The socio-common government has set itself that in the year 2024 Barcelona’s offer of municipal nursery schools will be 9,500 places, a thousand more than there are currently. An objective that is to expand the current network, from 102 centers to a total of 115. The plans also include doubling the number of family foster spaces, in this case going from the current 700 places to 1,500 in the same period of time .
It was announced yesterday by the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, together with the deputy mayor for Culture and Education, Joan Subirats, and the commissioner of the latter area, Maria Truñó. The planned investment to carry out these two actions is 24.9 million euros.
The planned investment is 24.9 million euros
“We understand that the stage from 0 to 3 years is essential, fundamental, and that implies moving towards its universalization, that all demand can be assumed. It is an ambitious goal, it is not a question of one or two terms, but it is one of the priorities of our political agenda ”, said Ada Colau, who added that while Barcelona already has 102 municipal centers dedicated to the 0-3 training stage years, in Madrid, “with twice the population”, there are 69. Even so, according to municipal data, the City Council network currently covers 63% of the demand. “We want growth to be sustainable, not stop increasing in number year after year,” added the mayor.
The Colau government opens the possibility of incorporating private centers with the aim of increasing the public network
Of the 13 new nurseries planned, eight will be built, or are facilities that are being rehabilitated. This group includes the nursery school on Calle Roger, in Sants-Badal, which will open in September this year; but also the new center that is linked to the performance of the houses on Encarnació street, in Vila de Gràcia. The other new centers will be located in Les Corts, Sant Martí, Trinitat Nova, Nou Barris, Horta-Guinardó and Sant Andreu.
The City Council’s plan also includes integrating into the municipal network five nurseries, which are now owned by the Generalitat. They are Cascavell (Besòs i el Maresme), El Mar (Sant Andreu), El Vuit (Verneda), L’Airet (Trinitat Nova) and La Gavina (Poble Sec). With regard to municipal parenting family spaces, the idea is to go from the current 16 centers (some already linked to nurseries) to a total of 32 in 2024.
Due to the increase in childcare places and family spaces, the annual current expenditure of the City Council for education from 0 to 3 years will increase by 9.3 million euros, from the current 60.4 million to 69.7. “It is a significant budget increase, but one that we believe is fully justified,” added Ada Colau.
Along these lines, Commissioner Maria Trunó stated that just as the incorporation of some of its centers will be worked with the Generalitat –starting with these five–, the door also opens “to work to generate the regulatory and administrative conditions for possible incorporations of the private offer 0-3 of the city, analyzing case by case ”. The commissioner explained that in fact it is something that is already being done with some institutes that are going from being concerted to being under the ownership of the Generalitat, but that in the case of kindergartens there is still a legal framework lacking. “It is another way to increase the public offer in the city,” added Maria Truñó.
The commissioner recalled that justice has set the Generalitat’s debt to the City Council at 42 million euros for having stopped financing municipal nurseries for seven years and that it is waiting for a new regional executive to be formed to address this issue.