Day-care staff shortage leads to stress

08.10.2019 - 11:58
Day-care staff shortage leads to stress
Tórshavn City Council admits that insufficient staffing in day care centres is causing stress and absence due to illness

Day care centres in Tórshavn Municipality are understaffed, causing significant stress and absence due to illness.

This is the key point in announcement sent last week by Tórshavn City Council informing day care centres of its planned management restructure.

The children-to-staff ratio at the municipality’s day care centres has remained unchanged since 2002, meaning that staff is no longer able to cope with the increasing demands caused by various changes in society since then, the council writes in its letter.

New formula needed

The council will now review its practices to ensure a closer match between supply and demand.

”The consequences of the existing structure are that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the council, the day care centres and their staff to improve their day care services,” the council’s letter says.

“The working environment for management and other staff has worsened significantly, leading in many cases to serious stress, absence due to illness and general dissatisfaction for managers, staff and parents, who all feel incapable of delivering the standards they want.”

Criticism of new plan

This information comes in the wake of a barrage of complaints from pedagogues about the council’s plan to spend DKK 3 million on setting up a team of five new regional managers in an effort to improve the link between the council’s own central administration and the nearly 40 management teams in day care centres across the municipality.

The pedagogues argue that hiring more staff in the day care centres is much more urgent at this point than a management restructure.

But the council says the new management structure is the first step towards an improved children-to-staff ratio, as this will reduce the distance between the centres and the council’s central administration. The plan is to start this improvement process by connecting seven or eight day care centres into separate units each with their regional manager.

The council believes this restructure will ensure improved financial transparency across the day care area, leading eventually to an improvemed children-to-staff ratio.


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