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Childcare is becoming more expensive - Criticism of the Free State

2023-11-29T15:39:07.246Z

Highlights: Childcare is becoming more expensive - Criticism of the Free State. Parents have to expect a cost increase of about 6 percent for crèche, about 22 percent for kindergarten and about 30 percent for after-school care. One reason for the increase is the future restructuring of the voluntary funding of Karlsfeld's day-care centres. The municipality's calculations are based on an assumed increase in the statutory subsidies. The actual amount of these can only be guessed at this point in time.



Status: 29.11.2023, 16:32 PM

By: Verena Möckl

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The daycare fees are becoming more expensive in the municipality of Karlsfeld. © Dpa

Parents will have to dig deeper into their pockets for childcare in Karlsfeld from next year.

Karlsfeld - Parents have to expect a cost increase of about 6 percent for crèche, about 22 percent for kindergarten and about 30 percent for after-school care (see chart).

One reason for the increase is the future restructuring of the voluntary funding of Karlsfeld's day-care centres. So far, there have been deficit agreements between the municipality of Karlsfeld and the providers of childcare facilities. The municipality imposed certain fees on the facilities and made up for the deficit. This system has now been abolished and a new one has been introduced after "two years of intensive work", as the head of the department, Francesco Cataldo, informed the councillors. In this context, voluntary funding has been reduced from two million euros to one million euros.

The daycare fees will be increased in Karlsfeld from next year. The table shows the cost increases that parents will face if the subsidies from the Free State increase by 10.4 percent – as assumed. Graphic: mm © kn

From next year, the municipality will prescribe a certain amount to the facilities, the so-called Karlsfeld base value, as Cataldo explained. The day-care centres have to operate with this and then collect and adjust the parental fees themselves – without any requirements from the municipality.

"In this way, we are creating a fair, comprehensible and equal basis for every daycare center for a self-determined and sustainable management of all daycare centers," Beate Full (SPD) praised the new financing system.

Problem with the new financing system

But there's a catch. As Adrian Heim (Alliance for Karlsfeld) noted, the municipality would no longer be able to refinance a deficit from the general budget if it had miscalculated. This means that parental contributions would have to be increased in subsequent years. Ergo: "We have to make sure that the fee calculation is correct on average over the years," says Heim.

The municipality's calculations are based on an assumed increase in the statutory subsidies of the Free State. The problem is that the actual amount of these can only be guessed at this point in time. In all likelihood, the municipality will not receive an initial estimate for the coming year until spring 2024. The municipality will not find out how high the subsidy value of the Free State will finally be until spring 2025, as Heim explained the misery.

It is scandalous to expect municipalities and sponsors to make a reasonable calculation of fees on this basis.

Adrian Heim

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"Last week, we sat in front of a crystal ball in the main and finance committee and thought about what would come out," the alliance spokesman complained. "It's scandalous if you expect municipalities and sponsors to make a reasonable fee calculation on this basis," Heim said.

In his eyes, the actions of the government's bureaucracy are "completely intolerable" and make it "completely impossible for the community to predict anything," he said. "We could only choose between plague and cholera!" However, this was done to the best of our knowledge and belief.

Based on the forecasts of the Institute for Social and Cultural Work (ISKA) and the recommendation of the Main and Finance Committee, the municipal council unanimously decided to assume that the subsidies of the Free State will increase by 10.4 percent in the coming year.

As a result, the daycare fees, as social officer Ursula Weber (CSU) assured, would be kept "as low as possible". "This is a professional opinion of the ISKA, which we trust," said Green Party spokeswoman Heike Miebach, explaining the vote of her parliamentary group. "Parents are burdened as much more as necessary. But not anymore."

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-11-29

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