Concerted education sees “discriminatory” that subsidized nursery places are not created in its centers




During the next three years, the Government will create practically the same number of public nursery places as the children who stop being born each year due to the collapse of the birth rate. In 2020, 21,411 fewer babies were born than a year earlier, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), published in June of this year. The Executive’s plans are add 21,794 places from 0 to 3 years to public education each year during the next triennium. In total, 65,382.

The measure, as explained this Tuesday by the Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, during the press conference after the Council of the Minister, it will allow work, family and personal conciliation. However, profamily associations and demographers consulted by ABC agree that the measure is “insufficient”. The employer’s association for concerted education also emphasizes that it is “discriminatory”, since instead of guaranteeing free education from 0 to 3 years places will only be created in publicly owned centers.

The Secretary General of Catholic Schools, Luis Centeno, explained that with this measure the Government shows once again that «Ideology is above what common sense should be and what families want. “In the end, what parents are looking for is for education to be free and for them to be able to choose the type of center they want for their children,” he said. Currently, most education from 0 to 3 years is publicly or privately owned, “there are very few concerts,” said Centeno, who recalled that 25% of compulsory education students study in a subsidized center, so the Government should respect that 25% of these new nursery places are subsidized in subsidized centers in order to guarantee parents’ freedom of choice.

For the president of the Spanish Federation of Large Families, José Manuel Trigo, it is “A real, feasible and not utopian conciliation plan is a priority” and that “is not achieved with a single measure.” Along the same lines, the academic secretary of the CEU Institute for Family Studies, Carmen Sánchez Maillo, considers that to prevent the Government’s measure remains “an electoral announcement” it is necessary to “take pro-family policies seriously.” Among those initiatives, Maillo cited “the child benefit, tax relief, subsidies to companies to hire mothers with young children, flexible hours, etc.”.

Although public investment in education is always good news, the coordinator of the Demographic Observatory of the CEU San Pablo University, Alejandro Macarrón, warned that with “patches” it is not possible to solve a fundamental problem such as the low birth rate. “The partial measures or to cover the file are dangerous because we run the risk of being anesthetized about the perception of the real problem.” As he recalled, in Spain about 600,000 children should be born each year -and not only the 339,000 births that occurred in 2020- to be able to guarantee the generational change.

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