a mother selling goods on the street with accompanied by her child (ren). Although extended family care is still the norm in Peru, many of the poorest families have left their traditional homes in the country to come to Arequipa in the hopes of finding employment and to provide for their children.
Pictures from the visit can be seen here: http://www.pbase.com/tracyk/2018_03_06_cuna_visit