The City of Tallinn is developing additional kindergarten costs benefits’ scheme for families with multiple children, families in financial difficulties as well as children in need of special education.
Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart noted that the city of Tallinn has been setting an example to other local governments for several years in terms of support for kindergartens and providing school meals. “The fee for a place in kindergarten in Tallinn is lower compared to neighbouring municipalities and also, for example, the city of Tartu. Even more, the meals are free both in kindergartens and schools. The universal benefits were in place long before the crisis," explained Kõlvart.
According to the Mayor, the Education Department and the Financial Service are developing needs-based guidelines and measures for offering additional discounts on the kindergarten fee.
"In times of crisis, the support given must be needs-based. Three main aspects have emerged. Firstly, economic difficulties - the corresponding measure exists in Tallinn, but the procedure of applying must be simplified and the conditions specified. Secondly, the number of children attending kindergarten in one family and third, children with special needs,” the Mayor explained, adding that both social and financial analysis are a prerequisite for making any decisions.
"We want to create a measures’ package that would also work in the future. While doing so, we must also have a clear understanding of the city's capabilities," noted Kõlvart. "The city has managed to create financial stability and a reserve, but in the last two months, the general situation has changed in the city, in the country and around the world, and decisions must be considered bearing in mind the future perspectives. In the next two weeks, we will reveal our proposals for supporting the families of children attending kindergarten.”