day care center

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A day-care center, in Germany also a day-care center ( Kita ), in Austria also a full-day kindergarten , is an institution for institutional education, upbringing and care of children by educational professionals. The exact definition differs nationally or regionally.

“Buratino” day care center in Kummersdorf
Pestalozzi Froebel House Berlin around 1907



In Germany, depending on the region, different standard facilities are called "day care centers" (short form: KiTa or Kita ):

  • the crèche (for children from six to three years old),
  • the kindergarten (for two and a half to six year old children)
  • the after-school care center that elementary school children or middle school children can attend after school and during the holidays.

Also houses for children, who look after and educate all three age groups (crèche, kindergarten, day-care center), and co-ops, in which crèche and kindergarten children are looked after and supported together or side by side, are day care centers. Integrative or inclusive day care centers take in children with and without disabilities.

In Special Education day care disabled and at risk of disability children are cared for exclusively.

Day care centers belong to child and youth welfare. In addition to the Child and Youth Welfare Act , the framework plans of the various federal states (e.g. Berlin education program ) and the concept defined by the sponsor or institution form the basis for the educational work of the sometimes multi-professional specialists.


In addition to the traditional church sponsors ( Caritas , Diakonisches Werk, etc.), the large welfare associations ( Der Paritätische , Arbeiterwohlfahrt, etc.), the municipal sponsors such as the municipalities and cities, there are more and more commercial-private providers due to massive government funding. Company day-care centers are usually operated by external providers at a company location. Parents' initiatives and children's shops have existed since the 1960s.

Reform educational institutions such as Waldorf kindergartens and Montessori houses have existed in association form for decades.

There are usually the same providers for daycare centers for disabled children and young people.

Educational staff in day care centers

In daycare educational professionals as work educators , childhood educators , social workers , special educators , support workers, trained supplementary forces such as child care and social workers and some non-specialist or unskilled assistants or side entry.

The expansion of daycare places is stalling. In addition to a lack of political will, the reasons for the slow expansion of childcare places are also the lack of qualified staff. According to a survey among the responsible state ministries, the number of teacher training positions increased by around 35 percent between 2007 and the beginning of 2013, but this is not enough to meet demand. Almost 20,000 employees came from non-specialist areas (for example from children's nursing ) or had received rapid training. In the spring of 2012, more than 9,300 people were working in German day-care centers without having completed vocational training. Around 1,000 employees had completed a university degree in childhood education. In 2016, a total of 15% of the employees were temporary. Around 60% of employees work part-time.

As of March 1, 2017, there were 692,643 people among the educational, management and administrative staff in day care facilities. Broken down according to the highest vocational training qualification, around 401,188 educators, 5,572 childhood educators, 17,230 qualified social workers (FH), 7,460 qualified educators, qualified social educators, qualified educational scientists with a university degree and 65,980 child carers.

The proportion of male educators in German day-care centers was 5.0% in 2016; the low proportion of men is relatively constant and was 3% in 1997. The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs specifies 20% as a target requirement.

In the spring of 2015 there were 69 Bachelor and 11 Master programs in Germany with a focus on “Early Education” / “Childhood Education”. In 2015, 2,365 graduates of childhood education bachelor's degree programs were named in Germany: “After a rapid increase since 2004, the number of new students in early childhood and childhood education bachelor’s degree programs has stagnated at a high level since 2013. "


On the occasion of the 16th Child and Youth Welfare Day 2017 in Düsseldorf, a declaration was published calling for uniform quality standards for daycare centers. The German Housekeeping Council considers it imperative to develop both an educational concept and a housekeeping concept for quality standards for day-care centers.


Macroeconomic Costs and Financing

Public spending on day-care centers in Germany totaled 23.7 billion euros in 2014. Since 2007, spending has increased over 80%. The high spending dynamics can be explained by the expansion of childcare under three-year-olds, which was decided in 2007 by the federal, state and local governments. In Germany, except in Bavaria, day-care centers are not regarded as education, but as a social service of the municipalities. This fact explains in large part the sharp rise in municipal social spending . The decision to expand the daycare center in 2007 was also accompanied by cofinancing by the federal government. Since direct financial transfers from the federal government to the municipalities are not constitutionally permitted, a special fund was established. For the years 2008 to 2013, it comprised four billion euros for construction and operation. The federal government increased these funds several times. Since 2015, 845 million euros from federal sales tax have been redistributed to the municipalities every year . In addition to the federal government's share of funding, daycare expenditure is also subsidized directly by the federal states in most of the regional states. This can be done via need factors in the general financial equalization or via funding programs of the departments. As a result of different financing structures, the share of costs remaining with the municipalities cannot be compared across regions.


Depending on the federal state, private-commercial providers of daycare centers usually receive less funding than public-church providers. Only the State of Hamburg does not differentiate between the providers: As of March 1, 2015, over 98% of the day care facilities in Hamburg were operated by independent providers. An equalization of all providers on a legal basis planned by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs in 2008 failed.

Daycare vouchers

After the failure of the draft law, the states of Berlin and Hamburg introduced daycare vouchers for day-care centers. The aim of this measure is to relieve the financial burden on the parents and to care for the children according to their needs. In contrast to Berlin, in Hamburg there is a legal right to half-day care from birth until the child starts school. The proportion of the contribution that is to be paid by the parents essentially depends on the net income and is known as the parental contribution .

Costs for parents

The costs of a daycare center depend heavily on the place of residence, the provider, the age of the child, the care options and the care hours and are influenced by social aspects such as income and the number of children in the family.

In August 2013, for example, you had to pay up to 854 euros in Düsseldorf , up to 661 euros in Münster, and a maximum of 659 euros in Recklinghausen for childcare.

In Berlin , childcare for children from 1 to 6 years of age is free of charge, regardless of the income of the parents, only a meal contribution of up to 23 euros per month is paid by the parents.

In Hamburg , between August 2013 and July 2014, a minimum of 49 and a maximum of 396 euros were required for twelve-hour care of a child. Basic care of up to five hours per day has been free of charge since August 2014. For parents who need more care and thus more hours of care, the amount of the fees depends on the criteria of income level, family size, age group of the child being cared for and the scope of care. The fees to be paid range from 22 euros (minimum rate) to 204 euros (maximum rate) for twelve-hour care.

Rhineland-Palatinate was the first federal state to make the kindergarten free of charge from the age of 2. In Lower Saxony , according to a decision by the state government, the first and second kindergarten years should be free from August 2018.

Parents can deduct the costs of attending day-care centers as part of their income tax return as childcare costs .

Legal anchoring

In Germany, day care is part of child and youth welfare and has its legal basis in Sections 22 to 26 of SGB ​​VIII ( Child and Youth Welfare Act ). The design is carried out for each federal state at the state level (for Berlin, for example, in the Child Day Promotion Act - KitaFöG -).

Since 2005, according to Section 24, Paragraph 3 of Book VIII of the Social Code, children of working or job-seeking parents have been given preference in the allocation of a childcare place. However, if there are not enough places available for all working parents, according to the generally established rule, children of single parents are given priority over children of parents who are completing an apprenticeship or who are working.

According to Section 24 (1) of the Book of the Social Code (SGB VIII), children from the age of three have a legal right to a half-day place close to their place of residence until they start school. The level of care for children under three years of age has so far been relatively low in West Germany (2% in 2005), but is increasing. On August 1, 2013, a legal regulation came into force, according to which a child who has completed the first year of life has a legal right to early childhood support in a day care facility or day care center until the age of three. If the municipality does not provide a place, the parents can be entitled to compensation as compensation for the loss of earnings. So far, it has remained unclear to what extent the legal entitlement includes early childhood support close to home and whether the entitlement, if there are no vacancies, can be met by referral to a childminder.

The problem of child noise

In 2011, the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) was changed in Germany . According to Section 22 (1a) BImSchG, “the effects of noise emanating from day-care centers” are “as a rule no more harmful environmental effects”, so that lawsuits against children's noise or the establishment of day-care centers in residential areas no longer have any chance of success.

According to the State Association for Health (LVG) Saxony-Anhalt, there was noise pollution in daycare centers that would correspond to loud traffic noise at maximum values. The LVG tries to sensitize children to their own volume because the noise can reduce the ability to concentrate and hinder the children in understanding and processing speech.

Health promotion at work in daycare

Work in daycare centers is often associated with unfavorable working conditions for staff. These concern mainly the areas of ergonomics , ventilation , lighting and acoustics and have a major impact on health and job satisfaction of teachers and educators. A significant proportion of the workload can be reduced by measures that affect both the technical design of the daycare center and the work organization of the daycare center. Measures are ideally carried out preventively, but can also be implemented subsequently. Possible measures are listed below.

  • Ergonomics: Adult-friendly and ergonomically designed furniture such as rollable and height-adjustable tables and chairs ensure that educators can move around in a way that is easy on the back and knees. Furniture that is used for certain activities should, if possible, remain in the place where they are needed in order to avoid musculoskeletal strain caused by unnecessary carrying back and forth.
  • Indoor climate: The equipping or retrofitting of air conditioning systems can act as a support for natural ventilation. Especially in summer, blinds or the like provide artificial shading for large glass surfaces, so that very high temperatures in the interior are avoided.
  • Lighting: The natural lighting through sufficiently large window areas should be combined with increased lighting (e.g. additional floor lamps). This is used for special visual tasks such as handicrafts.
  • Room acoustics: Specially designed acoustic ceilings and absorber panels improve speech intelligibility and reduce background noise. An acoustic environment optimized in this way leads to less noise exposure for employees and promotes the children's learning process.
  • Comprehensive workshops on behavioral prevention for all daycare employees: workshops provide background information on healthy work. On this basis, the staff can critically question the work processes and personal work behavior and reduce stress independently.

A complete package of health-promoting design recommendations was put into practice in the "MusterKiTa" project of the Rhineland-Palatinate Accident Fund and the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) in cooperation with the city of Neuwied as a daycare provider. A before-and-after comparison showed that the work situation had improved.



A day care center is an “institution that is open all day Monday to Friday and where the children are offered lunch”, unlike, for example, in play groups . Free play is in the foreground, whereby care is taken to work according to the educational plan of the respective canton.

The term daycare comprises in Switzerland nurseries and creches , kindergartens and nurseries and day care centers (also abbreviated Tagi). The meanings of the terms overlap strongly and are used inconsistently in individual and cantons. There is a tendency in day nurseries to look after children of preschool age, while after-school care centers often provide short-term care in connection with events (Sunday mass, museum visit, wellness center). Day care is used locally in the Basel area and usually includes the leisure time care of school children; In the Canton of Bern , the term day care center exclusively refers to institutions that care for school children. In both areas, the term should not be confused with the children's home , which includes 24-hour care. The term “ day care center” , influenced by Germany, was initially used hesitantly in Switzerland, but has been increasingly popular as a term that can be understood across cantons and that includes both pre-school and school areas. This was expressed, for example, in 2008 when the umbrella organization changed its name from the Swiss Crèche Association to the Association of Daycare Centers in Switzerland .

The care covers the entire period from birth to the age of 16 years. The highest number of childcare providers, however, occurs between the third month of life and entry into kindergarten at five or six years of age.

Political embedding

The care of children before and after school is a matter for the congregations, the private sector and the churches. The educational and financial framework conditions are correspondingly different. In the Basel area, for example, 43% of day-care centers are subsidized by the state, while the other day-care centers have to cover their services through parental contributions (as of February 2006). In general, the cantons draw up guidelines for setting up and running a day-care center and have a control function. The day care office, if available, is affiliated with the health, social, judicial or educational departments depending on the canton. At the national level, the Swiss Childcare Association (kibesuisse) forms an umbrella. His main function is the creation of quality guidelines and the implementation of these guidelines, especially where cantonal laws and guidelines are missing.

In 2013, a parliamentary draft of an article for a referendum was passed, which was intended to enshrine the cantons' care for a needs-based range of day-care facilities for families and schools, as well as a subsidiary role for the state in promoting the compatibility of family and work. The application received the support of all parties except SVP and FDP . It was finally rejected by the mandatory referendum , as it received the majority approval of the population but no more classes ; Rural cantons in particular, and also German- Swiss cantons, voted against it.

Social embedding

There have been day-care centers in Switzerland since the beginning of the 20th century. Particularly in the period since the 1970s, there has been a major change in the social understanding of day care outside the family in general, and thus also of day care centers in particular: the social hardship of placing a child in a day care center has given rise to a voluntary motivation is through

  • the desire of the mothers to work outside the family (see also equal opportunities , equality policy ),
  • the intention to enable the child to socialize at an early stage,
  • the integration policy objective, especially in places with a high proportion of foreigners, to bring about a leveling of the language requirements before school entry.

supply and demand

In terms of supply and demand, there are major regional differences, which are partly due to urbanization. In rural areas, play groups with a more limited time offer sometimes take on the social role of day-care centers. A national NFP study in June 2005 predicted a nationwide shortage of 50,000 crèche places under certain conditions. Whether the requirements of this study are met is controversial in the press, especially as there is some talk of oversupply in the cantons of Basel-Stadt , Basel-Landschaft , Aargau , Zurich and Bern . However, the oversupply typically relates to providers that are not subsidized by the municipalities. The federal government and individual cantons are promoting the establishment of new day-care centers with so-called impulse programs. The federal program has subsidized daycare start-ups under certain conditions since 2003 and probably until 2011.

See also


  • Wilma Aden-Grossmann: Kindergarten. History, development, concepts. Beltz, Weinheim 2011, ISBN 978-3-407-62771-1 .
  • Anne Huth: Communication culture in the day care center . In: Norbert Kühne (ed.): Praxisbuch Sozialpädagogik , Volume 8. Bildungsverlag EINS, Troisdorf 2010, ISBN 978-3-427-75416-9
  • Petra Jung: Day-care centers between the pedagogical order and the children's order. An ethnographic study on the educational reorganization of childhood. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 3-531-15813-9 .
  • Coordination office “Men in daycare centers” . In: Michael Cremers u. a. (Ed.): Men in daycare centers. Barbara Budrich, Leverkusen 2012, ISBN 978-3-8474-0009-7 Table of contents .
  • Beate Quaas: Singing in the Protestant day-care center (Kita). A practice book with songs. Singing moves. New approaches to singing in the community, Volume 5th Edition Ruprecht, Göttingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-8469-0184-7 .
  • Rüdiger Hansen, Raingard Knauer: Participation in decision-making and participation in daycare. The practice book. 6th edition. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung , Gütersloh 2019, ISBN 978-3-86793-794-8 .

Web links

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



Individual evidence

  1. Anette Dowideit: Become an educator on the side . In: Welt am Sonntag . No. 3 , January 20, 2013, p. 20 .
  2. a b Anette Dowideit: Who will raise our children? In: Welt am Sonntag . No. 3 , January 20, 2013, p. 1 .
  3. a b c d Authors' group Fachkräftebarometer: Fachkräftebarometer Early Education 2017. Further training initiative for early childhood education professionals; German Youth Institute, 2017, accessed on January 21, 2018 .
  4. Vincent Deuschle: Already as a child calibrated to man . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . August 16, 2013, p. 4 ( ).
  5. Daycare centers need a housekeeping concept , article on from November 21, 2017 (link checked on May 21, 2018)
  6. Expenditures and income of child and youth welfare. Federal Office of Statistics; accessed on May 18, 2016.
  7. Social expenditures burden municipal budgets . Bertelsmann Stiftung, accessed on May 15, 2016
  8. ↑ The federal government supports municipalities in a variety of ways . Federal Ministry of Finance; accessed on May 15, 2016.
  9. Laura Dieckmann, Michael Thöne: Federal financing of the child care expansion: Determination of the burden distribution . Interim evaluation on behalf of the BMFSFJ. Cologne 2011.
  10. Children and people working in day care facilities and in publicly funded day care. (PDF) Child and youth welfare statistics - day care for children on March 1, 2017. Federal Statistical Office, September 27, 2017, accessed on January 21, 2018 .
  11. Corinna Nohn: House of Little Hands . In: Handelsblatt . February 15, 2013, p. 68 f .
  12. Hamburg daycare voucher
  13. ^ Elisabeth Niejahr: Fees - Das Kita-Glücksspiel . In: Die Zeit , No. 35/2013
  14. (PDF)
  15. Parental contributions for day-care facilities and day-care facilities. (PDF; 398 kB) Valid from August 2013. In: Authority for Labor, Social Affairs, Family and Integration, August 2013, accessed on June 8, 2015 .
  16. Parental contributions for day-care facilities and day-care facilities. (PDF; 398 kB) Valid from August 2014. In: Authority for Labor, Social Affairs, Family and Integration, August 2014, accessed on June 8, 2015 .
  17. ↑ Freedom from contributions. (No longer available online.) In: Kita Server Rheinland-Pfalz. Ministry of Integration, Family, Children, Youth, and Women, archived from the original on April 28, 2016 ; accessed on August 11, 2015 .
  19. Section 10 (1) No. 5 EStG
  20. Evelyn Korn: Does the welfare state destroy the family? (PDF; 110 kB) In: Marburg Economic Contributions, No. 05-2007. P. 16 , accessed March 2, 2010 .
  21. § 24 SGB VIII in the version of Article 1 No. 7 of the Child Promotion Act of 10 December 2008 (KiföG), BGBl. I, pp. 2403, 2404; According to Article 10, Paragraph 3 of the Kifög, the regulation comes into force on August 1, 2013 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2409)
  22. ^ Stiftung Warentest: Right to a daycare place In: from April 14, 2015
  23. Local supply: VG Köln, decision of July 18, 2013-2019 L 877/13 -; Childminder is sufficient: OVG NRW, decision of. August 14, 2013 - 12 B 793/13 -, see overview of the legal situation and decisions in full text
  24. Tenth law amending the Federal Immission Control Act - Privilege for the noise of children emanating from day-care centers and children's playgrounds of July 20, 2011, Federal Law Gazette I, page 1474
  25. Lawsuits against children's noise are hardly possible any more. In: The compact world . May 27, 2011, accessed April 9, 2014 .
  26. ^ Jan Bielicke: Childcare: New daycare centers are also to be built in residential areas. Süddeutsche Zeitung Online, February 17, 2012.
  27. Wolfgang W. Merkel: Children, avoid circular saw noise in the day care center! In: Welt Online . April 27, 2011, accessed April 9, 2014 .
  28. "The calm away" during the day against noise . LVG, April 28, 2014
  29. Health promotion in the workplace day care center - from theory into practice, KiTa HRS 10 | 2017. Online:
  30. Sinn-Behrendt, A .; Sica, L .; Bopp, V .; Brother, R .; Brehmen, M .; Groneberg, D .; Burford, E.-M .; Schreiber, P .; Weber, B .; Ellegast, R .: ErgoKiTa project - Prevention of musculoskeletal strain in educators in day-care centers (IFA Report 2/2015). (PDF) German Social Accident Insurance eV (DGUV), accessed on December 15, 2017 .
  31. Eul, M .; Beisser, R .; Kohmstedt, B .; Schelle, F .; Schmitz, M .; Schwan, M .; Wittlich, M .; Ellegast, R .: Health Promotion at the Workplace Kita - The MusterKiTa as an example of good practice (IFA Report 4/2017). (PDF) German Statutory Accident Insurance e. V. (DGUV), accessed on December 15, 2017 .
  32. Referendum of March 3, 2013 ( Memento of March 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  33. Family article fails because of the number of estates - rural cantons tipped the balance . Swiss Daily Gazette, March 3, 2013
  34. Family article fails because of the number of stands. Alain Berset: “Business and the cantons are now challenged”.