The providers and managers of day-care centers in Hessen complain that it is becoming more and more difficult to find good staff. The independent organization BVZ with more than 150 daycare centers in Frankfurt reports that institutions sometimes prefer to get by with fewer staff for a while than hire new, possibly unsuitable people. "Anyone who has had the experience for the third time that a new colleague was not the right one again prefers to wait for the colleague with whom it really fits," says Isabelle Stork, Deputy Head of the Regional Management of Day Care Centers. In the past, the applicant always had to hope to get the longed-for position. In the case of good candidates, however, it is the case today “that the institution sends quick prayers to heaven: Hopefully they will decide for us.“If you find it too strenuous in a certain part of the city, you can choose to stay elsewhere.

Florentine Fritzen

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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    The starting salary for educators is a little more than 3100 euros according to the tariff.

    There are differences in what a carrier offers in addition to the salary: a ticket for local transport, a free breakfast and lunch or coaching.

    Basically, according to the BVZ: "The better the reputation of an institution, the easier it is for you."

    The Arbeiterwohlfahrt Frankfurt also confirms that almost everyone who decides to train as an educator will find a job after graduation.

    The reason is the shortage of skilled workers.

    "In metropolitan areas and growing cities, where the expansion of childcare places is particularly rapid, there is particularly high pressure," reports Gabriele Bischoff, operations manager of the city's Kita Frankfurt with 146 facilities.

    According to their information, technical schools for educators even report themselves that the criteria are no longer as high as they once were.

    Deficits only become apparent in practice

    She herself was once "put through its paces" during training, reports Monika Kramer, director of the Frankenberg family center at Lebenshilfe in North Hesse. In the meantime, she too has made the experience that technical schools “take just about everyone”. The schools are often private and self-financed. Kramer also points out, however, that politicians are pushing them to train as many educators as possible in view of the expansion of the daycare center. Often it is only in the day care center that it becomes apparent where there is a problem. For example, when someone is too introverted for the communicative profession. To do this, you also have to “burn a bit”. Not all of them wanted to “get input” themselves and do advanced training. "If three kindergarten teachers sit on the bench with sunglasses and none of them are at the sandpit or the swing, that's not a good sign."

    Kramer is happy that she “doesn't have any fooling around” in her own day care center. Of the four applicants for the last advertisement, two were eligible. Julia Zabudkin, who runs five bilingual Russian-German daycare centers in Frankfurt, was less fortunate. Because she cannot find any staff who meet her quality requirements, she is now closing one of the facilities.

    At BVZ, too, it is said that deficits often only become apparent in practice. Some are not prepared to work with parents. "It's more about soft skills than technical issues," confirms Bischoff from Kita Frankfurt and cites the handling of stressful situations as an example. The two major Frankfurt sponsors see a further difficulty in the multilingualism of many aspiring educators. That could be an enrichment, but also an obstacle, for example when it comes to writing a report.

    The sponsors agree that the daycare centers have a duty as employers: “We have to invest in young people and gain additional qualifications,” says Bischoff. And Stork: “The way out of this misery is to start with the apprenticeship, and we have to help shape that too.” Bischoff points out that the demands on the profession have increased. The experts emphasize that lateral entrants who come through the practice-integrated paid training are often significantly better than the graduates of the technical schools. Those who “often lack their own trust”, says Kramer from Frankenberg - while those who change saddles are often solid personalities.