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This winter, the children must come first

Dear parents, the year 2020 called and would like its childcare debate back.

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This winter, the children must come first

Dear parents, the year 2020 called and would like its childcare debate back. Surely you can look after your children at home again in winter and work on the side? After all, that has worked well in the past two years. If there are more people in a room, it doesn't cool down as quickly.

They laugh? Unfortunately, it's pretty serious.

The fear that we will run out of gas in winter has Germany under control. From September, an energy saving ordinance is to come into force, which according to the draft stipulates, among other things, that workplaces may be heated to a maximum of 19 degrees, retailers must keep the doors of their shops closed and advertising should no longer be lit at night. So far, so reasonable. The gas levy will also take effect from October. It is intended to compensate for the increased procurement costs of large importers for missing deliveries from Russia.

That will be expensive. And not just for private consumers. The municipalities are already sounding the alarm: investments in new schools could be postponed, libraries would have to close by the day and the use of swimming pools could become more expensive. Private providers are likely to be hit even harder than municipal institutions, as they cannot expect any state support. The association of small and medium-sized daycare providers has already warned that, in an emergency, the increased costs would have to be offset by staff cuts. In plain language: Poorer care for the little ones or shorter opening times.

Bernd Althusmann (CDU), Economics Minister of Lower Saxony, criticizes the traffic light for an "immature, immature gas levy" that is now "attempted to compensate". The federal government had “forgotten an entire population group”. He would have liked an overall energy concept.

One thing is clear: in order to free Germany from its fatal dependence on Russian gas, everyone must pull together. Save energy. practice renunciation. be in solidarity. But after more than two years of the pandemic, during which the rights and needs of children and families in Germany were largely ignored politically, schools, daycare centers and other educational institutions should be among the last institutions to have to cut corners.

For many months, children practiced renunciation, wore masks, renounced contacts and excursions. Frozen in winter with the windows open because there were air filters in parliaments and companies, but not in schools for a long time. Many children still cannot swim properly, remedial classes have been canceled in many places, as has choir rehearsals. Especially the children, who are already having a hard time, were thrown back even further.

We owe it to them to come first this winter. Even if that means that everyone else has to do without a little more.

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