Parents and students at the elementary schools and middle school in Haar can breathe a sigh of relief. And no less the staff at the adult education centre, who take care of up to 200 children and young people in the afternoon care organized by the adult education center on behalf of the community. On Tuesday evening, after some wrangling, the municipal council approved additional expenditure for the VHS in the amount of more than 100,000 euros for this and the coming school year. VHS chairwoman Gabriele Müller explained at the meeting that the offer would have to be reduced if the offer was rejected. For many students, the promise of all-day places at the beginning of May was on the brink.
The cash injection for the VHS was controversial. So far, the facility had communicated a deficit of just 38,000 euros for 2022. The municipality is under enormous financial pressure because of the departure of the pharmaceutical company MSD, the main trade taxpayer. CSU parliamentary group leader Dietrich Keymer complained that he did not understand the additional costs at this level. It is a multiple of the previously estimated amount. Simply waving something like this through is “unfortunately no longer possible in this community”. Keymer called on the VHS to reduce the sum. Peter Siemsen (FDP), on the other hand, advocated doing what he felt was necessary: ”Education is the most important raw material.” Mike Seckinger (Greens) said it was important to ensure the quality of care “that we want”. In the end, a large majority from the SPD, Greens, FDP and CSU agreed to the additional edition.
They saw no other option. The VHS obviously has too few staff for the afternoon care. Managing director Lourdes María Ros de Andrés described that administrative staff had to step in again and again so that groups did not fail when caregivers fell ill. Parents had to be called to pick up their children due to lack of staff. According to the VHS application, the specialist in personnel and financial accounting accumulated around 200 overtime hours in 2021. A large part was compensated financially. The VHS chairwoman Müller said that the application submitted was the result of the demand made by the town hall in autumn 2021 to bring transparency to finances and to separate adult education more clearly from engagement in the after-school area. Müller, who was mayor of the SPD in Haar until her election defeat in 2020, announced a similar application for adult education.
The VHS application for afternoon care now also reveals in black and white that a lot has been improvised up to now and that administrative staff have done a lot, which is now clearly allocated in hourly quotas and personnel costs for the first time. For example, 30 hours a week for a department head for afternoon care are now listed: makes 54,000 euros a year. Four hours for the management: makes 11,000 euros. Also 28,000 euros for a jumper who should go in groups if staff are absent. However, the latter issue was particularly controversial because, according to Kerstin Onwuama, Head of Education at City Hall, jumpers in day-care centers are also desirable, but not available. However, VHS manager Ros de Andrés made it clear that staff would be ready to jump if the situation did not improve. Larger groups were still threatening. The adult education center would then no longer be able to live up to its claim as an educational institution.
The CSU indicates that it does not see childcare under the umbrella of “adult education”.
At the Konrad elementary school, furniture is now also being purchased for rooms that have already been used since this school year, because the school did not have all-day classes, but the need for care had to be met. 60 children have been taken care of there. The VHS looks after 48 children at the Jagdfeldschule and 98 at the middle school.
The additional funds for the VHS were approved for the current and coming school year. A fundamental debate is pending as to how the municipality intends to meet the legal entitlement to all-day care that will apply from the 2026/27 school year. Dietrich Keymer would like to run it soon and he indicated that he no longer necessarily sees the VHS as an institution of “adult education”, as he emphasized. The district youth council and the school association also offer after-school care. Discussions are also being held behind the scenes in Haar about an “educational campus Jagdfeldschule”, which is not described in detail, in order to organize all-day care.