City to push nursery school placement limits

Worries that the city's plans to increase numbers in nursery schools will have a negative effect on teachers and children Too few nursery schools for too many children has resulted in Copenhagen municipality creating 600 extra places to remedy the...

Too few nursery schools for too many children has resulted in Copenhagen municipality creating 600 extra places to remedy the shortage, reports Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

Nursery school classes typically consist of a maximum of 12 children but the city is being forced to increase that figure to 14 at 48 selected facilities in order to adhere to its guarantee that all children are ensured a place this year.

Both social educators and parents are expressing concerns about the development. Teachers union BUPL said the move was 'not good for the children'.

'It may be that it's being done legally, but it creates a huge risk for stress among children and staff when you stuff so many people into a room,' said Henriette Brockdorf, BUPL president.

Brockdorf said the situation also makes the already difficult task of recruiting new social educators for nursery schools even worse.

Henriette Bjørn Nielsen, the city's administrator in charge of nursery school placement, acknowledged the situation was not ideal, but said that 'legal requirements for square metre per child are still being followed', adding that the 48 schools will get additional funding to deal with any increased personnel costs.

An additional 122.5 million kroner was secured to finance the emergency placement plan by the city's economic committee.

The city's Children and Youth Administration has indicated the measures will cover 400 of the 600 children still needing nursery school placement. Another 40 temporary school sites will likely be set up to accommodate the remaining children.

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