Status: 09.12.2023, 08:00 a.m.
By: Tanja Brinkmann
The kindergarten on Jahnstraße now closes at 15 p.m. © Thomas very
The excitement just doesn't die down in the Partenkirchen kindergarten. Due to staff shortages, it will close earlier from Monday. This upsets a lot of mothers and fathers. For this reason, Deputy Mayor Claudia Zolk and the school administration have now invited parents to parents' evenings in the town hall.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen – The tone is getting sharper. Some don't even shy away from insults. This is the case for Bärbel Berger, who is responsible for schools and day-care centres at the town hall. The reason for the excitement is her latest notice on Jahnstraße, which also reached the parents by e-mail. "Due to staff shortages, the Partenkirchen kindergarten must temporarily go into shortened or limited operation from Monday, December 11," it says. In concrete terms, this means that the girls and boys must be picked up by 15 p.m. at the latest. In some groups, such as the sheep, even an hour earlier. In addition, there will be no late shift until further notice. In addition, parents are urged to reconsider their booking times. "Many people book more than they actually use," says Berger. This, too, puts a strain on the staff.
Mothers and fathers angry: Church "talks everything up"
For months, things have not been running smoothly in the facility, where a large number of employees have now resigned. The mood is correspondingly bad. Many moms and dads are angry. They fear that their offspring will not be properly cared for and that they will lose more and more of their cherished caregivers. When we hear from the town hall that they are reacting to all the problems and want calm to finally return, and then the latest information from the school administration arrives, "as a concerned parent, you can only laugh hysterically," says one of those affected. Another mother, who also does not want her name to appear in the newspaper, thinks that on the part of the community "everything was first talked up and then the parents put a gun to their chest".
Of course, Berger doesn't want to leave it that way. Under no circumstances should parents who are in urgent need of long childcare hours be left in the lurch. "We're now making sure that we sort it out with them," she emphasizes. In concrete terms, this means that there will be an emergency service for these cases of hardship, even under the current difficult conditions. So if you have to work, can't reduce your hours and have no other childcare option for your son or daughter, you won't be left out in the cold.
Municipality organizes parents' evenings: "Finally, this is long overdue"
Deputy Mayor Claudia Zolk (CSB) and the school administration will provide information about this next week at parents' evenings. In view of the large number of people affected – there are nine groups of up to 25 children each in the Partenkirchen kindergarten – two appointments were scheduled. "Finally," says a mom. "This is long overdue." What particularly soured her in all the weeks in which the problems and grievances have boiled over was the way the community dealt with them. From their point of view, the whole thing has been glossed over for far too long. Of course, Berger and Zolk disagree with this. In the event of any difficulties that have been brought to their attention, an attempt will be made to remedy them as soon as possible.
On February 1, 2024, a new director will start at the facility. The post of his deputy will also be filled, as the previous deputy head has also resigned. The team has already met the new head of the kindergarten. "The mood was positive," emphasizes Berger. This allows them to look to the future with confidence. The same goes for the support she receives from some mothers and fathers despite all the unpleasant emails and phone calls. "The Parents' Council is really great." From its ranks, not only a video was produced to find new educators and nannies. "He also arranged for parents to go to the groups and provide support." It's an initiative for which Berger and her colleagues are grateful. To their regret, however, this offer is hardly accepted by the employees.
What is new for the parents is that in the second week of the Christmas holidays, in the first the kindergarten is regularly closed, there is only an emergency operation. This, too, outrages many. So far, however, the people of Partenkirchen seem to have been a bit spoiled. In other institutions, it is quite common practice to ask during school holidays which children are actually coming.