Not enough places in the region’s kindergartens / News / The Foreigner

Not enough places in the region’s kindergartens. Despite the government having prioritised the construction of enough kindergartens for all, there are still those who have not been offered a place. 300 toddlers and pre-school children are on the waiting-list to get in to kindergarten. The council built enough capacity for 700 new children last year, but they are still waiting for a further 200 this year. The town’s population is growing at such a rate, which means that quite a few families have a problem for now. “This is a completely new situation for us. Even though the number of applicants has decreased since last year, we estimate needing an extra 200 places per year for the foreseeable future”, said Rannveig Eriksen, one of the council’s advisors to The Foreigner.

kindergarten, sola, stavanger, sandnes, spaces, children, toddlers



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Not enough places in the region’s kindergartens

Published on Monday, 16th March, 2009 at 18:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Despite the government having prioritised the construction of enough kindergartens for all, there are still those who have not been offered a place.

A block
A block
Photo: Morgan Lane Photography


Worst in Sandnes

300 toddlers and pre-school children are on the waiting-list to get in to kindergarten. The council built enough capacity for 700 new children last year, but they are still waiting for a further 200 this year. The town’s population is growing at such a rate, which means that quite a few families have a problem for now.

“This is a completely new situation for us. Even though the number of applicants has decreased since last year, we estimate needing an extra 200 places per year for the foreseeable future”, said Rannveig Eriksen, one of the council’s advisors to The Foreigner.

What makes things worse is that more people are opting for full-time instead of part-time places, and there are many who wish to change kindergarten this year; something the council is still waiting for an answer from them about.

“Until they have accepted the offer of a new kindergarten and resigned from the old one, it looks as though there is a capacity problem without there necessarily being one”, she continues.

It’s a nerve-racking time for parents. It may be that either one or both of them have to work from August, and if there’s no space, then this has both practical implications and could have a financial impact if one of them has to stay at home with their child. So is there any hope for them? Rannveig Eriksen thinks so.

“Although we can only live by prognoses, we are almost certain that we’ll manage to find space for everyone. Tomorrow, our executive committee is going to have a meeting about the situation. We hope to be able to offer temporary space in Hana, and there could be people who wish to change from a 5 day-per-week to a slightly reduced number of days. From experience, many who receive an offer decline it.”

And for those who are still worried, she suggests keeping an eye on their Internet pages. The information will be current, and everyone will receive a written offer.

Better in Sola

In the first round, 280 children between less than one year and up to five years old were offered a place. 78 children are still on the waiting-list. Things remain unsolved, though.

“The problem in our council district is twofold. Firstly, we have many people who have moved here recently, something which makes it difficult to estimate how many of them either have or wish to have children. Secondly, only half of our kindergartens are public; the rest are private. The difficulty with them is that they take children from other council districts, thus reducing the number of total places available.” says Eli Mundheim, the council’s director of kindergartens.

Although there is a pressing need for more kindergartens in both central and southern parts, it’s not all bad news here, either. They will also have another meeting of their executive committee at the end of the month.

“We are working on new solutions in order to be able to solve the situation”, she says.

And to soothe worried parents, she assures that the council will look at how many would either like to still wait, or decline the offer of a place.

Stavanger top of the class?

Stavanger council says that everyone who has applied has been offered a place, but this doesn’t mean that there are enough kindergartens that are ready at the moment. According to them, 40 have been offered temporary places whilst waiting for the building work on new ones to be completed. They attribute this delay to the scarcity of builders as a result of the buoyant economy.

Two new private kindergartens are scheduled to opened, though, and the council say that they will have seven of their own this year; something that will give 211 new places. Here is a breakdown, district by district.

This spring, the following will open:
Solvang (covering Eiganes/Våland), February,
Austre Åmøy, February,
Sandvikveien (covering Hillevåg), March,
Extensions to Emmaus (covering Storhaug), March, and
Bråde (covering Madla), April.

In addition, a new council-run kindergarten covering Hinna is scheduled to open in the autumn.



Published on Monday, 16th March, 2009 at 18:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: kindergarten, sola, stavanger, sandnes, spaces, children, toddlers.





  
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