“When the year was strong, the capacities were at the limit,” admits Děčín’s councilor for education, Martin Pošta, that the towns tackled the issue of preschoolers even before the start of the conflict in Ukraine . There have long been few vacant places in kindergartens across the country. And so, in the future, the city will still have to deal with the situation. The current turbulent events and the massive influx of refugees have only hastened the search for opportunities, the town halls had to react very quickly.
A completely new kindergarten class has already been established in Děčín. “We have set up an adaptation group in the House of Childhood and Youth, which is the first option. Afterwards, we try to gradually place Ukrainian children in our kindergartens where they are We have already opened a new kindergarten class at the primary school in Březová,” Pošta continues. They are preparing for further expansion there.
Another attack on kindergartens is expected in the coming months as parents gradually start enrolling their children. “We want to increase the capacity of existing kindergartens, or we are ready to create additional groups of children,” says the local councilor’s Děčín plan.
There were also very few free places in Louny’s kindergartens before the arrival of the refugees. “Free capacities were only in units of places before the war began. There are few of them everywhere in kindergartens, we have already dealt with the expansion of our capacities before, ”explains the mayor of Louny, Pavel Janda.
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Cities had to react quickly to the influx of refugees. “Very soon we set up a children’s adaptation group within our Luna Club, where qualified people take care of the children. The current capacity is 12 children, but it will soon increase to 25. We are We are preparing to move to larger premises on Fügnerova Street, on the ground floor of the retirement home building,” Janda continues.
“If this is not enough, we will look for another solution. Even before the current situation broke out, we have taken care of this, we are preparing a long-term increase in the capacity of our existing kindergartens, or we We will prepare other places. We will look for other suitable premises”, assures the mayor of Louny.
The situation in Kadan is very similar. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. We had about 20 vacancies. We are gradually filling them with Ukrainian children. There is a children’s group for 12 children in the children’s and youth house , where the kindergarten is currently detached, there are also Ukrainian teachers. It could possibly expand, ”informs the mayor of Kadaň Jiří Kulhánek.
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And if the current places were not enough? “The kindergarten buildings are already full, we won’t do any more lessons there. But I don’t think it’s necessary, the numbers aren’t increasing that much. If necessary, we can open another group of children at the children’s and youth center, it would fit in there, but more teachers would have to be found,” says Kulhánek.
In the regional capital, they have admitted 10 children to kindergartens in recent days, others are in several groups of children. “We have dozens of places available in our nurseries. As elsewhere in the republic, we take care of it. We mainly deal with space. We are gradually trying to place Ukrainian children in kindergartens, several groups children have been born and we are gradually trying to activate others”, explains Michal Ševcovic, Ústí nad Labem councilor in charge of education.
They are also planning a longer-term expansion of kindergartens in Ústí nad Labem. Another free capacity for the group of children, including Ukrainian teachers, was offered by the House of Children and Youth. “We are going to open two completely new classes in the nursery and in one of the kindergartens our capacity should increase by a total of 50 children,” Councilor Ševcovic continues.
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The total number of Ukrainian children who start kindergartens in our country is still unknown. Representatives of all cities in unison dispel the fears of some people who fear that children of refugees may “take” places for Czech children.
“There will be places. Nobody has to worry about being preferred, they will all have the same conditions. People don’t have to worry that there won’t be places for their children. “says Pavel Janda de Louny.
Enrollment in kindergartens this year will be in two stages due to the non-standard situation. Currently, there are ongoing registrations for children who live permanently in the Ústí nad Labem area, and they will then be placed in kindergartens. In June, there will be an additional second round of registration, specially designed for Ukrainian children. “After that, we will only see how many more seats will be needed and we will possibly look for additional reserves,” adds Ústí adviser Michal Ševcovic.