Lack of staff endangers children’s safety

Lack of staff endangers children’s safety

Eabout 10,000 day care centers worked with too few staff for safe supervision more than half of the time last year. That is two and a half times as many as in 2021. This means that on more than every other day they were only able to maintain operations at risk to the safety of the children in their care.

Heike Schmoll

Political correspondent in Berlin, responsible for “Bildungswelten”.

According to a survey by the German Kita Management Congress (DKLK), almost 95 percent of daycare managers state that the staff shortage has intensified significantly over the past year. It is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit suitable personnel and personnel have been hired that years ago would not have been hired due to a lack of a suitable fit. The DKLK study is a survey by Fleet Education Events in cooperation with the federal association VBE and the state associations in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.

Higher absenteeism

Almost nine out of ten daycare managers say that educational offers have had to be canceled in the last twelve months. Almost all daycare center managers say that the high workload of the educational staff led to higher absenteeism and sick leave.

A quarter of the day-care center management reports that employees have been laid off as a result of the lack of staff in the last twelve months. In 64 percent (children under three years of age in the U3 area) and 78 percent (children over three years of age in the Ü3 area) of the day-care centers, the stated actual staff-child ratio is worse than scientifically recommended (U3 area: 1 to 3, U3 range: 1 to 7.5).

The VBE calls for the Kita Quality Act to be backed by appropriate financial resources and for more federal funds to be made available. A coordinated financing community made up of federal, state, local authorities and providers must enable nationwide investments as part of a nationally coordinated specialist offensive. To this end, the training capacities at technical colleges and universities would have to be expanded, development prospects for trained specialists and easier recognition of foreign qualifications would have to be included. Dropout rates need to go down.

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