ARCHIV - 07.08.2019, Hamburg: Mädchen spielen in der Turnhalle einer Kita. (Zu dpa: «Verdi: 4000 Stellen an Hamburger Kindertagesstätten fehlen») Foto: Christian Charisius/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Senate Department for Youth wants to push the expansion of the day-care centers further so that more children can be cared for than before. This was announced by Secretary of State for Youth Aziz Bozkurt (SPD) on Wednesday. Around 17,000 places are to be created by the end of the legislative period, so that Berlin would then have 200,000 childcare places. Of these, however, 7,300 places have not yet been financed.

Bozkurt made it clear what is still lacking despite the immense expansion in recent years with reference to the supervision rate. It is 92.6 percent for three to six-year-olds. This means that thousands of children still do not attend a day care center before they start school.

Among them are still children who hardly speak German. They are subject to a statutory language support obligation, which, as reported, is still not fully implemented.

This should get better. Bozkurt referred to discussions between the education administration and the youth and school authorities. Especially at the moment there are many free places, since around 35,000 children have just switched to schools. However, there are some districts that are not making any efforts to reach the families concerned.

However, by no means all daycare providers are determined to fill their daycare centers to the last place. Rather, they sometimes suffer from high rates of illness, as the Association of Small and Medium-sized Daycare Center Providers (VKMK) emphasized on Wednesday. In addition, the carriers are under pressure due to the increased costs for food and energy.

The department head of the day-care center administration, Holger Schulze, spoke of a “state of exhaustion” among many educators after the Corona years. However, he could not say anything about particularly high sickness rates. The high cost increases are also an issue, although he has not yet heard of any day-care centers that are threatened with closure due to the difficult financial situation.

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The VKMK spoke of sharp increases in costs that had not occurred in 60 years. The price increase for energy in July 2022 is currently 42.9 percent and for food 14.8 percent. In the area of ​​catering, the first effects of the price increases were already apparent.

In a facility that cooks itself, the increases would be felt immediately, since the purchase prices for groceries have generally risen sharply. Caterers passed on the price increases when shopping to the porters.

The first energy suppliers are now in the process of increasing the advance payments for energy costs in order to avoid high additional payments. This leads to a regular increase of 100 percent in these costs.