For parents it is like gambling to find a place for their children in a crèche or kindergarten. If you have it, you accept a lot, even outsourcing the kindergarten to a distant building. This is what happened in Ottobrunn, when the kindergarten of the Catholic parish of St. Otto had to close its premises until further notice due to mold stains. Two groups of 24 and 28 children are accommodated in the St. Magdalena kindergarten and one group of 19 children in the St. Albertus Magnus kindergarten and use the existing infrastructure of these facilities.
The uncomplicated help was possible because fewer children can be cared for in the two reception kindergartens than there is room for because there are no educators. In Ottobrunn there are currently 38 crèche children and 92 children of kindergarten age on the waiting list for a childcare place.
The facility in St. Otto has been closed since the summer holidays. As the press office of the Archbishop’s Ordinariate reports on request, “a small, dry spot of mold measuring less than 0.5 square meters was discovered in the basement of the kindergarten building” as early as spring 2022. During a closer examination in the summer, “further stains were found in a storage room”.
The parish hall is to be used as an alternative quarters
“A longer-term alternative accommodation will be sought as soon as possible and set up in coordination with the district office so that good temporary accommodation is made possible”. According to the chairman of the parish council of St. Otto, Thomas Diessel, the intention is to make the parish hall and a room in the basement available for the kindergarten. However, the parish hall is no longer used for large events. The parish can then only use the former library and the kitchen, and only when the kindergarten is closed, he regrets. When that will happen, however, is not yet foreseeable. The premises of St. Otto still have to be converted and a change of use has to be applied for at the building authority. “We hope it won’t take too long,” said Diessel.
The new location in the usual place would be a relief for the parents, even if, according to the professor, “the children are guaranteed good care by the usual caregivers” and the responsible persons “do their best in the current situation”. There is continuous contact between the divided daycare teams and between them and the ordinariate, which “is available to provide support if necessary”. She is not allowed to tell the press how it is for Silvia Hofmann, who has run the kindergarten for 32 years. Like her colleagues, she has the closest contact with children and parents.
According to the ordinariate, it favors a renovation of the kindergarten “if this turns out to be useful”. The finance department of the archdiocese made available 200,000 euros at short notice for further investigations and structural openings as well as for the presentation of possible renovation variants. The building is currently under investigation. It is unclear what structural measures will be taken. Likewise, how long, how extensive and how expensive they will be.