According to new economic stimulus reforms that went into effect on January 1, parents are expecting to receive an additional €20 per child in Kindergeld, or “child money,” as the subsidy is known.
But the FDP's deputy party leader Cornelia Pieper, new increases to Kindergeld - expected by 2013 - should be distributed via vouchers valid at early-education centres instead.
“The next increase in Kindergeld should go directly to the child and be paid to parents in educational coupons,” she told the paper.
Such coupons could be used instead of cash at day care centres, kindergartens, music schools and sporting clubs, she said. The goal should be to put government "gold into the minds" of children to achieve better early education conditions in Germany, she added.
According to Pieper, the measure would be popular among the German population, where a recent poll found that two-thirds of parents wanted better early-education options for their children.