The Association of Autonomous Centers for Private Education (ACADE), has reported today of the disappearance in a single course of 947 private early childhood education centers, whose number has increased from 5,362 in the 2019-2020 academic year, to 4,415 in the 2020 academic year -2021.
The data are the official ones of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, and according to ACADE “they confirm the seriousness of the situation of which we have been warning, since it supposes the loss in a single year of 17.66 percent of the centers of the private sector , with the consequent destruction of jobs that the vast majority were held by young women with higher degrees “.
Between direct and indirect employment, ACADE assesses a social cost of about 10,000 jobs, in addition to the decrease in the supply of places to families in a key sector for reconciling work and family life.
Although the immediate cause has been the pandemic and the effect of teleworking, ACADE emphasizes that “there are other concurrent causes, among which it is worth mentioning the persistent fall in the birth rate (according to data from the National Institute of Statistics, from 2011 to 2020 the decrease birth rate has been 28.3 percent); the scarcity of aid to families to educate their children in the 0-3 segment; the exclusion of the sector from the Covid aid Decree; the increase in salary costs for this type of companies; the rise in the Minimum Interprofessional Salary in the last 5 years, which has been 31.5 percent and that it has not been possible to impute to families; and finally the unfair competition of centers that advertise themselves as nursery schools without be it (toy libraries, day mothers, playgrounds, etc.) “.
In addition to the obvious need for the health situation to normalize and end the pandemic, ACADE considers that measures are necessary in the short, medium and long term.
In the short term, ACADE fully shares the extension of free education in this educational phase, but considers that this objective should be achieved by counting on the network of private nursery schools. To make gratuity compatible with the protection of the educational business fabric, ACADE has proposed to finance this cycle through systems of direct aid to families through the school check, a formula that is already applied in some regions with excellent results. ACADE also suggests the inclusion of the sector in Covid aid.
In the medium and long term, ACADE suggests developing policies that promote the birth rate in Spain, treating this problem as a “matter of State” and from the agreement of the main political forces, adopting an ambitious program that will take our country out of the “demographic winter “in which he is plunged.