From 2024, parents will have to pay significantly more for the care of their children in the Peitinger daycare centers than before. This was decided by the municipal council at its most recent meeting. The aim is to reduce the deficit of millions, which is a burden on the municipality's budget.
Peiting – The fact that the market town would turn the fee screw in terms of daycare centers had already been announced when the budget was passed at the beginning of May. Not only this year, but also in the next few years, there is a big hole in the administrative budget, which is why the local council has already launched a series of tax increases. A significant part of the deficit is accounted for by the cost of childcare. According to the treasury, the market spends 1.6 million euros annually on its kindergartens alone and 1.7 million euros on the crèche. In addition, there are the deficit compensation payments of 925,000 euros to the independent providers who operate kindergartens in Peiting. Of course, part of it flows back as state subsidies, but after their deduction there remains a large deficit, which in the case of kindergartens amounts to around 1.1 million euros. Only about 51,000 euros of this amount will be covered by kindergarten fees. The deficit caused by the operation of the crèche is similarly large. Because the parental contributions are significantly higher here, the income currently amounts to around 200,000 euros.
Parental contributions should be 15 percent of the deficit, the treasury suggests
In the future, according to the Treasury's proposal, the share of parental contributions in the deficit should be 15 percent. Especially in the case of kindergartens, the increase is correspondingly significant. From 137 euros for a care time of seven hours, the monthly fee climbs by around 50 percent to 206 euros. However, parents do not have to pay this amount in full, because since 2019 the Free State has been contributing 100 euros to the monthly costs. If you take this into account, the fees are below those before the introduction of the subsidy, said Deputy Treasurer Simone Weber. At that time, 123 euros had to be paid for the same booking period. The additional revenue from the increase amounts to around 200,000 euros.
The increase in crèche fees is more moderate
The increase in crèche fees is somewhat more moderate. Here, the premiums for the first three booking categories even fall slightly. It only becomes more expensive if you have your child cared for for more than six hours. The bottom line is that additional revenues of around 72,000 euros are to be expected, according to Weber. The discount regulation for siblings remains in place, and in the future it will no longer be necessary for children under three years of age who are cared for in kindergarten to pay 1.5 times the rate. The new fees will not apply until 2024 and not at the beginning of the new kindergarten year in September, in order to give parents and independent providers time to adjust to the change, the administration said.
Because the latter are also affected – the independent carriers apply the municipal fee rates – all parents' councils have been asked to comment, reported managing director Stefan Kort. The Caritas kindergarten St. Michael had expressed itself negatively. Thus, the 100-euro subsidy would be reduced to absurdity by the increase, was the criticism. The high deficit of municipal facilities due to the better staffing ratio and the new building had also been criticized.
Fees are rising: "But we have no other choice."
In fact, the employment key of the municipality is better, "but we also have to take in all the children," says Kort. Although the Caritas kindergarten is in a worse position in this respect and can use its building rent-free, there is also a deficit of 50,000 euros, of which the municipality pays 45,000 euros. The additional revenue from fees could be used to finance better staffing and a higher subsidy for administrative costs, emphasized Kort, who also recalled that parents had had to get by without a 2019-euro subsidy before 100 and that it had already been the question at the time of introduction whether it would not make more sense to give the money to the municipalities for the staff. However, he understands the outcry when fees rise in these times. "But we have no other choice."
"We are catapulting ourselves to the top of the district"
Not everyone saw it that way, as was evident in the discussion that followed. "We are catapulting ourselves to the top in the district": Christian Lory (Independent) had already made no secret of the fact that he considered the increase in daycare contributions to be wrong in the budget meeting. He reaffirmed this at the most recent meeting. Providing childcare places is a mandatory task of the municipality in contrast to sports facilities, Lory reminded. As far as the 100-euro subsidy is concerned, he had to praise the CSU for once. She has thus recognized the importance of equal opportunities and low access thresholds to daycare centers. "If we now de facto abolish it, it is not the right way." In the long run, the costs for society would be higher than the savings. Previously, Norbert Merk (CSU) had criticized the state government for distributing the money from the Good Day Care Act "with the watering can" to parents instead of investing in the quality of the facilities. Mayor Peter Ostenrieder (CSU) pointed out that parents who could not afford the contributions were entitled to support from the district office.
Other municipalities are likely to follow suit
Claudia Steindorf (SPD) pointed out that even with the increase, there would still be a high deficit. She also assumes that other municipalities will follow suit. This was confirmed by the head of the town hall, who reported on corresponding discussions with counterparts from the large municipalities of the district. "They're just waiting for the decision from Peiting." He therefore assumes that they will not be alone at the top of the fees for long.
Hermann Mödl (BVP) considered the increase to be "justifiable" in view of the "super offer" that was made in Peiting. Andreas Barnsteiner (BVP) also thought that "it must be worth it to the parents". Even if that means perhaps having to do without something else. Marion Gillinger (ÖDP) also saw no alternative to adjusting the daycare fees: "There is no other way."
In the end, the fee increase was approved by a large majority.
Our Schongau newsletter informs you regularly about all the important stories from your region.
All news and stories can also be found on the Facebook page of the Schongauer Nachrichten.
The local newspapers in the district of Weilheim-Schongau are represented under "merkur_wm_sog" on Instagram.