Survey exposes scale of staffing challenge in early years education


A survey of over 19,000 staff in early years education carried out for the ver.di services union reveals widespread problems of understaffing and overwork. A clear majority of workers in day centres complained that they didn’t have enough time to devote to all the children in their care with almost 40% thinking about changing jobs and around 25% thinking about quitting. The situation in crèches and kindergartens is also challenging with three quarters of the interviewed professionals saying they had responsibility for too many children. Ver.di estimates that on average there is a shortage of three full-time employees per day care team and with around 57600 day care centres in Germany, this amounts to a shortfall of almost 173000 skilled workers. Over nine out of 10 skilled workers also said that employers failed to offer the kind of training that would help their career progression.  Ver.di says that the survey evidence shows that significant improvements must be achieved in the collective bargaining round for social and educational services, due to start in January 2022.

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