On the eve of the new school year 2022-2023, two grave challenges imperil Israeli early childhood care and education:
I) the severe disagreements between the teachers’ union and the Ministry of Finance about pay increases.
II) The acute shortage of kindergarten instructors who have deserted Israel’s failing educational system.
In Israel, nursery schools, which constitute the initial stage of a child’s education and formerly received government subsidies, confront the dilemma of low salaries and high instructor turnover. Therefore, either the least qualified babysitters are employed, or kindergartens must cease all their activities.
According to the Israeli media, the primary cause of the closure of hundreds of Israeli kindergartens is a shortage of 3,000 teaching staff. In addition, numerous instructors abandoned their professions due to their poor salaries, making it impossible to keep up a routine education schedule.
Since each kindergarten has three to four classrooms with 76 to 96 youngsters, it is anticipated that tens of thousands of toddlers will be unable to attend kindergarten during the upcoming school year.
As a short-term solution to alleviate the crisis, the Zionist government currently pays a pittance to around 25,000 inexperienced nannies.
The findings of the state inspectorate offer a bleak picture of the education of Israeli toddlers aged 0–3: more than half of the babysitters working in kindergartens have no professional training, and the majority leave within the first year. In the previous two years, 35–48% of all instructors quit.
It was also found that local authorities and private operators were not frequently reporting staff presence and absenteeism and that the new monitoring law was not being applied to address the issue.
In response to media reports, Alona Daniel from the “Headquarters to Combat Child Abuse” stated, “This is a shocking and regrettable event. Moreover, the 2006 Rosenthal report already outlined our main challenges.”
Furthermore, Israel spends less than one-fourth of what other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries do on public and government education investment. Another predicament is the Zionist government’s discrimination against Arab toddlers whose parents are reeling from a poor socioeconomic status. According to statistics, barely 13% of toddlers in the 1948 Arab communities attend subsidised kindergartens. In addition, the lack of publicly funded kindergartens has detrimental effects on promoting the employment of Arab females and will preclude Arab children from achieving their educational potential.
On the other hand, the proportion of Jewish toddlers who attend services from subsidised kindergartens is 27%, while the figure in the Haredi Jewish community exceeds 40%.
In the meantime, the “Association for Children at Risk – Autism Treatment and Research Center” in occupied territories, which administers more than 300 special education pre-schools, lacks 600 nurses and aides. Considering this data, 110 of the 870 special education kindergartens will not have access to medical care during the forthcoming school year.
This is in a situation where early treatment until 6 is crucial for a child with chronic autism and his or her integration into society. The victims of this deplorable situation are children from low-income families, the vast majority of whom are Arabs.
The Israeli Kindergarten teachers’ organisations want to enhance the salary by 1,500 shekels per nurse. In this regard, they vowed to stage a strike in September if the current dark situation continues. Furthermore, they call for a rise in the state budget of about one billion shekels, part of which is used to pay child nurses, and they stress that families should not pay this money.
The children who must shape the future of the Zionist regime cannot grow in such a crumbling education system.