1.2 Kindergarten staff

Definitions

To be able to compare kindergartens with different categories of children, we make adjustments for age and length of stay. Children under the age of three are given a double weighting. When calculating the number of children per staff member, we use the number of core staff FTEs. Core staff include pedagogical leaders, other kindergarten teachers, childcare and youth workers, and assistants. We also include head teachers when evaluating the educational qualifications of the staff.

Kindergartens employed some 75,500 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2015. Pedagogical leaders made up 24,700 FTEs, childcare and youth workers 11,600 FTEs, and kindergarten assistants 26,100 FTEs. These staff categories work directly with the children and are often referred to as core staff.

Increased staff-child ratio

There is an average of six children for each core staff member. This means that there is a pedagogical leader, childcare and youth worker or assistant for every six children.

More kindergarten teachers and childcare and youth workers

Between 2011 and 2015 the proportion of kindergarten staff with a kindergarten teaching qualification increased from 35 to 41 per cent. In the same period the proportion of staff with a childcare and youth work qualification increased from 13 to 18 per cent (see Figure 1.4).

Figure 1.3 Staff-child ratio by owner. 2011-2015. Numbers.

figure-1-3-staff-child-ratio-by-owner-2011-2015-numbers

Source: Directorate for Education and Training

Figure 1.4 Educational background of kindergarten staff. 2011-2015. Per cent.

figure-1-4-educational-background-of-kindergarten-staff-2011-2015-per-cent

Source: Directorate for Education and Training

Staffing

The Regulations on Teaching Staff stipulate that there must be at least one pedagogical leader per 14–18 children if the children are older than three years of age. If the children are younger than three and their daily length of stay exceeds six hours, there should be one pedagogical leader for every 7–9 children. The number of children per pedagogical leader may be increased in kindergartens where the children’s daily length of stay is shorter.

Pedagogical leaders must be qualified kindergarten teachers. A three-year teacher training qualification at university level with additional qualifications in early childhood education is also acceptable. The local authority may grant a dispensation from the qualification requirements to allow candidates who do not meet the criteria to work as pedagogical leaders. This should only be done in exceptional circumstances.

Family day care centres and open kindergartens have separate requirements for teaching staff levels and supervision.

70 per cent of kindergartens meet the minimum teacher-to-child ratio

70 per cent of kindergartens meet the minimum teacher-to-child ratio without a dispensation from the qualifications requirement – an increase of 15 percentage points on 2014. 10 per cent of kindergartens do not meet the teacher-to-child ratio, while 20 per cent meet the ratio with a dispensation from the qualifications requirement. 20,000 children attend kindergartens that do not meet the teacher-to-child ratio. This is 7.5 per cent of the children (see Figure 1.5).

Figure 1.5 Kindergartens meeting the qualification requirements. 2011-2015. Per cent.

figure-1-5-kindergartens-meeting-the-qualification-requirements-2011-2015-per-cent

Source: Directorate for Education and Training

Less than half of all kindergartens have male staff

9 per cent of core staff are male, and 8 per cent of kindergarten heads are men. Most men working directly with the children in kindergarten are assistants. In 2015 there were 3,160 kindergartens without male employees amongst their core staff, which means that fewer than half of all kindergartens have male staff. In 1,400 kindergartens there is only one man in the core staff. Kindergartens with male head teachers are more likely to have male core staff.