Initially, from August 2023, at least 2,000 additional trainees with 15 hours each are to come to the daycare groups in which the three to six-year-old children are cared for. From 2027 on, groups in all-day kindergartens with 19 or more places are to be given a third specialist with 20 hours per week. In addition, there should be dualized, remunerated training for educators in addition to full-time and unpaid training. Recently there had been a lot of criticism of the law from the ranks of the opposition. On Tuesday it went through with the votes of the red-black government coalition.
Government coalition: skilled workers must first be trained
Education Minister Grant Hendrik Tonne (SPD) defended the law against the allegations during the final consultation. During the entire legislative process, they “struggled and sought compromises in order to combine the desirable with the feasible”. Tonne said the first comprehensive revision of the law in almost 30 years would set uniform quality standards across the country. The introduction of the third specialist is irreversible and can be implemented seriously. “We do not bring a law on the way with a calculated breach of the law in which we now promise that we will introduce the third specialist who is currently not on the market,” said his party colleague, Stefan Politze.
The CDU MP Mareike Wulf said something similar. She emphasized that it is currently not possible to introduce a third worker earlier because there are no skilled workers on the labor market. Full employment prevails among the educators. The new skilled workers would first have to be trained.
FDP: Kindergarten teachers have to do work in their free time
The opposition from the FDP and the Greens rated the amendment as a “great disappointment”. De facto, “only half a third force made it into the law, only for all-day groups and only from 2027,” said the family policy spokesman for the Green parliamentary group, Volker Bajus. There is also no legal entitlement to an inclusive day care center. Overall, the law does not have an educational policy, but a financial policy signature. Björn Försterling, education policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, complained that the necessary and daily management and disposal times had not been increased: “The educators will therefore still have to do some of this work in their free time.”
Union complains: third party comes too late
Parents, trade unions and associations criticize that too much time is going into the country. The third force has to work faster with the children – money shouldn’t fail it. The board spokesman of the Diakonie in Lower Saxony, Hans-Joachim Lenke, praised the will of the state government to improve the personnel situation. But important issues were not taken into account. For him, too, the announced third specialist came too late to guarantee the urgently needed relief in the daycare centers. Katja Wingelewski from the ver.di union said the workers were “disappointed and angry”. You now need a reliable perspective and more time for pedagogical work as well as specialist advice and management activities.