Berlin is short 18,400 kindergarten places -- just like last year

Parents are now petitioning the mayor to make the shortage of kindergarten places his priority. This petition comes days after the news that there are not enough schoolteachers in the capital.

Daria Sukharchuk
Daria Sukharchuk NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Berlin is short 18,400 kindergarten places -- just like last year - NewsMavens
Children in kindergarten. Pexels

Why this story matters:

"If you're planning to have a baby in Berlin, sign it up for the Kita (Kindergarten) on the day you get your positive test" -- is a popular joke among young people in Berlin who are considering becoming parents. And given that every year over 18,000 kids cannot get a place in a daycare -- it's not that far from the truth.

The shortage of kindergarten places may seem like a minor problem at first glance, but in reality, it means that 18,400 parents either cannot work full-time, or have to spend extra money hiring nannies.

For those parents who don't speak German at home, this also means that their children will probably speak the language worse than their peers by the time they start school. This, in turn, means problems with schoolwork and socializing. 

Berlin has already taken a step forward when it made all kindergartens free to attend last year. But if there are not enough places, many families might still face problems between raising their children and keeping their careers. 

Details from the story:

  • 18,400 -- this is how many children didn't get a place in kindergartens in Berlin, despite being registered for one
  • In 2017, the number was the same
  • One of the reasons for that is the shortage of kindergarten teachers
  • Just two weeks ago, Berlin reported a shortage of schoolteachers at the start of the school year
  • Authorities are trying to attract more people into the two professions -- for example, by making professional education free, but for now, it's not clear if the shortage of teachers can be covered by these measures alone.
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