Schwerin (dpa / mv) - The results of a nationwide survey by the welfare association "Der Paritätische" on the situation in daycare centers has also fueled the discussion about childcare in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. As the NDR reported on Tuesday, citing the non-representative survey, around four out of five daycare workers surveyed in the north-east said that the needs of the children could not be met with the current staffing ratio. One day care worker is currently responsible for 15 girls and boys. The respondents also complained about the high number of overtime hours and a lack of time to instruct prospective educators.
The Minister of Education, Simone Oldenburg (left), who is also responsible for day-care centers, acknowledged that there was a need for action, but at the same time referred to particular challenges. At more than 95 percent, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has the highest childcare rate for three to six-year-olds nationwide and the longest opening hours in daycare centers. "Now it's time to invest in quality; that means: we have to move from a country with the best opening hours and the best childcare quota to a country with even better working and training conditions," explained the minister.
To this end, the state government is planning changes in the staffing ratio and a specialist offensive with improved educational guidance for trainees. According to Oldenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has the highest proportion of all federal states of trained specialist staff in the educator profession at 93 percent. In Hesse, for example, the rate is 68 percent, in Hamburg it is just 58 percent.
Green MP Anne Shepley called for rapid changes to ease the burden on educators. "More than three quarters of employees regularly work overtime to catch what the general conditions do not allow," she said, referring to the survey. In the long run, this is not only at the expense of the employees, but also at the expense of the children. "Our educators have been working at the limit for a long time and yet the state government has not yet presented a coherent concept for improving the situation," criticized the opposition politician. Instead of announcements and promises, action is finally required from the state government.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, children can attend a daycare center free of charge for their parents.