How Czechs Live (7): Summer Kindergarten Trouble

In Economy, Life on July 14, 2008 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

Thousands of Czech mothers/parents have to face a huge problem in July and August: what to do with their kindergarten-aged children.

In the Czech Republic, kindergartens are administered by municipalities and therefore are on a very tight budget.

Plus, as the number of kindergarten teachers is limited by the amount of funds, most teachers can not take many days off during the school year. And since they are all entitled to twenty to twenty-five days of paid vacation, the only month when they can go on holidays in August. So, almost ALL kindergartens are closed in August, and there is usually only one kindergarten per village/town/city borough that remains open.

Of course, private kindergarten owners step in, but one week might cost even CZK 6,000 (over $400) which is too much for most “average families”.

And so, most mothers must “waste” many days of their paid vacation just to stay home with their children…

It has been repeated by many institutions for years that the social welfare authorities did not handle the situation well when they found out that the number of children is increasing as people born in 1970’s are now “having kids”. Years ago the number of newborns was on decline so municipalities started to close down or merge nurseries and kindergartens. They did it really fast. Now they should open new ones at the same speed. But they have been failing to do so.


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