Malmö faces daycare shortage despite building ten new centres

Malmö faces daycare shortage despite building ten new centres
Toddlers in Sweden. File photo: Martin Svalander/Imagebank Sweden
Malmö is once again struggling to provide daycare places close to where families live, despite plans to open ten new kindergartens this year and the next.
The worst affected area is the Innerstaden neighbourhood, which stretches from the harbour right up to the edge of the district of Rosengård. 
Between January and March, only half of parents living in this area received a place for their children in one of the kindergartens they had asked for, and some children were placed more than three kilometres away from their home. 
“The reason is that there has been a large increase in the number of children in parts of the city which are already build, for example in the centre,”  Göran Ernström, head of Malmö's daycare department, told The Local. 
“It's obviously extremely hard to build new kindergartens where there aren't any free plots of ground, especially when you take into account the need to have outdoor spaces for a kindergarten.” 
He said that Malmö had built spaces for 5,000 children since his department was launched in 2013, half of which simply replaced spaces in kindergartens being shut down. 
“We have been forced to leave locations because many had only received temporary building permission and their time ran out.  We also had locations which were borrowed from the Primary Schools Department, which we have had to return one by one.” 
He said the department had been forced to build kindergartens in areas where they could find suitable plots, even if there were not many families with young children in the area, meaning travel times had increased for many parents. 
“We have been forced to build kindergartens in other parts of the town than those where the need is greatest, and that's the biggest reason that the geographical imbalance remains.” 
Olof Thalberg Adegran, who lives near Folkets Park in the Möllevången area, told state radio broadcaster SR that his daughter Selma had been placed in Fosie, around half an hour away by public transport.
Ernström stressed that the situation had improved from 2014 when some parents were not provided with a kindergarten place within the four months limit set by the government. 

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