MOSCOW, March 21 (Itar-Tass) — A total of 2,186,000 children in Russia have queued up in a line to kindergartens, Chief of the Russian Consumer Rights Watchdog ( Rospotrebnadzor) Gennady Onishchenko admitted at a press conference on Wednesday. The number of children of pre-school age who go to kindergartens has gone up by 400,000 over the past two years, Onishchenko said.
He reminded of subsidies paid to families with children who have no kindergarten opportunities. Onishchenko admitted there is a big number of families in Russia who cannot afford kindergartens for their children. In the Central Federal District such families make up around 12 percent, including 2. 5 percent in Moscow, 3 percent in the Tambov region, 3.9 percent in the Tver region, he said.
The longest queues to kindergartens are in the Siberian Federal District, Onishchenko said. In a number of regions, in particular, the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous region, the Sverdlovsk region, the Sakhalin region and Kamchatka, the shortage of kindergartens considerably exceeds the average statistics, Onishchenko said.
The Rospotrebnadzor chief also focused on rather poor conditions at kindergartens, saying that 4 percent of all the kindergartens need capital overhaul and 32 percent of them need "cosmetic" repairs.
Quoting the results of Wednesday's Intercom conference, Onishchenko declared that regions are taking measures to improve the conditions at kindergartens. For example, the Sverdlovsk region has allocated 19 billion roubles for the construction and reconstruction of kindergartens, Onishchenko said.