"The greatest strength of the Integral Child Development Centers (CEDIs, for its acronym in Spanish) is the quality of human resources who work in them." This was said by the Auditor General of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish) in its report assessing service delivery. It is that "in every visit the dedication, commitment and responsibility of teachers and staff was observed in the daily care of children."
CEDIS are "spaces of prevention and comprehensive care of children, from 45 days to a year, for the development of capabilities that favor the promotion, protection and guarantee of their rights." For this, various activities are carried out teaching, reading, playing and artistic development, just to name a few.
Another positive point is highlighted by the auditors "administrative order that exists in each CEDI regarding storage and saving documents," such as the files of the concurrent children.
However, it pointed out weaknesses and "more significant" flaws, even though they under the Directorate General for Children and Adolescents, those issues are important to note "and corrective actions are to be taken.”
In the city there are 20 child development centers but "not enough to accommodate the total demand of vacancies." The report explains that the waiting list for the 2013, the year assessed, "grew by 184% compared to those offered places."
This situation becomes more relevant if one takes into account that nine out of ten audited Cedis "were able to expand their infrastructure either to enlarge existing facilities or to build new ones" in order to have more space for the children.
A recurring theme in the reports evaluating the benefits to children and youth is the food service. And this, unfortunately, is no exception.
In the CEDIS "there is no framework contract governing the provision of food." This addition of "failing to comply with current regulations, prevents conducting a comprehensive control over the quality, price and general conditions of the provision" that is provided from the Ministry of Social Development.
In fact, "in every center of the sample improper storage of food in relation to storage temperatures, containers used, hand washing, saving dented cans and due dates will be observed," just to name a few.
In 100% of cases "it does not meet the building conditions laid down in the Argentine Food Code in relation to the kitchen, dining room and bathroom." In two out of three, "temperatures catering is not the ideal to prevent food waste" and one in three "service comes at an inappropriate time so the food is subjected to various temperatures."
The children are given breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and the companies in charge of the provision are Servicios Integrales SA and Integrated Power Company Alimentos SA.
But the hiring of both firms was through decrees 556/2010 and 752/2010 establishing mechanisms "to meet essential expenditure and the need for speed to be carried out, they could not be managed through existing procedures in procurement and contracting."
Quality staff was highlighted as an outstanding point for the Buenos Aires Audit. But in the report adopted in April 2015, some areas for improvement were highlighted.
In half of the Centers there is no super, four in ten lacks psychologists and 80% have a deficiency in child psychologist.
About the audited psychologists, they argued that "the gap is a result of retirements and resignations" while in relation to the psychologists, they "recognized the need" and plan to "cover absences and licenses for 2015."
On trainings on management levels, the AGCBA noted that "40% have college degree and the remaining 60% is divided equally between those with primary, secondary and college degree."
In this line, to be head of CEDI a teaching degree is necessary. Thus the City Watchdog adds to the recommendation of the General Counsel and Care City own report and recommended "complying with the provisions of the law of National Education".
About Early Childhood Assistants, almost half have high school education and another 32% only primary. In this case, they must also conform to national standards and "ensure the adequacy of the staff in charge."
Therefore, the auditors considered "appropriate for training for Assistants, in a systematic way and with content designed by trained professionals for it to be implemented." In addition, it would be advisable to add that "the training should have some sort of certificate or degree."