Minister's statement on kindergarten prices
Today, the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Luka Mesec, responded to the current issue of kindergarten prices. The Minister personally supports the idea of free kindergartens, but stresses that such a measure would require an additional €200 million.
"If you ask me personally, I agree that kindergartens in Slovenia should be free. But before that, we need to look at the numbers. The cost of kindergartens is €534 million. Parents pay €209 million, while public funds contribute €335 million. Therefore, 60% of kindergarten prices are already paid by municipalities and the state. If we wanted to make kindergartens completely free, we would need to find an extra €209 million, which we unfortunately do not have at the moment. But it is a possible starting point for future tax reform and future budgets. What we need to decide is who will pay the €209 million," said Luka Mesec in a press release.
Minister Mesec announced the following measures to tackle the problem:
As of February, the income thresholds for eligibility for various social transfers will increase in line with inflation, meaning that the nursery subsidies parents receive will be more accessible and higher from the first decision of the year. Child benefits will be harmonised on 1 March. This means that they will be about 10% higher. The tax reform will also examine the system of child benefits and allowances.
The state already bears a significant part of the costs of kindergartens, the Minister pointed out. The amount of the subsidy depends on the income bracket of the family. For example, a family with one child in kindergarten, where the average monthly income per person is between €442.95 and €516.76, pays only 30% of the price of kindergarten.
"We will do our best to minimise the burden of the rising cost of kindergarten on parents. In the short term, we will do everything we can through social transfers. We are €200 million short of what’s needed in the budget to implement the idea of a free kindergarten, which is also a coalition commitment," concluded Minister Luka Mesec.