Our educator project is picking up speed: 25 Latin American educators are now working in daycare centers in Hesse. They have been warmly received and are getting positive feedback from their daycare center managers, colleagues and parents. "There is no better place for integration than the daycare center – the children immediately welcomed them," says a daycare center director in Bad Homburg.
Our talents are urgently needed in the daycare centers – because almost every daycare center is short of staff. Many daycare centers have to shorten their opening hours. Some providers are closing entire groups. This makes parents desperate – because they need support. When young parents can't work because there are not enough daycare places, this exacerbates the general shortage of skilled workers. Meanwhile, many industries are short of staff. "This is also damaging to the national economy, because parents are urgently needed in companies," says Bertelsmann Foundation expert Annette Stein. International studies also show that attending a daycare center improves educational opportunities and lays the foundations for a successful school career. The shortage of skilled workers in daycare centers also harms children.
„Hilfe im Kita-Elend“ ("Help with the Kita misery") – that's how drastically "Hessischer Rundfunk" titled its current TV report on the subject. In it, it reported on the two Colombian educators Daniela Marquez and Alejandra Maestre, who have been working in Hanau since November 2023. They look after children aged three to six in the "Francois-Gärten" daycare center. The two are helping to alleviate the staff shortage there. The city of Hanau's own daycare center is currently unable to fill one in six of its kindergarten teacher positions.
Astrid Weiermann, who is responsible for all daycare centers in Hanau, has therefore decided not only to train young men and women from Germany, but also to hire six fully trained teachers from Latin America – with our help. "I can't sit here and wait for someone somewhere in the world who has the right training for our field to happen to discover the city of Hanau and find our job ad," she says. That's why Hanau has decided to be open to and welcome skilled workers from abroad, she adds. The city of Neu-Isenburg has also gone down this path. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on it this week.
The city of Hanau is not alone with the problem: According to the Bertelsmann Foundation, there is a shortage of 10,700 educators in Hesse. Currently, 30 trained educators from Latin America and Namibia are learning German in our language courses. They are looking forward to working in local daycare centers!