Too few after-school care places in bremen: no room for children

Although the expansion of all-day schools is moving forward, the number of after-school places has not changed since 2013. Certain districts in particular are affected.

In short supply in some Bremen districts: an after-school place Photo: dpa

The city of Bremen offers too little after-school care for primary school children. This is the result of an answer to a question from the Left faction. According to it, 368 children are on the waiting list, mainly from Blumenthal and Huchting. For single parents, this can become a major problem. Kristina Vogt (Die Linke) calls the situation "grossly negligent".

Open all-day elementary school have existed in Bremen since 2012, initially with space for 951 pupils. In 2017, there were already 8,313 children attending open and bound all-day schools. "By 2025, all of Bremen’s elementary schools should be on the path to all-day care," says Bremen’s Senator for Education Claudia Bogedan (SPD).

At the same time, the need for afternoon care is growing. Due to an increase in the birth rate in Bremen as well as more immigration, there are more elementary school students than just a few years ago. Although the number of all-day schools has increased, the number of after-school care places has remained the same.

Districts such as Huchting and Blumenthal are particularly affected by this. Here, the largest number of children are on waiting lists for all-day schools and after-school care places. There are still places open in some districts, 81 in total, but they are often too far away to be accessible from Blumenthal or Huchting in a reasonable time.

In 2013, all-day expansion often took place where parents were shouting the loudest. But not where there was the greatest need

Pierre Hansen from the Central Parents’ Council explains the lack of expansion by saying that "the places were allocated according to volume. Districts such as Blumenthal and Huchting have regularly fallen behind. "Since this is also where the increases are currently greatest, this results in a double problem."

Education Senator Bogedan also admits that after-school programs "used to be created in more middle-class districts." Kristina Vogt criticizes this: "In 2013, the expansion of all-day schools often took place where parents shouted the loudest. But not where there was the greatest need."

In the affected districts in particular, many single parents lived who were absolutely dependent on the expansion of all-day schools or after-school care places. Here the compatibility of family and occupation would have to be in the focus and educational justice would develop. But this is where parents are most likely to be left alone: "That’s not possible at all," said Vogt.

Problems with conversion measures

The expansion of all-day schools is also proceeding slowly. Many schools are still undergoing remodeling. "We have delays at all locations, which are leaving their mark on the children and the teaching staff," says Hansen. However, the education senator asserts that basic services are being provided. However, the answer to the Left Party’s question shows that this is still lacking in Huchting, for example: At one school, for example, the kitchen and the cafeteria are still missing. The expansion can only be completed in 2019.

"Transitional solutions are not really offered," says Vogt. Sensible planning could have prevented these problems. The Delfter Strasse elementary school in Huchting has offered after-school care since 2015, but the cafeteria is not expected to be completed until five years later. Classes are taking place on a construction site, he says. "It’s a total bummer for students," Vogt says.

Hope for those waiting

For parents whose children are on waiting lists, however, there is still hope. The expansion is moving forward, albeit slowly. The Central Parents’ Advisory Council assumes "that the waiting lists will still creep up in the course of the first half of the year". Places often become free because children change schools, for example. Until Christmas, movement is still possible.

According to the education senator, there are still childcare options that do not appear in the statistics, such as educational lunch tables, "childcare schools," flexible childcare options and student meetings for the afternoon.

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