Day care (even for single mothers)

by Annalisa Gerola

The Manifattura Tabacchi in the town of Sacco (now part of the municipality of Rovereto) was the first company in Italy to have a children's day care facility for its female employees. The day care center also took care of the children of unwed mothers, but did not care for the children of working men, at least not until the 1980s. Being a cigar-making mother had privileges, even if unjustifiable by today's standards, that men working at the company could not obtain.

The day care center was opened in 1923 and inaugurated by Prince Umberto di Savoy on April 27, 1924. The center had a room with 30 beds for small children, a recreation room for bigger kids, and a room for the caregivers. On the same floor were changing rooms, sinks, toilets, a doctor's office, and a kitchen. The smaller children were watched over by personnel selected by the director's office. The environment was warm and impeccably clean. If needed, the mother was near. They were clothed, fed, and looked after medically all at the expense of the company.

In 1955, the center was moved to a nearby building owned by the factory. In the new structure, there were also rooms for nursing mothers. There was also space for the worker's after-hours club and social activities.

In 1989, the day care center was handed over to the city of Rovereto. Since that time, children from any of the towns of the Lagarina valley are welcome.