Alarming lack of childcare workers: Bonn recruits Italian kindergarten teachers

Alarming lack of childcare workers : Bonn recruits Italian kindergarten teachers

The shortage of skilled workers is forcing more and more daycare centers in Bonn into emergency operation. The city of Bonn therefore wants to recruit educators from Italy. There are no applicants for the 43 vacancies.

This development has been a long time coming: Many vacancies in day-care centres and all-day schools (OGS) can no longer be filled due to a lack of skilled workers. The market is empty, so to speak. As a result, many daycare centres have to convert to emergency operation, especially during holiday periods or in the event of illness. A disaster for most parents. The city of Bonn has therefore extended its feelers abroad: it wants to recruit educators from Italy.

The members of the municipal subcommittee for youth welfare had also put the lack of pedagogical specialists right at the top of the agenda. The issue is becoming a burning issue for more and more institutions and families. Sabine Lukas of the youth welfare office explained the numbers on Tuesday evening, and how dramatically the situation has changed in Bonn. 35 of the 70 municipal kindergartens would have had to establish emergency groups in this kindergarten year, because the care of the children could not be guaranteed any more according to Lukas. Last week there were seven kindergartens in this situation, this week five institutions had to turn many parents back at the door.

"I have never experienced this in my many years of work for the city of Bonn," Lukas admitted frankly. To make matters worse, there are currently 43 vacancies in the daycare centers for which there are hardly any applicants. A problem that affects not only Bonn, but all municipalities nationwide.

The independent kindergarten owners are now also struggling hard, said their representative Holger Dehnert. "In many cases, supervision can no longer be guaranteed", he said. The crux: With the initiative of the federation in 2005 for the development of kindergarten places it failed to provide more lecturers and training places for educators. "This has led to a downward spiral," said Dehnert. The strain on kindergarten teachers in daycare centers is increasing considerably, and so is the number of sick days. Sina Rausch, Chairwoman of the Youth Welfare Office Parents' Advisory Council, confirmed this. In many cases opening times would be shortened, activities cancelled and only mere support offered. "That does not correspond to the education order of the Kitas.“

Udo Stein, head of the Youth Welfare Office, explained that the city of Bonn now also wanted to search for skilled workers in Italy. He expects to be able to fill 20 to 30 positions this way in the next few years. One condition is naturally that these specialists must learn German beforehand. "The educator specialists in Italy enjoy an excellent education at the universities, but subsequently find hardly any adequately paid jobs there," said Stein, hoping for a successful search.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen; Translation: Mareike Graepel)

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