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Sprachkitas: Germany to extend funding for language-learning daycares

The Local (news@thelocal.com)
The Local ([email protected]) • 10 Nov, 2022 Updated Thu 10 Nov 2022 12:19 CEST
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Children from international backgrounds stand next to a wheel saying "hello" in different languages. Photo: picture-alliance/ dpa | Bodo Marks

Federal funding for 'Sprachkitas' was set to expire at the beginning of 2023, but now the government has announced it will temporarily be extended.

Since 2016, the German government has been promoting the language development of children through special Sprachkitas. 

These specialised nurseries receive extra funding to focus on the German language acquisition of young children - particularly those who speak it as a second language.

READ ALSO: What foreign parents in Germany need to know about Sprachkitas

Germany’s 16 states were set to take over the programme with their own resources at the beginning of 2023, but now the government is extending its support by another six months, according to Family Minister Lisa Paus of the Greens. 

The decision to end the popular programme at a federal level had been met by criticism, especially from state leaders, who questioned if there would be enough local funding to keep the Kitas running.

According to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, the Sprachkita model program has reached around half a million children and created around 7,500 new part-time positions for specialists in early childhood language acquisition. 

There are around 6,600 daycares in Germany which bear the official Sprachkita seal. 

Germany is currently facing a growing shortage of Kita spots, particularly in the western part of the country.

‘Temporary solution’

Still, the extension is only a “temporary solution,” said Paus. It is intended to give the states another six months to "seamlessly transition language education from temporary project funding to permanent funding.”

“I appeal to the states that have not yet decided to establish language support in daycare centers on a permanent basis to also use this bridge." 

Several states have already decided to do so, she said.

The government is financing the extension through the reallocation of €109 million from the Kita Quality Act (Gute-Kita-Gesetz), according to a spokeswoman for the ministry. 

The law obliges the states to meet certain standards in daycare centers, such as group sizes. But Paus said it should also require them to have a high level of language support. Language support is also to be handed over to the states in the future.

READ ALSO: How much does childcare cost across Germany?

Vocabulary

provide/procure - verschaffen

language support - (die) Sprachförderung

extension - (die) Verlängerung

temporary solution - (die) Übergangslösung

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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The Local ([email protected]) 2022/11/10 12:19

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