Zuzenhausen: In the mill of two funding programs – Sinsheim

The municipality wants to expand the Häusel primary school with an extension for childcare. The design has been underway since 2019 and the construction application has been approved. But with the start of construction, the community would lose a high subsidy. The state of Baden-Württemberg has already received a grant of 456 million euros from the federal government in 2020 and 2021 for the expansion of day care, but the state funding guidelines are not foreseen until the beginning of the summer 2022. Photo: Bernd Schlesinger

Zuzenhausen. (bs) The community sees itself in the millstone of two support programs: one no longer works, the other does not yet work. “The wires were on,” Mayor Hagen Zuber told city council about his efforts to finally make progress in subsidizing the expansion of the Häusel elementary school for day care. But in the meantime, the mayor could not signal any progress from the intense contacts with the education ministry, the regional council and deputies in Stuttgart and Berlin.

With the growing number of children to be cared for in the “Kinderreich” kindergarten, it has become too cramped for the reception of primary school children in Zuzenhausen. The club room in the Häuselgrundhalle was supposed to be temporary. As Berlin was already debating intensively about the right to continued care in primary schools, in 2019 the city council commissioned architect Thomas Müller from Aglasterhausen to design an extension to the primary school.

The municipality wants to build a canteen with a kitchen and care rooms including toilets, staff and closets as well as a foyer on two floors. The primary school and the nursery should have a common entrance and the building will be barrier-free with an elevator. In March 2021, the construction application was submitted and the building permit has already been issued.

In November 2019, the federal government decided to support federal states to expand day care for primary school children in 2020 and 2021 with one billion euros each. But it took until December 23, 2020 for Baden-Württemberg to conclude an administrative agreement with the federal government on this financial aid. Funding applications for construction projects could be submitted until May 31, 2021, but projects had to be completed by December 31, 2021.

The city council agreed that planning, bidding, construction and invoicing within six months were simply impossible with a project costing around 1.4 million euros. Then, in late spring, the committee gave up on 70% funding and did not apply for funding. Instead, we were consoled by the fact of being able to count on basic funds for the construction of infrastructures for daily assistance.

On 20 December 2021, however, the Bundestag extended the deadline for the completion of the financed projects to the end of 2022. “Then we could have submitted the application for funding,” the Zuzenhausen city councils were now annoyed. But there was still the regular grant program to finance day care. Finally, in September, an agreement was announced between Baden-Württemberg and the federal government. Federal funding for federal states has been increased from two billion to 3.5 billion euros. The state of Baden-Württemberg was thus granted an additional 359 million euros to expand day-to-day care in primary schools.

But there have been problems in the ministerial bureaucracy since then. The Municipal Day of Baden-Württemberg draws a provisional balance that makes you think: the applications approved so far do not reach the funds of 97.6 million euros approved for the state. Funds that are not used up are lost and transferred to other federal states with the full volume of applications. Baden-Württemberg will receive another € 359 million from the regular funding pot, but there is no funding guideline until early summer 2022. The Ministry of Culture has very vaguely indicated that this amount could be similar. to previously approved funds. So nothing happened for months, and therefore extremely short deadlines for applications were to be expected, its members warned on community day. The legal right to day care has been decided and Baden-Württemberg, together with North Rhine-Westphalia, is in the queue among the federal states in day care in primary schools. According to school statistics for 2020, just under a third of primary schools in Baden-Württemberg are available around the clock. Most municipalities in the state have the same problem as Zuzenhausen, city councilors questioned the lack of funding guidelines.

The municipality of Zuzenhausen finally wants to carry out the expansion of the school building planned for 2019. The number of primary school students in the care of the nucleus is set to increase from 30 to 40 in the next school year. In the 2026/27 school year, elementary school students should have the legal right to gradual assistance throughout the day; initially only for 1st grade students, but to fulfill the legal right, primary school students from grades 2 to 4 who have been assisted so far cannot simply be thrown out the door.

“We have pressure on the boiler,” admits Mayor Zuber frankly. Parents have been lobbying to put an end to the interim in the room and clubs would like to use the club room again as well. In addition, the Ministry of Education or the Regional Council does not issue a building permit before funding is approved.

“We cannot do without this support,” agreed the city councilors. “We would have to wait a little longer, because there is a lot of money at stake”, the city councilors expect understanding from parents and caregivers. In order for things to move forward, the city council decided that the architect should prepare the tender for the construction work. And Mayor Zuber will continue to try to get building permits in Stuttgart, Berlin and Karlsruhe. Because time is running out for the legal right to day-to-day care in primary schools.

Leave a Comment