ילדי גן אורן מגני תקווה חוזרים לגן אחרי הקלות בסגר
Children attend kindergarten in central Israel
Photo: Avigail Uzi
Kindergartens suffer from shortage of staff

Israeli kindergartens shut down in droves over severe staff shortages

Officials say they are struggling to hire new staff due to unfavorable conditions such low pay and long hours, with some kindergartens asking janitors to care for children to avoid closures, which many other institutions are resorting to

Ynet reporters |
Published: 10.25.21, 14:27
Israeli kindergartens are facing a dramatic shortage of staff recently, causing a wave of impromptu closures all over the country that leave many parents helpless.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Kindergarten directors say they have been struggling to hire staff, due to unfavorable working conditions such as low pay and long hours, forcing shutdowns without a notice.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Kindergartens suffer from shortage of staff
    Kindergartens suffer from shortage of staff
    Kindergartens suffer from shortage of staff
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    As a result, many parents' work is disrupted as they find themselves without proper childcare solutions, as others complain their children are cared for by a succession of staff because of the almost daily turnover.
    The crisis appears to be especially hard on children with special needs who need a familiar caregiver and are sometimes left unattended to, despite legal requirements to provide them with the proper care.
    Na'ama Katz, mother of a three-year-old child in Jerusalem said she was frustrated.
    "Two weeks ago, we were told that a substitute teacher would be caring for our daughter. I decided to keep her at home and avoid the stress of an unfamiliar staff member. A few days later I learned that the substitute was not a trained professional and was employed by the city as a janitor," she said.
    A labor union representative for kindergarten staff, Anat Dadon said the situation is grave. "Local authorities, the Education Ministry and even parents view staff with disrespect," she said.
    Dadon said kindergartens are violating the law when they fail to provide proper staffing, but have no other choice. "Teachers are required to do the work of assistants instead of providing the proper education to the young children," she said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ילדי גן אורן מגני תקווה חוזרים לגן אחרי הקלות בסגר
    ילדי גן אורן מגני תקווה חוזרים לגן אחרי הקלות בסגר
    Children attend kindergarten in central Israel
    (Photo: Avigail Uzi)
    "The perception of what the proper care is for the early age groups must change," Dadon said. "Neglect at a young age will be reflected in later years."
    The head of the parents' association for kindergartens, Sigal Spitz Toledano, said the situation has become untenable. "Parents bring their young kids to kindergarten in the morning, only to be informed the facility has been shut down," she said.
    "Every kindergarten that closes its doors because of staffing problems results in 35 parents unable to go to work, cancel appointments and pre-arranged plans and care for their kids who have already been hurt by the coronavirus lockdowns," she said.
    Director General of the Education Ministry Yigal Slovik said in response that his ministry is working to provide solutions but the responsibility to hire and provide staff is in the hands of the local authorities.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
     Kindergartens suffer from shortage of staff
     Kindergartens suffer from shortage of staff
    Kindergartens suffer from shortage of staff
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Slovik said a much bigger budget is needed to train staff and pay them fair wages. "There are many challenges and problems. We are working to solve them but it will take hard work and time," he said.
    Rishon Lezion mayor Raz Kinstlich said his city experiences dozens of staff shortages daily as employees refuse to work for the low pay and strict requirements.
    "I want to pay them more but am bound by labor contracts," he said



    Talkbacks for this article 0