Thursday, January 28, 2016

24-hour Kindergarten, who is in?

Sweden introduced recently the 24-hour kindergarten. Aimed to help parents with night and late afternoon shifts, it is offers the usual food and accommodation and educational programs to children as in the case of the usual kindergarten program, except that it is done during the night. The fees go around 150 Euro per month and a place is guaranteed within 4 months. 
Thus, instead of paying a babysitter to stay with the kid for the night or to use the help of the grandparents or relatives, parents with special jobs can rely on the state support for continuing their career while their little ones are in safe hands and taken care of.
Maybe at the first sighz, sending your little kid to spend the night outside the home may sound unusual and not the kind of decision aimed to create a warm house to your child. Waking up in your bed in your room, and taking breakfast together with your family are the symbols of a normal family ambiance. However, what can you do when you need to get a living for your family and you need to that your kid is properly taken care of? This kindergarten is rather created to accommodate complicated schedules and answers the working requirements of special jobs, like that of pilot for example. Especially for single parents, it may be an excellent solution. 
The Swedish solution was discussed in the German media, but the advantages offered for parents in terms of money, flexible working time and maternity - or paternity - leave, may make such an opportunity unuseful at least for now. The kindergarten system in Germany is controlled by the state who is paying money to the kitas for every child. The average amount is of 1,400-1,100 EUR. Kitas are not allowed to make profit, an aspect that has disadvantages too. For instance, the low - state subsidized - payment of the educators and the subsequent lack of personnel. Especially in Berlin, the kitas are overbooked and you are adviced to register your kid for a place since birth - for a 3-year waiting time.

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