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Gov’t Plans to Introduce Payment at State Kindergartens

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, December 25
(TBILISI) - State kindergartens may not be free of charge any more. The information was released by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, while delivering speech at the parliament session on Friday.

The PM said there is “catastrophic” high demand on state kindergartens, adding the state cannot afford to allocate so much money from the budget of Tbilisi.

“Of course it is good that the demand is high and many children are willing to study at state kindergartens but it requires much financial resources as well,” Kvirikashvili explained.

He added the changes are necessary in this direction and did not exclude that some legislative changes may also be initiated.

The PM added only the families which have high income should pay for the kindergarten but added that no further details have been elaborated yet.

"I'm sure we will find a way to satisfy the growing demand for kindergartens and on the other hand, we will introduce some mechanisms, that will define who should pay the kindergarten fee,” Kvirikashvili stated, adding these mechanisms will also raise the standards of service at state kindergartens.

Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze says the idea is too young and any comments would be inappropriate yet.

Kaladze said more details will be known after the consultations are launched over the issue.

“We will find the best solution. This sphere really needs a reform. We will soon present the plan what changes are going to be carried out,” he said.

Kakha Gvantseladze, the Head of the kindergarten management agency, says nothing is dependent on him, as the decisions are made by the government.

“We have no right to make any decisions over the issue. We are just the executive branch. As the PM noted, this is only the idea yet. When the government makes relevant changes, we will implement them,” Gvantseladze told reporters.

Kvirikashvili’s initiative over introducing payment at kindergartens was followed by harsh criticism from the society and parents of children.

“I have three kids and all of them go to the state kindergarten. If the government introduces payment, I think I will not be able to pay it. Many other parents are also in my condition,” Rusudan Korkishvili, a mother of three said.

Free of charge state kindergartens was the main pre-election promise of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, which came to power in 2012.