New figures show there are on average 14 to 15 children for every teacher or childcare worker at after-school centres around the country. That’s an increase of two children per worker over the past six years.
“This is a frightening development that creates a stressful environment for teachers,” Lars Søgaard Jensen, the union secretary for daycare employees’ union BUPL, told DR Nyheder.
“It is our recommendation there should be eight children per teacher, but the number right now is double as high,” said Jensen. “The consequence is that it hurts the professional pride of educators who cannot do their jobs properly.”
Local municipality group Kommuners Landsforening (KL) said the numbers began to spike during the financial crisis.
“We have been subject to a tight economic environment for many years,” said Morten Mandøe, the chief economist at KL.
Overhaul on the horizon
BUPL hopes the issue will get extra attention when municipal budgets for 2016 are created in October when the government makes an overhaul of public school reform.
“It is necessary to turn things around now,” said Jensen.
Despite the high number of children per teacher, the actual numbers of parents choosing to send their children to after-school care is falling.
“It’s probably because the situation is bad, and it has become too expensive, so parents are opting out,” said Jensen.