From 1 August 2018 parents in Lower Saxony will no longer be required to pay for their children to attend kindergarten. The decision was supported by a majority in the Lower Saxony state parliament.
The ruling states that from 1 August 2018 fees will be abolished for the care, for up to eight hours a day, five days a week, of all children over three years old.
Kindergarten services are therefore provided without charge.
Local authorities may only charge for these services if the supervision period exceeds eight hours a day on five days of the week.
‘Today is a good day for parents in Lower Saxony. We have fulfilled our promise and successfully implemented a key education policy. Through the exemption from such payments we are creating more equal opportunities. We are also relieving the pressure on parents in the long-term and improving the compatibility of family and professional life’ stated Culture Minister Grant Hendrik Tonne.
The bill also contains new provisions for pre-school language support, which is to be integrated directly into the kindergarten day.
‘We are placing responsibility for language support in the hands of those that have direct and daily contact with the children. This will simplify pre-school language support and remedy inefficiencies’ said the minister.
The state will provide 32.5 million euros for language education and support. This will enable specialist pedagogic staff to be employed and for the hours of existing teaching staff to be increased.
Editorial staff (alb)