Day care

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Crèche children eating
Child care in a mixed-age group

Child day care , short- day care , including all-day care is a collective term for all forms of care for children outside the family.

The child care is to be understood as collective term for the care, supervising activity adult towards children. Today, in addition to care in the family, by parents, siblings, grandparents and so on, or by daycare workers ( child minders , childminders, childcare workers) or nannies (including au pairs ), the form of public or privately organized childcare in day care centers , day nurseries and through Child day care predominant. In Austria and Switzerland, the term “child care” or “day care outside the family” is also used for this. Occasionally the term “external care” occurs, but it is often used in a negative context.

Securing the care rooms as protection zones in which the children can move freely from serious danger, the provision of physical needs such as food and drink, sleep and relaxation, and a minimal amount of emotional attention are prerequisites for education and upbringing.

The controversies surrounding public childcare are political, ideological and professional. Attitudes towards caring for children vary considerably from state to state.

Concept and goals

Child day care is understood to be a supplement to parental upbringing. It has a double role; On the one hand, it should promote the development and education of children, and on the other hand, it should enable parents to work. The two aspects of being an educational institution and a custody institution shaped the historical development of the kindergarten and were often seen as opposites that could also be expressed in different institutions for different social classes. Today, both aspects are viewed as a unit, which are lifted in the triad of upbringing, education and care.

The OECD country report on the policy of early childhood care, education and upbringing in the Federal Republic of Germany from 2004 emphasizes this socio-educational profile as characteristic of German child day care; a characterization that can also apply to Austria and Switzerland:

“For the educator who works with the whole child, the elements of the original German educational concept of care, education and upbringing are closely linked. Indeed, they are inseparable activities in daily work. These are not independent areas that have to be put together, but rather connected parts of a child's life. "

- (margin no. 44)

In Austria the term child care is also common, while in the school sector one speaks specifically of all-day care or afternoon care .

In Switzerland, the term “ day care outside the family” or “ day care supplementary to the family” is used to ensure that the concept is differentiated from the traditional care of children by the mothers or fathers at home.

to form

Day care includes, mostly with the exception of school lessons , boarding schools and the children's home :

Childcare facilities are set up and supported by state, municipal and independent providers. Traditionally, day care is also an area of ​​activity for church and charitable associations.

Child day care workers are also referred to parents who are absent for work or who are looking for home care for a sick child as part of company measures to reconcile family and work.

All-day school care

Under day care or full day care means a range of services to schools or out of school in which students around the circumference of school education also within the working hours are managed. It is partly an alternative concept for all-day school to prevent children toiling parents (respectively parent families) in the free time without supervision , are part of these types of schools. The lesson times that end around or after noon in regular school are primarily afternoon care , but they can also include other times.

Day care usually includes an individual learning part for homework , material repetitions and school preparations, possibly also tutoring , and supervised leisure time including meals .

A distinction is made between the open all-day school and the closed all-day school (compulsory per class).

Situation by country

European Union: Barcelona goals

The Barcelona European Council in March 2002 called for two goals, which have become known as the Barcelona goals . Member States should

  • “Remove barriers that prevent women from participating in the labor force” and
  • "Strive to provide childcare places for at least 90% of children between the ages of three and compulsory school age and for at least 33% of children under three years of age in accordance with the demand for childcare facilities and in accordance with national provisions for care provision by 2010" .

These goals are part of the European growth and jobs strategy . They are designed to increase the employment rate of young parents and contribute to gender equality . The European Commission also confirmed in its “ Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men (2006-10) ” that it supports the achievement of the Barcelona goals. In a report dated October 3, 2008, the Commission criticized the high price of childcare and its failure to adapt to the needs of parents who worked full-time or had atypical working hours. At the same time, the commission stressed that the quality of the care facilities must be increased. This also includes improved training, greater social appreciation and better remuneration for the care staff.


Legal bases

In Germany, child day care is the publicly organized and financed support of children in institutions in which they spend part of the day or all of the day and are supported in groups, or child day care. Children are everyone who is not yet 14 years old. Child day care is part of child and youth welfare and is not, as in some other countries, part of the school or health system. Their legal basis are found in the §§ 22 et seq. Of the Eighth Book of the Social Code and the implementing laws of the countries. The day-care center laws of the federal states regulate facts not covered by federal law or determine general federal regulations in more detail. The German Education Server and the German Youth Institute offer a comprehensive overview : number mirror 2005.

According to Section 22 of Book VIII of the Social Code, child day care encompasses the upbringing, education and care of children in institutions ( day care centers ) or in day care ( child minders) with regard to the social, emotional, physical and mental development of the child into an independent and socially competent personality. It is intended to support and supplement the upbringing and education in the family and to help parents to better combine gainful employment and bringing up children.

Since 1996, according to Section 24, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 of Book VIII of the Social Code, children from the age of 3 up to school entry have a legal right to attend a day care facility (kindergarten place). According to Section 24a of Book VIII of the Social Code, the support offer is to be gradually expanded by summer 2013, including for children under three years of age, before every child who has reached the age of one to start school has a legal right to support in a day-care center or day care from August 1, 2013 will have. There is a controversial assessment of whether there is a right to a daycare facility close to home.

In the transition period, especially those under three-year-olds whose parents are working or starting a job, or who are in training or further education or are studying, should be supported. In addition, the public youth welfare organizations are obliged to provide space for small children and school-age children up to 13 years of age, without this being associated with an individual legal right to a childcare place. The actual opportunity for children of school age or toddler age to get a place in day care is still extremely limited in many areas. Only in the eastern federal states and the large cities in the west are there already significant places for younger and older children.

As a result of the discussions about the school performance of German pupils ( PISA studies ), early childhood education also came increasingly into focus. The education plans of the federal states, which have been created since 2003, are an expression of the endeavor to improve and strengthen early education in child day care - but without giving up the right to holistic support for the development of the child. The Federal Child Promotion Act has been in force since December 2008 , and from August 1, 2013 provides for a legal right to a childcare place for children from the age of one.

The daycare laws of the federal states include:

Discussion about day nurseries

While care in kindergarten is generally accepted in Germany from the age of 3, there is disagreement about the advantages and disadvantages of looking after small children in day nurseries and day care centers for children under 3 years of age. Critics of day nurseries and day care centers, such as the family network , argue that it is usually the parents, with whom a very long and trusting relationship has been built, who can best promote the child's emotional, mental and social development.

The German Psychoanalytical Association takes the view, "the younger the child, the lower its understanding of language and time, the shorter the period of acclimatization when accompanied by the parents, the longer the daily stay in the daycare center, the larger the daycare group and the more variable the care, the more serious is the possible endangerment of his mental health. ” Day mothers are often not a better alternative to the day nursery, since in practice there is a change of day care provider more often than expected. Conflicts between the parents and the childminder also arise more often (than in other forms of care). Quote:

“In many studies it has been shown that it makes a significant difference in developmental psychology whether a child is looked after at one year old, at one and a half or two years of age, and how many hours a day it is used. The longer the daily care lasts separately from the parents, the higher the levels of the stress hormone cortisol , for example, can be detected in the child's organism. This explains the connection between long, i.e. all-day care, outside the family and later aggressive behavior in school, which was found in longitudinal studies. Other decisive factors for the quality of daycare are the group size and staff turnover. Too large groups or frequent staff changes make it impossible for the child to form secure bonds; they can cause social withdrawal or, in the course of its development, lead to inner restlessness, attention disorders and lack of concentration. "

- Expansion of the crèche in Germany - Psychoanalysts take a position, memorandum of the German Psychoanalytic Association

Childcare costs

The cost of using a childcare facility is very uneven. They are subject to the sponsors of the institution or the fee statutes of the respective municipality. There are income-independent childcare costs and so-called “socially” graded childcare costs. The latter are primarily based on the parents' taxable income. The fee statutes vary in the number of income groups, the graduation according to income, the hours of care, as well as the additional services (early and late shift, meal allowance) or the reductions (siblings). There are no standards with regard to the design of these fee statutes, which makes a comparison difficult. A regular nationwide comparison is the INSM Kindergarten Monitor, which annually converts and compares the comparison values ​​for four model cases for a large number of cities. Childcare costs are largely tax-deductible for children up to the age of 14. The limit for tax-deductible childcare costs is 4,000 euros per calendar year per child for kindergarten, childminder or babysitter.

child protection

Anyone looking after schoolchildren in Germany can be asked to show an extended certificate of good conduct . According to Section 72a of Book VIII of the Social Code, the public youth welfare organizations should have an extended certificate of good conduct presented to them when they are hired or placed and later at regular intervals. However, it is a target regulation (not a mandatory regulation), which allows the youth welfare organizations their own discretion. In Berlin, for example, no exceptions have been made for retired educators since 2013.

After the scandals surrounding sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church , the “Framework for Prevention of Sexualized Violence against Minors and Adults under Protection” of the German Bishops' Conference applies to Catholic organizations . It says: “Employees must present an extended certificate of good conduct in accordance with legal and labor regulations. There is an obligation to present an extended certificate of good conduct for volunteers, as far as the legal regulations of the respective federal state determine it. "

The Central Council of Muslims has signed an agreement according to media reports, all committed caregivers of children to present a certificate of good conduct. According to media research, other Muslim associations are also open to the conclusion of such an agreement.


In Austria, the regulation of the kindergarten and after-school care system falls under the exclusive competence of the federal states . Besides being Tagesmutter beings as well as the care of small children in part, partially regulated in youth welfare legislation in particular child care or day care laws. As a result, apart from training regulations for specialist staff, no Austria-wide quality standards apply. In the individual laws and ordinances of the federal states, however, approval requirements, for example size and equipment of the rooms, group size, qualifications of the carers, are regulated for childcare facilities. The operation of a care facility or the activity as a childminder requires an official permit.

Schools in Austria are not obliged to supervise the pupils in the timetable after the end of lessons. Since the introduction of a general all-day school has so far not been politically accepted, several forms have developed in the school area:

  • All-day school types - schools that regularly offer paid day care; these are available at the compulsory schools (elementary, special, secondary / new middle school and polytechnic) as well as at the lower level of the AHS (grammar school) and the BMS / BHS .
    • All-day school (interlinked school form) - model with a timetable distributed throughout the day and compulsory attendance for both teaching and supervision
    • Open school model with an offer for one part of care; Students do not have to attend
    • Campus - care model with a focus on sport and music, networking with the affiliated kindergarten
  • Further offers are, for example, the learning and leisure club that is offered in the city of Vienna, or after-school care centers , which are also partly run by the federal states, partly by municipalities, partly by private organizations such as aid organizations or Caritas .

In addition, the introduction of the five-day week in schools has generally increased afternoon classes, for example in 2015 the last grammar school in Austria (the Wiener Neustadt military high school ) abolished Saturday classes.

Care is generally also possible or even planned on days off school , such as Saturday, as well as during the semester , Easter and main holidays . Most of the time there are discounts on the parental contribution for socially disadvantaged families.

The expansion of all-day care has been accelerated in recent years, with the federal government providing 15 million euros annually as start-up funding from 2012. By 2015, according to plan, afternoon care should be offered at half of all schools. The care than for the school provider is responsible, the federal government, the cost in human resources for individual schools usually via 15a agreement funded by the state.


In Switzerland, in addition to the public variants, there are numerous forms of child day care organized and financed by private individuals, clubs, associations, companies and churches.

The day care centers, day kindergartens and day schools require a permit, the play groups in most cantons not. The laws and ordinances vary greatly from one canton to another.

Child day care is increasingly a political issue that is relevant to gender equality , whereas in the past the social hardship of child day care was in the foreground for parents who made use of child day care.


In Spain, early childhood education outside of the family is seen primarily as a learning and development opportunity for children.

Related topics

  • As latchkey kids children are called, which have their own private apartment key, for example, because both parents work.
  • Jumping lesson (time gap in the timetable)


  • Steve Biddulph: Who will raise your child ?. Wilhelm Heyne, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-453-67000-0 .
  • Anne Salle: France on the way to the reprivatisation of childcare ?. 2006.
  • Birgit Pfau-Effinger: Change in gender culture and gender politics in conservative welfare states - Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 2005.

Web links

Commons : Daycare  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Introduction to Psychology and Pedagogy, (Bründler, Bürgisser, Lämmli, Bornand), Zurich 2004, p. 151
  2. Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: “Implementation of the Barcelona objectives in the field of care facilities for children of pre-school age”. (PDF; 185 kB) October 8, 2008, accessed November 6, 2009 .
  3. a b New European policy initiatives to better combine work and family. Background paper. (PDF; 110 kB) Representatives of the European Commission in Germany and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung , November 7, 2008, accessed on November 6, 2009 .
  4. "The offer includes information on day care and day care facilities for children aged 0 to 12, from daycare providers / crèches to kindergartens and after-school care centers". Elementary education - education and upbringing in day care. In: German education server. Retrieved August 1, 2010 .
  5. ^ Roger Prott: Legal bases and financial regulations for the upbringing, education and care of children in day care facilities. (PDF; 178 kB) (No longer available online.) In: Deutsches Jugendinstitut im Zahlenspiegel 2005. Formerly in the original ; Retrieved May 23, 2008 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  6. § 24 SGB VIII in the version of Article 1 No. 7 of the Child Promotion Act (KiföG; PDF; 484 kB) of December 10, 2008 in conjunction with Article 10 KiföG, Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2403
  7. The VG Köln affirms the right to child day care close to home (up to 5 km) at least in urban areas, cf. Comment on the decision of the Cologne Administrative Court, decision of July 18, 2013 - 19 L 877/13 - .
  8. ^ Crèche expansion in Germany - psychoanalysts take a position, memorandum of the German Psychoanalytical Association , German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV), Public and Interdisciplinary Dialogue Commission (head: Dr. phil. Franziska Henningsen), December 12, 2007
  9. VLH: Childcare - what costs can I deduct? Retrieved August 11, 2015 .
  10. Peter L. Schmidt: The new Federal Child Protection Act and the matter with the certificate of good conduct. Evangelisches Jugendwerk in Württemberg, accessed on December 3, 2017 .
  11. Child protection: dispute over extended certificate of good conduct from volunteers. In: Der Tagesspiegel. April 10, 2013, accessed December 3, 2017 .
  12. Framework for prevention of sexualised violence against minors and adult wards in the area of ​​the German Bishops' Conference. In: Press release 151b. German Bishops' Conference, September 16, 2013, accessed on December 3, 2017 .
  13. Silence because the imam is holy: Research reveals child abuse in German mosques. In: Focus. December 1, 2017, accessed December 3, 2017 .
  14. cf. Section 51 School Education Act
  15. School day care., accessed April 6, 2016.
  16. All-day school types. ( Memento of the original from April 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 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.
  17. a b c d all-day care for schoolchildren., accessed April 6, 2016.
  18. ↑ Day care at an AHS., accessed April 6, 2016.
  19. ↑ Day care in schools. ( Memento of the original from April 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 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.; In particular FAQs - questions + answers: ( Memento of the original from April 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 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. 2 .; both accessed April 6, 2016.
  20. The Vienna campus model., accessed April 6, 2016.
  21. Afternoon care. ( Memento of the original from April 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 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.
  22. For example: tutoring & afternoon care.
  23. Five-day week! In: NÖ, April 17, 2016.
  24. a b All-day care: Länder welcome expansion ., April 11, 2012
  25. Promotion of school day care., accessed April 6, 2016.
  26. Cornelia Giebeler: Small children in the day care center and what teachers think of it. First results of field research as a contribution to the quality development of public childcare. (No longer available online.) In: SGB ​​VIII - online manual. Ingeborg Becker-Textor and Martin R. Textor, archived from the original on June 7, 2009 ; Retrieved July 18, 2009 . 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 /
  27. France on the way to re-privatizing childcare? ( Memento of the original from December 25, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) 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. on @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  28. Change in gender culture and gender politics in conservative welfare states - Germany, Austria and Switzerland. ( Memento of the original from October 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) 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. on @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /