Update on Gan Finances

This is what the ganenet (kindergarten teacher) asked for from the parents: A dollar is 4.5 to 5 New Israeli Shekalim. Amounts are in shekalim.

  • 220: Weekly exercise class, in the gan.
  • 60: Photocopies
  • 35: Embroidered towel
  • 80: End of year gifts and pictures
  • 80: “Sal tarbut” (culture basket) –a group of three plays sponsored by the municipality.
  • An NIS 1.5 gift that each child brings for children celebrating their birthday. In other words, I need to keep 28 identical gifts at home for my child to bring to the birthday children.

Total: 500+.

Frankly, this ganenet’s requests are quite modest. In the past I have had to bring toilet paper, disposable cups, paper towels, and have also been asked to subsidize an air-conditioner and library books. The biggest fight was over a science class. If I recall correctly it cost about NIS 300 plus transportation, for eight sessions. And it required parent volunteers. Based on the parents’ reaction to it being cancelled, you would have thought that not attending would destroyed their child’s chances for admission to medical school. The ganenet told me that the city doesn’t let the parents choose more than one class (!). The city should not allow any. Their policy is that 100% of the parents have to agree, and this puts pressure on the parents who don’t want it. I had already decided to give in on this issue.

Now here’s where it gets really interesting. The gan gets a certain amount of money per child for food and other expenses. The ganenet says that she is able to save about a third of the money by shopping wisely, but the parents have to sign saying that they know that extra money will be used for supplies. It comes out to NIS 800 (!!!!!) a month, although there is no guarantee that that will be the case this year. I asked her why the photocopying, for example, could not be taken out of this. She said, “Don’t pay for that.” As I discussed my objections with her she kept saying that if there was a problem she could arrange a discount etc. Sephardi Lady, maybe you can articulate for me why this was so annoying.

And she can’t let go of the gift problem. She is extremely concerned that my son will suffer by not getting a gift. I don’t know how to explain to her how ridiculous that is, knowing my son. I may have to wrap up something to give him that day, just to appease her. But wait, then the other children might be jealous when they see that my son got something different!! She didn’t think of that. I guess nothing can beat an embroidered towel.


  1. My daughter’s gan has 400 for supplies, 400 for enrichment class (chug) 100 for the new air conditioner and 150 for birthday expenses.

    Total: 1050….I think you are doing better than I am!

  2. mother in israel says

    My sympathies. Can I ask how old your daughter is and whether she is in a public or a private gan? Parents in a public gan are under no obligation to pay anything except the normal fees that go directly to the municipality.

    By the way, thanks for adding me to your blogroll!!

  3. SephardiLady says

    She said, “Don’t pay for that.” As I discussed my objections with her she kept saying that if there was a problem she could arrange a discount etc. Sephardi Lady, maybe you can articulate for me why this was so annoying.

    It is so strange to me that the gananet can’t pay for the gifts if she is saving the food money (it sounds like it is the school’s to keep).

    It seems to me there is a philosophy that parents SHOULD pay for this, that, and the other thing, even IF the money is available.

    I think it would be better to involve the parents in the budget and use the class funds to buy everyone the same thing, rather than pressure parents to do so.

  4. mother in israel says

    When my husband suggested that, she said that there was no guarantee that she would be able to save so much, so they couldn’t count on it for the exercise class for example. That’s fair enough. But she also implied that she could just go to the local “makolet” (higher-priced corner grocery) to buy the food and didn’t have to make the effort to save money. She is doing us a favor, and she wants to decide where the money goes. You can buy an awful lot of supplies for NIS800/month. My husband said, half seriously, that we should pay her to get the bargains and she can give us back the extra money.

  5. Apparently the local gan in my neighborhood is 1400 shek a month. For babies.

  6. mother in israel says

    I think you are talking about daycare. My gan has both four and five-year-olds. Five-year-olds are covered by the government as part of mandatory education. We still pay the city NIS 1075 annually for food, insurance and an accordionist. Four-year-olds pay about NIS 850 a month, and we lose during strikes as one worker is from the education ministry and one from the city. We don’t get reimbursed for strike days. If the city goes on strike (the helper), parents are pressured to volunteer to keep the gan open. The ganenet already had the parents write down what days they are able to volunteer. The city workers go on strike frequently. Anyway that’s one reason why my son was home last year!! Full-time daycare, with lunch and school holidays including chol hamoed, costs what you said so it is really ridiculous for the city to be charging so much.

  7. BagelUndertheCouch says

    gaaaaah, one more reason not to have kids!!!!

  8. mother in israel says

    I like your blog!!

    There is no rational reason for having children.

  9. The gan is a public gan. In a more fancy neighborhood of Jerusalem–although I can’t say the people are so fancy. 🙂

    Also it is “mamlachti-dati” which in this area means more mamlachti and less dati on the part of the students….at least the teacher really is religious.

  10. mother in israel says

    Hi again Safranit,

    The situation is more or less the same around here, although in my gan most of the parents seem to be observant. There is a massive movement of children from the mamlachti dati (mamad) to haredi “Agudah” or “Neshei Agudah” ganim as well as to the “mechinot” ganim for 5yos in the private schools (these would require transportation for me). I imagine it’s the same in Jerusalem. I heard, by the way, that I would get a discount in the haredi ganim based solely on the number of children I have, as opposed to the public mamad gan where I guess fortunately our income per family is too high. This year there is technically no tuition as it’s already mandatory public education so it’s not relevant.

    As I wrote in an earlier post, the ganenet is the one who has the pull regarding expenses. If she wants a lot of extras she asks for them and garners support from parents who want these things for their children. In a previous gan the ganenet would hand-pick the parents’ committee.

  11. I send my daughter to a half private/half publich gan. I pay an extra 700 sheckel a month to the amuta, and the regular 600 to the iriya. we didn’t have any of these fights, since it’s assumed that if we are sending to a private gan, we trust the gan to spend accordingly.

    safranit- that fee must include zaharon in the afternoon. All public gans cost the same 650 a month.

  12. mother in israel says

    Hi Abbi and welcome,
    I am pretty sure that Safranit is talking about one-time fees, not monthly. She pays 1050 for the year on top of her monthly fees to the city.

    Our town has a few “tzaharonim,” (after-school centers) placed in ganim, and run by the city. Actually, for all I know they are run by an amuta (registered private entity) but I doubt it. A van comes at the end of the day and picks up 8 or 9 children.