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Educator with Children (1963)

Educators are educational specialists who have completed training at a technical school , a technical academy or a vocational college . Kindergarten teacher, on the other hand, is a profession that is still partly in use in Germany, but outdated. By framework agreements of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs from 1967, the previously separate training courses for kindergarten teachers , after-school care workers and youth and home educators were combined, standardized and the field of activity significantly expanded.

In Germany, 417,475 educators were employed in day-care centers in 2018. The proportion of men in work was 5.2 percent in 2016. Because of the low proportion of men in the professional field, often only the feminine form of educator is used.

On average, nine children are currently being looked after by one pedagogical specialist in kindergarten (as of 2017).

However, educators are not only qualified to work with children, but can also work with young people, adults or disabled people of any age, whereby an individual focus can be set partly by choosing the training facility or internship , but this is not binding for further professional development is.

The ISCED classification is 4A or, if the course has more than 2,400 teaching hours, 5B.

The German Qualifications Framework (DQR) classifies a “state-approved educator” in DQR qualification level 6 if the training comprises at least 2,400 teaching hours and 1,200 hours of practical experience. The DQR is of an advisory nature.


The training in Germany is organized very differently from the countries . As a rule, the prerequisite is a qualified lower secondary school qualification ( secondary school qualification , middle school leaving certificate ) or an equivalent qualification and initial vocational training.

Depending on the federal state, the training takes place at technical schools for social pedagogy , specialist academies for social pedagogy , high school centers or vocational schools for social affairs or vocational colleges and is therefore school-based training that can be promoted according to the laws of the Advancement Training Assistance Act . It is also offered part-time by independent providers . State recognition as an educator can also be obtained after successfully completing the non-pupil examination after self-study .

The duration of the training varies, depending on the country and previous education or practical experience, between two and five years. In some federal states, the training is divided into a one to two year pre-study internship with theoretical components followed by a two-year full-time school visit and a final year of recognition . Other German countries regulate training through purely school-based training with integrated, longer-lasting internships. For individual federal states, prior training as a social assistant or nanny is mandatory for admission to the corresponding school .

In many countries, additional courses can be used to obtain the advanced technical college entrance qualification or the Abitur .

In addition, in the spring of 2015 there were 89 Bachelor's and eleven Master's degrees for working with children in Germany. In 2013 there were 1,687 graduates of childhood education bachelor programs in Germany. Graduates from these courses are not called educators , but are childhood educators .


Fine motor skills exercises
Exercises for social collaboration

The content of the training varies greatly from region to region and can include the following subjects, possibly in combination with one another or across subjects:

Pedagogy , psychology , sociology , didactics and methodology of socio-pedagogical practice, special pedagogy or curative pedagogy , children's and youth literature, youth law and family law , media education , music education , movement theory, rhythm , basic medical knowledge or health theory, art and craft education, political and social aspects , Religious teaching or religious education as well as practical guidance, for example in conducting discussions or forms of supervision. During the training, the profile of the school or the selection of internships can be used to specialize in a certain field of practice or a certain clientele, such as work in kindergarten , in after-school care or in the area of home education .

The training ends with state recognition, which - despite the differences in training courses - is recognized by all federal states.

Core competencies

As part of the training, the following core social pedagogical competencies must be qualitatively increased:

Ability to

  • Observation and analysis
  • educational relationship building
  • Cooperation in a team as well as with parents and other people involved in upbringing
  • critical reflection on oneself and the underlying values ​​and images of people
  • Planning, implementation and evaluation of educational processes
  • conceptual work
  • Design of business processes in socio-educational institutions

further education

Trained educators have various options for further training after completing their training, during or before their first professional experience. A distinction is made here between specialization training and advancement training. Specialization courses serve to adapt knowledge to the actual activity, for example if a certain area within the training was not a focus. Advancement training serves to qualify for activities that are located at the organizational or management level, for example the management of a socio-educational institution, or for activities that have their own, different professional title, for example motopädin / motopädin .

Specialization training

The possible contents of specialization courses partly coincide with the possible contents of the basic training (selection):

  • Education, pedagogy - in general
  • Education, early and pre-school education
  • Home education
  • After-school care
  • Parental advice, parental work, parenting advice
  • Youth work, youth welfare
  • Sports and games
  • Music education
  • Cooking, dieting, nutrition, housekeeping
  • Hygiene - specialist training
  • Social work, social pedagogy - in general
  • Developmental psychology

Advancement training

In terms of advancement training, educators can consider further training (with certification degrees) on the one hand, and part-time study programs on the other.

The offers with a continuing education character include (selection):

  • Specialist for education
  • State-certified business administrator for organization and leadership, with a focus on social education
  • Business economist for social affairs (technical college)
  • Specialist teacher at special schools (state-certified)
  • Motopedist (technical school)
  • State-recognized special education teacher
  • State-recognized curative pedagogue
  • Quality representative / quality representative in health and social services

For some years now, it has also been possible to take (part-time) courses that specialize in the further academic qualification of educators. Offers with very different emphases can be selected (selection):

Examples for the focus on (early) education:

  • Elementary education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Upbringing and education in childhood

Examples of focus management and leadership of educational institutions:

  • Extra-occupational offers, for example educational management
  • pure distance learning, for example early childhood education - direction and management of day-care centers

Fields of work

Fields of work in which educators are traditionally active are day nurseries , kindergartens, after-school care centers, day-care centers, integrated kindergartens and after- school care centers, all-day schools , facilities for the disabled, open child and youth work as well as child and youth welfare facilities (homes) and child and youth leisure facilities . There are also work places in hospitals and rarely in senior work .

The fields of activity of educators are very diverse. Above all, they include the supervision, upbringing, education, care and care of children and young people. In addition, there is cooperation with parents , teachers and other contact persons for clients and offices (especially the youth welfare office ) and, in the case of church sponsors, also with the church community .

The participation of the children (participation according to their age and level of development) must also be taken into account in all activities. In addition, since PISA / IGLU and the educational plans of the federal states, the educational mandate of the respective institution has moved more into focus. In the area of ​​day-care centers in particular, children should be explicitly supported in their self- education processes.

The job prospects vary from region to region. Abroad, trained educators and interns can work in German-speaking kindergartens. Despite falling birth rates , the need for educators is increasing due to the conversion from half-day to full-day schools and the expansion of preschool childcare options, so that there is a shortage of educational staff in some regions.

Educators in a European comparison

Duration of the educator training
country Type of training
5 years of study
5 years of study
5 years of study
2- or 3-year training a
Great Britain
1-year vocational school
Educator training in a European comparison (as of 2015).
a As a rule, initial vocational training is required
so that the entire training period is 4 or 5 years.
Educator payment (entry)
country salary
€ 2,300
€ 2,000
€ 1,667
Great Britain
€ 1,583 - € 1,916
Educator pay in a European comparison (as of 2015)

All graphics are based on data from the articles “Childcare - Daycare is no fun either” and “Neighboring countries pay that much - being an educator is not worthwhile”.

Educator payment (with professional experience)
country salary
€ 3,600
€ 3,200
Great Britain
€ 2,916
€ 2,800
€ 2,333
Educator pay in a European comparison (as of 2015).
  • Germany: after 26 years of professional experience;
  • France: after 30 years of professional experience;
  • Italy: after 35 years of professional experience.



According to the nationwide applicable TVöD-SuE, educators who are employed in a facility of a communal provider are either grouped into pay groups S6 or S8. Private providers decide for themselves whether the payment of an educator is based on a collective agreement such as TVöD-SuE, TV-AVH, etc. or whether their own payment model is used. More details on payment can be found in the article Social and educational services .

According to TVöD-SuE, job starters in tariff group S6 earn EUR 2,366.68 gross per month (as of March 1, 2015). In the S8 tariff group, newcomers to the profession earn EUR 2,478.17 gross. After 17 years in the profession, the highest salary level is usually reached for educators in S6 (26 years for educators in S8). According to TVöD-SuE, educators in S6 earn 3,289.06 euros gross, in S8 3,732.33 euros gross.

In 2014, full-time educators in western Germany earned an average of 2953 euros gross, in eastern Germany 2765 euros. The average wage is significantly lower, as kindergarten teachers mostly work part-time. The median gross income in 2000 was EUR 2,245; in 2010 it was EUR 2,630. According to the FAZ, educators in Germany typically earn between 2,300 and 3,600 euros gross per month, depending on their professional experience, position and location (as of May 2015).


Since 2008, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been regularly investigating the early childhood education, care and upbringing systems in Germany based on statistical data from the federal and state governments. In a comparison between 2013 and 2019, the childcare ratio improved nationwide from an average of 9.6 to 8.9 children (for children under three from 4.6 to 4.2). In 2019, Baden-Württemberg led the way , in which the experts found the required childcare ratio of 1 to 7 (for children under three, from 1 to 3), while in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , for example, there were twice as many children for one educator. In general, the childcare ratio is better in the west than in the east.


In Switzerland, a similar training is as Dipl. Children educator / -in HF offered.


About two thirds of all institutions are state-run. Around one in ten children are looked after under the age of three. Most children are cared for from the age of three. “The state scuola materna ” or Scuola dell'Infanzia “is free from the age of three.” A daycare place costs parents an average of 309 euros per month.


For the care of children in the day nursery, a qualification “from a higher school with an educational focus” is required. After five years of study in educational science, you can become an educator.


The gross salary ranges between around 20,000 euros (1,667 euros per month) in the first year of employment and around 28,000 euros (2,333 euros per month) with 35 years of professional experience. "Elementary school teachers earn the same salary", while teachers at the grammar school earn "up to 5,000 euros more per year".


The école maternelle is regarded as preparatory to school attendance. Children from the age of two can attend the école, from the age of three every child goes to the école. The care is free of charge. Parents pay additional services “like longer care in the afternoon” out of their own pocket.


Assistants have completed training. After studying (including a special course in early childhood education), the instituteurs or professeur des écoles can teach in both primary and kindergarten.


Job starters earn around 2,000 euros per month and up to “3,200 euros after 30 years of professional experience”.


The municipalities must offer a place in a förskolor for every child between the ages of one and five . Working or studying parents must be offered a place by the responsible municipality within four months of registering. The parental contribution is set by the municipality, whereby the contribution may not exceed 3% of the income or € 140 per month.


Assistants have graduated from high school in education. You become a Förskollärare (pre-school teacher) and thus a pedagogical specialist after five years of study.


Förskollärare earn around SEK 26,100 a month (around EUR 2,800), around EUR 100 less than primary school teachers.

Great Britain

A state full-time daycare place costs the parents 920 to 1,600 pounds (in September 2015 this corresponds to around 1,250 to 2,170 euros) per month. If the child is three years old, the parents receive 15 free hours per week. The child starts preschool at the age of four.


Many daycare educators have completed a one-year course system at a vocational school. An alternative career as a very well paid nanny for rich elites depends on the reputation of the (private) college attended. A year at college can easily cost up to 17,000 euros.


Trained pre-school educators in state day-care centers earn an average of between 19,000 and 23,000 euros per year (approximately between 1,583 and 1,916 euros per month). Private carriers pay around 35,000 euros annually or around 2,916 euros a month.

Historical background

Educational institutions are among the oldest social institutions, for example in the form of orphanages. Later, reformatories and workhouses added, which were primarily the custody and punishment. In bourgeois houses, educators were also employed to look after and educate the children. With the bourgeois Enlightenment, a glorified image of childhood was represented from today's point of view and the attitude that with upbringing you can make practically anything out of a person. With this in mind, the kindergarten was developed as a new institution.

Up until the 19th century, public education was often so cruel that it would now be criminalized as abuse. With the reform pedagogy of the early 20th century, a new direction gradually emerged. The upbringing should start from the child. Later, anti-authoritarian and democratic approaches to education were developed. Until the 1960s, educators were almost exclusively employed in kindergartens and after-school care centers. In the period that followed, the training was introduced nationwide with the qualification of state-recognized educators , and the possible areas of application expanded significantly.

See also


  • Hartmut Böcher (Hrsg.), Britta Ellinghaus and others: Educate, educate and accompany - The textbook for educators . Bildungsverlag Eins, Troisdorf 2010, ISBN 978-3-427-40275-6
  • Angelika Diller, Thomas Rauschenbach (Ed.): Reform or end of teacher training? Contributions to a controversial technical debate . VS Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-87966-434-X
  • Sigrid Ebert: Educator - A job in the area of ​​tension between society and politics . Herder, Freiburg 2006.
  • Norbert Kühne : Basic knowledge of psychology - for the initial socio-educational training, Bildungsverlag Eins, No. 04160, Troisdorf 2009, ISBN 978-3-427-04160-3
  • Norbert Kühne, Yvonne Wagner: Basic knowledge education - for the socio-educational initial training, Bildungsverlag EINS, Troisdorf 2009, ISBN 978-3-427-04161-0
  • Horst Küppers, Hermann Schulz, Peter Thiesen: Irrweg learning field conception in the teacher training in "small & large", Munich 12/2014.
  • Pamela Oberhuemer: Childcare in Europe . Beltz-Verlag, Weinheim u. a. 1997, ISBN 3-407-55789-2 .
  • Peter Thiesen: The survival book for educators. Successfully surviving everyday working life . Lambertus, Freiburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-7841-1529-0

Web links

Commons : Kindergarten  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Educator  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The educational profession in its historical development
  2. Federal Statistical Office: Employees in day-care centers in 2017 and 2018 according to selected characteristics . Accessed January 31, 2019.
  3. Spiegel Online: The proportion of men crawls to 5.2 percent . Accessed January 31, 2019.
  4. ^ The job of educator. Retrieved November 27, 2017 .
  5. ↑ Qualified staff in day-care centers in the European Union: training and fields of work (PDF; 726 kB)
  6. German qualifications framework. (PDF; 1,019 kB) List of the assigned qualifications - updated: August 1, 2014. In: . August 1, 2014, accessed June 16, 2015 .
  7. AG FakS Bayern | Training . Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  8. ↑ Become an educator in Lower Saxony | Admission requirements . Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  9. a b c Corinna Budras: Child care - daycare is no fun either . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung . No. 19 , May 10, 2015, p. 19 ( ).
  10. Norbert Kühne , Peter Wenzel: Practice Book Pedagogy: Observing, Planning, Education. Stam Verlag, Cologne 2000, pp. 1-14, 27-38, 39-52
  11. Directory of German Kindergartens Abroad (VDKA), Foreign Kindergarten Review 2014/15
  12. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Dagmar Seeland, Margharete Bettoni: Kitastreik in Germany. The neighboring countries pay that much - being an educator is not worth it. In: . May 8, 2015, accessed August 26, 2015 .
  13. ^ AVH: Collective agreement for the Labor Law Association Hamburg eV (TV-AVH). (PDF; 107 kB) Special section administration (BT-V) of September 19, 2005 in the version of the amendment of collective agreement No. 17 of April 1, 2014. (No longer available online.) In: http: //www.av- . June 30, 2010, archived from the original on September 23, 2015 ; accessed on June 8, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. Susmita Arp, Miriam Olbrisch: Only a smile as a reward . In: Der Spiegel . No. 47 , 2017, p. 54-55 ( online ).
  15. Anna Lehmann: Daycare in a country comparison: Thousands of educators are missing. In: The daily newspaper. September 26, 2019, accessed October 10, 2019 .