Starnberg: Little Children, Big Concerns – Starnberg

The stark shortage of skilled childcare workers poses enormous problems for communities in the Starnberg region. In a crisis meeting, the mayor’s spokesman and Bockinger mayor, Rainer Schnitzler, and his Feldavinger counterpart, Bernard Sontheim, tried to find a solution with District Manager Stefan Frey. The bottom line: As long as the market for caregivers is emptied, all efforts will be in vain. Solutions are only possible in the long run.

Fieldafing example: There are several vacancies. Against the background that 18 children could not get a place in the next kindergarten year if jobs remained vacant, parent advisor Catherine Eckhold suggested at a recent city council meeting that higher wages be paid. The parents were offered to bear the additional costs. In practice, this may amount to an increase in kindergarten fees. Otherwise the community would face a huge deficit, as is already the case in the neighboring community of Pöcking. There, the municipal council refused to adjust the planned fee on the grounds that the increase would come at an inopportune time due to the current price increases.

The Pöckingers were also looking for a new employee at the community kindergarten. Although they even promised to buy a cheap apartment, no one responded to the job advertisement for months. Then they finally got lucky – and were able to fill the vacancy with a teacher from the region who did not even take advantage of the housing offer. But community leader Sven Neumann is clear that this will only change the problem. Pöcking was able to fill the vacancy only at the expense of the municipality in which the new teacher resigned.

In Pöcking they also try to generate new blood themselves, for example by offering regular training sessions. Those who are interested in career change, Schnitzler says, will have a hard time. The mayor’s spokesperson is aware of the case of a child psychiatrist who was interested in the position of educator. However, her training was not recognized. “Big politics simply speaks for itself. It creates new legal rights and standards, but the framework conditions are not met,” the mayor says, annoyed.

According to Schnitzler, according to government guidelines, more than 50 percent of childcare jobs must be employed by professionals. “If two professionals resign or one of them becomes pregnant, we will not be able to meet the key personnel.” Then all funding will be removed. As he calculates, this will eliminate the monthly subsidy of 40,000 euros for community kindergartens, for example. In his opinion, approval of foreign professional qualifications can be a solution or a short training. “But drilling thicker plates can take a very long time,” Schnitzler said.

District manager Stefan Frey wants to generously explain the legal requirements in light of the shortage of staff at daycare centers. Ultimately, more career-altering educators should be recognized.

(Photo: Jurgen Tribal)

His support has been promised by District Director Stefan Frey, he wants to once again draw the attention of the Ministry of Social Affairs to the special situation in the metropolitan area around Munich. In his opinion, the proportion of employees should be changed and new occupational groups should be recognized in the profession-changers specifications. For now, Fry says, you have to be satisfied with temporary solutions. Therefore, his authority attempts to generously interpret the guidelines “within the scope of what is possible”. “My wish is a low-threshold offer. In disputed cases, I’m happy to help with the decision-making process,” he promises. Given the fact that the shortage of skilled workers has been exacerbated by children in Ukraine, who need special attention, he can imagine that “Ukrainian speaking mummy or neighbor” will be used as a complementary factor.

Sonnheim is also convinced that the problem can only be solved in the long term. His positive balance after his conversation with the area manager is that Feldafing won’t be left alone. He is in close contact with BRK, the kindergarten provider, and is confident that he can at least take the position of principal. Sontheim confirms that “BRK is very active”.

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