Parents will pay more for their children in kindergartens administered by boroughs in Bratislava. The reason is the introduction of the tax bonus as part of a “pro-family” legislation package drafted by then finance minister Igor Matovič of the ruling OĽaNO party, the increase in children’s allowances, high inflation, and the growth of energy prices.
“The reason for the increase in fees is mainly the introduction of the increased tax bonus,” said Patrícia Somorovská, spokesperson of the Regional Association of Boroughs of the Slovak Capital Bratislava, as cited by the SITA newswire. She specified that the tax bonus has been increased to the detriment of the boroughs’ budgets. But even after the increase, municipal kindergartens in Bratislava will be five to ten times cheaper for parents than private kindergartens.
Raising fees is the only way for municipalities to prevent the reduction or closure of kindergartens. Despite the radical savings in their budgets, none of Bratislava's 17 boroughs can secure the operation of kindergartens with the same fees as in the previous year, noted Somorovská.
In 2022, the basic rates in kindergartens set up by Bratislava’s boroughs ranged from €23 to €90 euros a month. In 2023, the fees increased to €50-€90 per month.
“The cost of one child in a Bratislava kindergarten is approximately €4,000 per year. Every parent who has a child in kindergarten in fact receives a subsidy from the borough in the thousands of euros every year,” said Martin Chren, Mayor of Ružinov, one of Bratislava’s boroughs.
Some boroughs have already decided on the increase, while others are awaiting this decision during January and February.
“For example, the borough of Jarovce has already approved an increase to €70, in Čunovo the fee is €75 euros, in Podunajské Biskupice an increase to about €60 per month is being prepared,” Somorovská said.
Higher fees than the average are likely to be mainly applied in the central and larger districts, where there is more pressure to constantly expand kindergarten capacities.
Apart from the increased tax bonus, the reason for the increase is also sharply rising energy and wage costs.
“These consist of, for example, the mandatory increases of wages in kindergartens that the state does not compensate to municipalities, and which they have increased by more than 50 percent in recent years; or the increase in the price of energy and ingredients to prepare lunches,” Somorovská said.
She assured that the boroughs are preparing compensatory measures and discounts for parents who does not qualify for the tax bonus, because they do not have taxable income.