Tribune de Genève.
The news was welcomed by some parents. “It’s great. I didn’t know” said one who was unaware that from the beginning of the next school year, the cost of Geneva city’s nurseries will drop 20%.
The city’s administration recently approved the new prices, according to 20 Minutes. The 20% price reduction will apply to all families with annual income under CHF 150,000. The reduction with be reduced progressively for those earning over CHF 150,000, disappearing completely for those earning CHF 200,000 or more.
Anita, mother of a young boy attending nursery three days a week, and paying CHF 900 a month, said: “A drop of 20% is an important saving. We are always talking about the cost of nursery! A friend and I were just looking at the costs and considering reducing the amount of time we spend working to reduce our outgoings.” Another, Flora said: “It’s good news. I am currently unemployed and need to put my son in nursery so I can look for work. For us it’s really expensive.”
The new prices, which have not been changed for over 20 years, were approved by Geneva city’s leaders last December. The early childhood programme was granted additional funding of CHF 2.5 million to fund the project, expected to cost around CHF 6 million a year.
“We are satisfied with this decision, given that the vast majority of parents will see their costs go down” said Lionel Ricou of the PDC, “Also these reductions won’t apply to those on high incomes. Middle class and low-income families will benefit from them. We hope this will improve their quality of life because they are suffering the most from the current economic climate.”
While those on the right had supported the PDC’s plan, the Socialist Party, Greens and others on the left, were opposed to it. “We were against it because the right had made large budget cuts to cultural and social spending, and we didn’t want cuts in one area to fund spending in another” said Tobias Schnebli, head of the party Ensemble à Gauche. However in principle we are in favour of lower cost nurseries, even free ones.”
Jean Rossiaud (Greens) said, that while his party was for a price cut, “It is important to cut costs for low-income families so they leave their children at nursery. It is also important not to penalize those with high incomes so they don’t opt for home based childcare, which is bad for social cohesion. Nurseries must remain socially mixed, like school.”