Lack of care – full-time jobs are often impossible for parents


Only about every second child receives kindergarten care, which allows parents to work full-time. This is evident from the first monitoring report from Statistics Austria on primary education, which was presented on Tuesday. There are major differences depending on the age of the children and the federal states.

To ensure that parents can work full-time, according to the Family and Work Compatibility Indicator (VIF), facilities must be open at least 45 hours per week, on weekdays from Monday to Friday and at least 9.5 hours on weekdays. four of these days. They must be open for at least 47 weeks all year round and the children must also be provided with lunch.

Not much has happened so far
This is currently the case for about three-quarters of (very rarely used) places for children under one year old, about two-thirds for one-year-olds, 54 percent for two-year-olds and about half for three-year-olds. year olds and older. Not much has happened lately. Compared to the previous year, the values ​​have remained approximately the same: in some states, such as Lower Austria, which together with Upper Austria is one of the laggards, the share of VIF-compliant places has even fallen recently.

In concrete terms, 91 percent of places for three to five year olds in Vienna are VIF compliant. In Burgenland this is 73 percent, in Salzburg 48 percent, in Styria 47 percent, in Tyrol 46 percent, in Vorarlberg 45 percent, in Carinthia 39 percent, in Upper Austria 28 percent and in Lower Austria 26 percent.

Figures a little more detailed
These figures are fundamentally not new; they have already been reported in the Austrian daycare center statistics. With the new monitoring, the data is displayed both at district level and over time. In addition, the figures are not only aggregated by age group, but also shown separately for each age, according to Family Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) and General Director of Statistics Austria Tobias Thomas.

Billions for improvements
Raab was referring to the 4.5 billion euros that the government has made available in 2030 for the expansion or improvement of childcare. However, as far as jurisdiction is concerned, this is a matter for the state or the municipality. A lot has happened here in recent years. As an example, she mentioned Upper Austria, which recently increased the salaries of nursery school staff.

However, many parents currently have no real choice as to whether or not they want to send their child to kindergarten, Raab says. “It is not about every child having to go to daycare as quickly as possible. But parents should have the opportunity to fall back on that.” They now want to realize that freedom of choice.

“Whether there is true freedom of choice depends critically on whether institutions allow parents to work full-time,” Thomas said. In many cases, facilities do not comply with the VIF because they are closed for too many days, Raab says. The states could start at this point.

A lot of criticism from the union, SPÖ and NEOS
The union sees Raab’s plans as a “whitewash” of the situation. “There is still a lack of a comprehensive concept for children’s education that, on the one hand, reduces the burden on workers in kindergartens and after-school care centers and, on the other hand, gives women freedom of choice when it comes to combining job and family,” said ÖGB Vice President Korinna Schumann. Right now, we are “closer to closing preschool groups due to a lack of staff, rather than expanding children’s education.”

Like the SPÖ, the Frauenring and the children’s friends affiliated with the SPÖ, the ÖGB demands a legal right to a kindergarten place from the first birthday. SPÖ family spokeswoman Petra Wimmer pointed out that in the red-governed states the places are more compatible with the job.

The NEOS argue for more speed in expanding and improving the quality of places. “Better statistics alone do not necessarily increase the existing supply,” says education spokeswoman Martina Künsberg Sarre.

Source: Krone


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