Family Minister: Paul: Kindergarten children undergo eight corona tests per month

Family Minister
Paul: Daycare kids receive eight coronavirus tests per month

Josephine Paul (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen), Minister for Family Affairs of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, smiles. Photo

© Marius Becker / dpa

When fall comes, it’s time for a runny nose again at daycares. Do children then have to stay at home for fear of catching a corona infection? Not in principle, but admin rights to access are strengthened.

The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia offers eight rapid corona tests per month for the New Year in kindergartens. This was announced by the new Minister for the Family, Josephine Paul (the Greens), on Friday in Düsseldorf. Parents should initially receive two tests per week from daycare centers through fall break and use them at home for typical symptoms. Tests are also handed over to the municipalities for incubators. The new daycare year begins on August 1st.

In addition, children with the corresponding symptoms may be excluded from future care as long as a negative self-test is not offered. Paul announced that this would make it possible to change the Corona Protection Act on August 8. The minister stressed that “sick children do not belong to nurseries.” The same applies to all other diseases.

Above all, trust is relied upon in cooperation with the parents, whose testimony is usually sufficient. “We want to make sure through testing that not every nosebleed causes kids to have to stay home,” Ball said. After all, many children have a cold, especially in the fall and winter.

If the home self-test is negative, the children can be taken to the nursery. Exam funding is also secured after the fall break. It is recommended to use protective masks when bringing and picking up children, as well as in discussions with parents.

Opposition SPD warned that some daycare centers were already at risk of collapse due to the absence of many teachers due to illness. The deputy leader of the SPD’s parliamentary group, Yoshin Ott, demanded, at least in the first two weeks after the start of the incubation, that tests be carried out daily.

The FDP parliamentary group has welcomed the fact that day care centers and schools generally remain open despite the pandemic. The parliamentary group’s parliamentary director, Marcel Hafke, criticized the fact that in the future moderators might order a test at their own discretion, but upset the parents.

The minister did not make any specific statements on the issue of when the third year of non-contributory day care and free food will be implemented in the coalition agreement. The opposition Social Democratic Party criticized the ads as “too weak”. This also applies to the new coordination center “Campaign of Skilled Workers for Social and Educational Professions”, which is scheduled to begin work in the Ministry of Family Affairs at the beginning of August. Ott complained that the minister had not demonstrated any tangible ways to address the shortage of skilled workers.

The Teachers’ Education and Training Association (VBE) described the specialist attack as late. The higher appreciation of early childhood education should also be reflected in better working conditions, for example in smaller groups, emphasized VBE Country Director Stefan Bahlau.

The Minister spoke of a tour of the force for all concerned. “It should be clear to all of us that this is going to be a marathon. It wouldn’t be possible to do it in a sprint.” As a first step, the new Black and Green state government has extended the daycare assistant program through the end of the year. About 9,000 institutions have already taken advantage of this opportunity to relieve teachers of non-pedagogical assignments through support staff. “We are providing more than 100 million euros for this,” Paul said.

Despite the epidemic and other challenges, such as the flood disaster, it was possible to continuously expand care. For the New Year’s Daycare, 10,742 facilities will be funded — about 130 more than last year’s daycare. A total of 752,000 children will be cared for in day care centers or with babysitters. Under difficult conditions, more than 5,500 additional childcare places have been created.

About 217,000 of the 752,000 places are for children under the age of three. This makes the coverage rate in this age group 42 percent. 70 percent of those who received care outside the family attended a day care home, and 30 percent were in day care or with babysitters.

SPD Press Release FDP Press Release VBE Press Release

dpa

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