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Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 5 11. February 2020 All-day childcare for primary school children

The institutional care of children of primary school age in Germany takes places in the interplay of compulsory school attendance, further (care) offers of the schools as well as state and state-sponsored extra-curricular care offers, such as after-school care.

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All-day childcare for primary school children
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 5 11. February 2020

All-day childcare for primary school children

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The institutional care of children of primary school age in Germany takes places in the interplay of compulsory school attendance, further (care) offers of the schools as well as state and state-sponsored extra-curricular care offers, such as after-school care.

Therefore, these three domains of institutional care must be considered together to make accurate statements about the care situation. According to the official statistics, however, it can only be ascertained that in the past few years both school and out-of-school care have been heavily expanded and that, in 2017, around 41.9 percent of all students of primary school age have visited all-day schools and 23.0 percent after-school care centers. Some students visit both, leading to the fact that the overall share in all-day care is lower than the sum of both offers. According to the information in the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), this share was around 60.1 percent in 2017. The gap between the actual places offered and the wishes of the parents amounts to around 7 percent according to the Childcare Study (KiBS). This corresponds to 209,000 places in all-day care. A multivariate analysis based on the SOEP moreover shows that primary school children with a migration background and from families receiving unemployment benefit II, as well as children with (full-time) working mothers and families with high incomes particularly often receive all-day care. However, the former are more often found in all-day schools while the latter visit more often day-care centers and comparable institutions.

Supply rates of all-day schools differ across German federal states. While Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia offer nearly a full supply of all-day care, it only covers one third of all children in Baden-Württemberg (at the maximum). Schleswig-Holstein reaches a coverage of two fifths and Bavaria one half, respectively. Moreover, parents in Brandenburg, Hamburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia are already legally entitled to an all-day place. A nationwide introduction of a legal entitlement will require amendments at the state level as the day care systems differ across states and the states, have the sole responsibility for schools.  

Looking at the organization of all-day care, the situation in day care centers is good. Most of them have opening times until 4:30 p.m. at least and the number of children per caregiver amounts to 11.3 or 9.4 children per full-time equivalents. This is much lower than the average class size in primary schools which amounts to 20.9 children per class and a student-teacher ratio of 16.2. Due to insufficient data, the situation in all-day schools is unclear. However, the study on the development of all-day schools (StEG) allows concluding that the total childcare time there amounts to more than 40 hours per week on average. It is more problematic that the StEG indicates a decline in the variety of offers. According to the information provided by the parents in the SOEP, the median of the cost of school attendance is 30 euros for an all-day school, 41 euros for a day care center or a comparable institution, and 60 euros for both, which is much lower than the median costs for nurseries.

 

 

 

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All-day childcare for primary school children
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 5 11. February 2020

Wido Geis-Thöne: Ganztagsbetreuung von Grundschulkindern – Eine Übersicht zum aktuellen Stand

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Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 5 11. February 2020

All-day childcare for primary school children

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