STOP outsourcing Italian education services!
Oct 28, 2021
Funzione Pubblica Cgil, Italy, has launched this petition addressed to Mario Draghi, President of the Italian Council of Ministers.
In recent weeks, Italian workers in municipal school education services have been mobilising against the outsourcing of municipal crèches, starting in Siena, Venice, Modena, Livorno, Sondrio, Pavia, Taranto, Scandicci and many others.
It is now clear that more and more administrations are choosing to abandon the direct management of crèches and kindergartens and to outsource services.
Children are our future, their education and training are the foundations of the society to come. We cannot tolerate that many communities be denied equitable access to such a vital local public services in Italy. Local communities, municipalities, and local authorities, have a fundamental role to play and must be supported and helped to plan, fund, manage and enhance innovation in crèches, primary schools and kindergartens, which is why we are asking that everyone be guaranteed access to equitable access to municipal school education as our "Common Good".
Support Italian municipal education workers
STOP outsourcing education services!
Recruitment, resources and attention to service quality are needed. Join the supporters - you can sign the petition as an individual or on behalf of your organisation. As an individual, you can choose to stay anonymous or to publicly display your name.
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The objectives set by the European Council in Barcelona in 2002 were that at least 33% of children under the age of 3 should have access to crèches and early childhood services, and at least 90% of children between the age of 3 and the compulsory school age should have access to nursery schools.
Article 4 of Italian Decree 65 of 2017 stipulates that "the State shall promote (...) the progressive consolidation, expansion, as well as accessibility of early childhood education services, also through an improved territorial coverage, with the tendential objective of achieving at least 33 per cent coverage of the population under three years of age at the national level".
Today, Italy is far from the target for the 0-3 age group, and we are further behind, given the lack of staff.
This trend must be reversed. The the post-Covid Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan envisages, within Mission 4 dedicated to Education and Research, 4.60 billion euro dedicated to the Plan for crèches, integrated services and kindergartens (3-6 years) with the objective of increasing the supply of crèches and services for children and favouring a balanced distribution throughout the country.
Although the resources for this chapter are considerable, it is not certain that this increase in funding for crèches and kindergartens will be enough to guarantee a place for 228,000 children.
The supply of pre-school education has long since reached the European target set in Barcelona, while there is a considerable backwardness in the coverage of our territory by the integrated education and training system from birth to 6 years.
The spread and supply of local education services decreases in terms of both structure and capacity the closer one gets to the south of the country or the further one moves away from the urbanised centres.
Already the funds established in the Budget Law for 2020 (art. 1, paragraph 59, Law no. 160/2019 of about 300 million) have focused on the conversion or construction of new early childhood services.
In addition, given that by regulation of the Recovery Fund the two billion must be allocated to extraordinary investments, it goes without saying that the State and local authority budgets must support investments for the implementation of services, with funds for hiring adequate staffing levels, ensure professionalisation paths, valorisation and professional training for municipal education workers.
For this reason, we need an organic recruitment plan that goes beyond turnover, because the objective must be to expand access to local education services for all.
According to ISTAT 2019 statistical data on the 0-3 age population group, 5,500 crèches - half of the total active - are in private hands and count 21,000 women teachers. In some municipalities the whole service offer is provided by private social service operators.
The resources made available, starting from 2022, even if channelled in a good way (through a section of the Municipal Solidarity Fund) are insufficient. Thus, the planned investments risk being implemented without a parallel reorganisation of structures, public procurement, agreements, accreditation and production processes, without bridging the skills gap and the significant differences in the regional distribution of those employed in local social and educational services.
Today, investing in the skills of public service workers and increasing the supply of municipal crèches means, on the one hand, improving the working conditions and professional development of those who work in crèches and kindergartens and, on the other hand, looking at guaranteeing social citizenship by equitable access to local public service provision for future generations.
Italy is an ageing country that ensures less and less social mobility for the new generations. Investment in early childhood and access to public education and training are the first major lever to restore social mobility in our country.
For a fairer and more equitable society, it is necessary to start again from the children, and above all from the educators and teachers who can, through their professionalism and competence and through an adequate local education service offer in all territories, build a more inclusive society
a halt to the outsourcing of all day nurseries by opening a debate with the trade unions on the future of these services, also involving families
that an extraordinary recruitment plan of at least 20,000 educators be rapidly drawn up for the 0-6 municipal education services
that the resources dedicated to 0-6 services be deducted from the spending constraints of municipalities, because the childcare sector is an investment and a fundamental right protected by the Constitution
recognition of the professional development and quality of work of the staff who provide and will provide these services, guaranteeing correct contractual classifications in both the public and private sectors and professional training programmes as workers' right.