The lockdown is also clearly noticeable in the municipal kindergartens in Vienna: the occupancy rate is currently around 40 percent. This means that – at least for the time being – there are even fewer children present than in the previous lockdown.
Once a week, the number of children present is recorded in the municipal kindergartens. On Tuesday, the first day after the school Easter break, 40.5 percent of the children were there. That is a “quite decent decrease”, according to a spokeswoman for the municipal department 10 (MA 10) responsible for kindergartens. For comparison: In the week before the Easter break – i.e. before the lockdown – 74 percent of the children were in the municipal kindergartens, and 29 percent during the Easter break.
The occupancy rate of the municipal kindergartens is currently lower than in the January lockdown: at that time, more than half of the children were present. In the lockdown before Christmas it was about 37 percent – and in the very first lockdown a year ago it was only 0.62 percent, because only parents in systemically relevant professions were allowed to bring their children to kindergartens.
Exemption from compulsory kindergarten is possible with a certificate
In the lockdown, compulsory kindergarten is also suspended again. Children in the compulsory last year of kindergarten are therefore automatically excused if they do not come without any consequences. In principle, kindergarten is mandatory even during the pandemic – if you ignore it, you face administrative penalties. However, children are allowed to stay away if they or people with whom they live belong to the coronavirus risk group. To do this, however, a certificate must be submitted as evidence, the spokeswoman for MA 10 told wien.ORF.at.
According to MA 10, an excused absence from the private kindergartens is also possible in principle. But here it is more complicated: The private carrier must submit the corresponding certificate to MA 10, according to the spokeswoman. It must first be approved that the municipal subsidies for the kindergarten place will continue to be paid despite the absence of the child.
De-registrations are a burden for private kindergartens
The private kindergartens in Vienna are meanwhile struggling with financial problems in the pandemic. In some cases, children are deregistered – or not registered at all because their parents postpone their return to work or have lost their job. For the kindergartens, this means less funding. At the same time, there are additional costs, for example due to increased sick leave and overtime.
Around nine percent are cared for in schools
The occupancy rate of the care offers at the Viennese schools is currently significantly lower than in the kindergartens. At all locations of the elementary school and secondary level I (especially AHS lower level and middle school) care is offered despite distance learning. In Vienna, around nine percent of schoolchildren used this on Tuesday, according to a survey by the Education Directorate. That is significantly less than during the two lockdowns in autumn and after Christmas.