Many outraged parents complained in the Unterhachinger municipal council about the drastic increase in kindergarten fees
– The municipal council felt the anger of Unterhachinger parents in the citizens' question quarter hour.
The fact that kindergarten fees increased rapidly in February (we reported) and families with two children now have to pay an average of 200 euros more per month is pushing many to the limit.
"With this exorbitant increase in fees, you are bringing families into financial distress," complained a mother and asked: "Should we take out a loan now, move to Munich, where kindergarten is free, cut out fruit and vegetables when eating, or ban our children from hobbies?" Another mother was outraged: "It is illegal for us parents to fill the community's budget hole." And a father added, combined with a clear gesture: "It's up here for me!
Don't you think about families anymore?"
Mayor: Municipality must cover its costs
Yes, replied Mayor Wolfgang Panzer (SPD), but the municipality had to cover its costs.
That's why you can't avoid higher kindergarten fees;
the assertion – allegedly rumored by the municipal council – that Unterhaching uses it to finance its budget is a “blatant lie”: every kindergarten place causes a minus and is subsidized by the municipality.
A mother, in turn, did not want to be fobbed off with this: “Education is never a plus-minus business.
And families also have to cover their costs,” she emphasized.
Addressing Panzer's SPD, she said: "Your election program said that kindergarten places should be free of charge.
Do these campaign promises from 2020 suddenly mean nothing anymore?”
A comparison that doesn't fit
Beyond all the emotions, however, interesting facts also came to light.
The town hall administration had wrested the February decision to increase fees from the municipal council on the grounds that Unterhaching was “much too cheap” compared to neighboring municipalities.
However, one of the mothers presented a current list according to which Unterhaching is the lone leader, followed at some distance by Ismaning and Oberhaching.
"Contrary to the assertion that one adapts to the others, Unterhaching is the most expensive," said the mother.
She also has an explanation for this: The town hall comparison list included various private institutions and church kindergartens, which are often actually more expensive.
“However, these comparative values are lagging, because you cannot compare the community kindergartens with those of independent providers.
And at municipal level, it is nowhere more expensive than in Unterhaching.
For this reason alone, lawsuits have been filed against the Unterhachinger fee resolution.
Local councilor irritated: "Are we being fooled with incorrect data?"
So twisted numbers?
The member of the state parliament and local councilor of the Greens, Claudia Köhler (she always moderates the quarter-hour citizens' questioning), was irritated when asked by the Münchner Merkur: "If we are being fooled and cannot vote seriously due to a lack of correct data, that is unacceptable." The argument that one finances more quality with it is simply wrong in view of the lack of staff among educators, which parents would compensate for with voluntary work.
The higher fees remain, but Mayor Panzer has pledged one-on-one sessions with parents who don't have need status and are still struggling to make ends meet.
According to the Greens, it would also be conceivable to partially cushion the fee increase "if the municipality creates financial leeway with a loan for the expansion of the sports park school".
And Köhler basically recommends to the parents: "There was a participation process - you should express yourself earlier.
So that Unterhaching does not burden you with the fee increase for five years in just one year.”