An extraordinary intervention to try to welcome all children on the waiting list for the nurseries. The Emilia-Romagna region has decided to intervene to give a positive response already in the educational year that opens, 2022-23. Allocation of 7 million euros with an extraordinary and experimental measure that will give the municipalities the opportunity for an initial expansion of the education offer already in September with a contribution of 4,500 euros per year for each new activated place, and the consequent reduction of waiting lists.
The financing of the intervention is made possible by the use of the new European funds: the Emilia-Romagna region is in fact the first to see its operational programs approved by the European Commission both for the European Social Fund (ESF Plus) and the European Fund for regional development (ERDF) for the seven-year period 2021-27, shortly after the signing, on 19 July, of the partnership agreement between Brussels and the Italian government.
While many municipalities struggle with the delicate choice of outsourcing nurseries in order to make ends meet, requests for access to the service have increased significantly this year, which has surprised the administrations. It also happened in Modena, where about half of the children were initially excluded. The waiting lists have since gradually narrowed, but still many families have not been able to access the service. New resources can be an important tool.
“Let’s take a new, important step forward in the overall plan that, by the end of the legislative assembly, must lead to educational services and kindergartens accessible to all boys and girls in Emilia-Romagna, with the elimination of both waiting lists and the costs to be borne by families: because nurseries and crèches must become a universal service that must be guaranteed to everyone, regardless of the starting social conditions, without excluding a single child – emphasizes Stefano Bonaccini and Elly Schlein, who presented the measure regional press conference in day – But already in the coming weeks, with the start of the new educational year, we want parents who have asked to be able to see their children welcomed, which enables the mayors to improve the offer. It is a program from Emilia-Romagna, the region that already has the highest number in Italy for these services, with coverage even higher than the European targets and with a quality that is recognized and studied worldwide. But we want to make further progress towards the inclusion of children and satisfy a double need: on the one hand, to offer everyone equal opportunities from early childhood; on the other hand, to ensure families a conciliatory response to support the birth rate and women’s employment. We can do it – concluded the President and the Vice-President – for the efficiency and speed with which we completed the programming of the new European funds, which confirms another excellence for Emilia-Romagna.
Invitation to municipalities and trade unions
It will be published within the month of September, addressed to municipalities and municipalities struggling with documented waiting lists for 0-3 year benefits, or at least a potential question that cannot be answered at this time. But in light of the extra resources that the region provides, the municipalities must ensure that they can expand the public offer or activate new nursery places through agreements with accredited private individuals. With a very specific clause: Families must be ensured the use of the municipal tariff system.
The contribution expected for each new place activated in the academic year 2022/23 will be equal to 4,500 euros per year, possibly repriced according to the actual period of opening of the service.
The report to be paid by the Municipality must report the number of additional places activated and indicate the financial coverage achieved through the tariff paid by the families, the municipal co-financing funds and the regional contribution.
A multi-year plan
The measure is part of an overall project that will make it possible to implement an integrated funding system to support the provision of educational services for 0-3 year olds and the reduction of fees, with additional European resources, integrated with national and regional ones. The new posts that are created will actually be part of the regular funding system to support administrative costs and fee reduction.
The region’s commitment: over 60 million euros
The 7 million euros of European funds for the extraordinary measure brings the resources allocated this year to the integrated education system 0-6 years to an unprecedented figure: over 60 million and 500 thousand euros.
More than 28 million euros is the part of the national fund allocated this year to the region to support the integrated education system for 0-6 years, and distributed between the municipalities and trade unions of Emilia-Romagna.
7 million and 250 thousand euros of regional origin – also distributed between municipalities and their unions – destined to qualify and improve kindergartens and complementary services to the nursery for children from zero to three years public and private affiliated and / or accredited.
18 million and 250,000 euros are allocated after the adjustment of the regional budget to the measure “Al Nido con la Regione”, which, in the context of previous years, guarantees a reduction of fees charged to families throughout the regional territory, in some municipalities up to zero.