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The Golob Government Will Make Kindergarten For The Second Child Payable Again

The government of Robert Golob is considering abolishing free kindergarten for the second child. This is one of a series of measures adopted as part of Janša’s demographic policy, which aimed to increase the inclusion of children in kindergartens. And in a broader sense, it intended to contribute to making life easier for families – the basic building blocks of any society. At almost the same time as the Golob’s government proposal was made public, a collage of two kindergarten bills was released to the public, revealing extremely large differences in the amount of money that different parents have to pay for kindergarten.

“We are going down here, we are going to lower it to the level before the 1st of September 2021 […] we know that this will certainly affect some people, but there is no other way,” said Minister for Education Darjo Felda in the National Assembly. The full details of the proposal to reintroduce the payment for kindergarten for the second child are not yet known. The Ministry of Education is also not answering questions from the media on the matter until final arrangements are made.

The measure is supposedly being adopted in response to the Prime Minister’s call for austerity. As most of their expenditure is on salaries and allowances, which they have to pay, they want to save money by taking it from the families. Under the provisional proposal, the 100 % subsidy for a second child would be reduced to 70 %, while the remaining 30 % would be collected to help families most affected by the floods. Instead of €60 million, €41 million would be allocated to pre-school education, reported the television station Kanal A. However, the proposal does not seem to have support in all coalition parties. The Left party (Levica), which is trying to distance itself from the government at a time of declining public support for it, does not seem to support the proposal. Its MP Milan Jakopovič told the media that it also contradicts the coalition agreement.

Former Minister of Education from another coalition party, the Social Democrats (Socialni demokrati – SD), Dr Igor Lukšič, also responded to the measure on social media X, writing: “Instead of kindergarten being free for all children, they will now increase the fees. Parents of two children will pay for the floods! Parents of two children in kindergarten are the ones who the government of the Republic of Slovenia found to pay for the floods!!! The most capable government in the history of Slovenia…”

Some pay huge amounts of money for kindergartens; others pay nothing

Almost at the same time as the proposal in question, a collage of two different bills has circulated in the media, showing the drastic differences in how much different families spend on kindergarten on a monthly basis. In the first one, we see that one parent has to pay almost 500 euros each month for kindergarten, while in the second one, the parents pay exactly zero euros for the same thing.

Many have also taken issue with the origin of one of the parents, thinking that he is an illegal migrant. The legal status of this person is not known to the public, and we are also withholding some relevant information to protect personal data. The media outlet Moja Dolenjska reports that the amount of money on the monthly bill varies depending on which income tax bracket the parents belong to. As this is an extremely high difference, which would hardly be due to different income tax brackets, press enquiries were sent to one of the kindergartens.

Ž. K.

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