Video, photo: Rings for children had to become more expensive. Some parents are helped by town halls

“We have increased the price by an average of three hundred, registration is ongoing from today, but we already have most of the circles filled,” said Šárka Hájková, an employee of DDM Mělník.

Source: Lucie Štrachová

They also raised prices in the Benešov DDM. The price ranges from 700 to 2850 crowns per year, last year parents paid between 600 and 2600 crowns.

“Unfortunately, the price of the rings has gone up due to the rising costs, both of energy and of all materials, cleaning products and teaching aids. We try to keep the prices as low as possible, but the costs are rising so fast that we can’t do it without raising prices, and we’re still afraid of how it will all turn out. We will also be affected by the new directive on regional standards, because the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports has come up with a new methodology and we will no longer receive wage funds for all child participants, but only for one social security number,” said the director of the Beroun children’s and youth center Petra Zavadilová. So new for a child in one circle will receive the same allowance for wages as for a child in circles three.

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However, there are also children’s homes that, with some exceptions, have held their prices for now. “We kept the prices of the interest groups, which are run by professionals here, at the original level. Only swimming, for example, became more expensive, where we had to react to the increase provided by our partner, the swimming hall,” confirmed the director of DDM Ostrov Slaný Lenka Geringová.

Some cities and districts offer financial assistance to parents. The form of support varies. “We provide parents with a contribution of 600 crowns for their child’s interest groups. Parents register them online through the Active City platform, where they can also find a range of children’s leisure activities in our territory,” says Prague 6 spokesman Jiří Hannich.

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After logging in, they will receive an electronic voucher, which they can then redeem directly at the provider of a specific interest group or other leisure activity. They can apply for a contribution until December 5 or until funds are exhausted. For this school year, the town hall has so far allocated 2.8 million crowns to support children’s leisure activities. Residents of Prague 5 can also apply for a contribution within the Active City project.

Twice a year, Sdemíčka announces the Ring Challenge for every child. “Parents of children from elementary schools and kindergartens with permanent residence in Prague 7 who are in an unfavorable financial situation can apply for a contribution to clubs of their choice through this project,” says Prague 7 spokesperson Martin Vokuš. At the beginning of the new school year, the Municipal Council announced another round and is accepting applications until September 30. It contributes up to CZK 1,500 to primary school pupils and up to CZK 750 to kindergarten children to pay for leisure activities.

Illustrative photo.

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The City Hall of Prague 2 also launched one-time assistance. The offer of the Two-Heart Endowment Fund mainly concerns parents with low incomes or single-parent parents. Residents of Prague 2 or parents whose child attends one of the elementary schools established by the district can apply for a contribution of up to 3,000 crowns.

In Beroun, families with lower incomes are also helped by the city. Parental participation is usually around ten percent. “The city of Beroun always lists scholarships once every six months, and parents can apply for them,” said Jitka Soukupová, spokeswoman for the town hall.

Help organizations, not parents

Some of the town halls that were contacted do not help parents with the prices of the clubs, but subsidize the children’s homes or sports clubs themselves. This is the case, for example, in Kolín, Český Brod and others. “At the working meeting regarding energy price increases, we have currently agreed that we will not open programs for events and investments, so all the money will go to the clubs for operation,” explained the mayor of Český Brod, Jakub Nekolný.

According to Deputy Mayor Zdenek Zahradníček, the demands of parents for the town hall’s contribution to the clubs of the Benešov Children’s and Youth Center have not yet appeared at the town hall, which is why the city management has not even dealt with them. “Payments are purely a matter for parents and DDM,” he confirmed.

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For example, Slaný supports sports and hobby organizations with subsidies, based on an application submitted to the city development department. “Some schools then offer free leisure activities, for example the 1st Elementary School of Slaný Háje as part of the Template III project,” said Lucie Cífková, officer of the development department of the town of Slaný Háje.

“We do not have a system that would contribute directly to parents, we contribute to organizations, up to one thousand crowns per member,” said Petr Volf, deputy mayor of Mělník.

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In nearby Kralupy nad Vltavou, they are considering a contribution to parents. “So far, the city does not contribute to parents, but it is quite possible that this will be discussed at the council meeting in September,” said press spokesman Kralup Aleš Levý.

Due to the increase in energy prices and other living costs, the problem also affects families who paid interest groups without problems until this year. The City Council of Prague therefore voted a subsidy of 266 million crowns for the city districts, which will distribute the money to schools and kindergartens as part of helping Prague citizens in need. They will thus be able to waive low-income families, among other things, food, kindergarten fees or fees for clubs within schools.

The article is in Czech

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