Day care guarantee not in danger, minister says

Families will still be guaranteed a day care spot for their young children by 2013 despite Germany's worsening budgetary situation, Family Minister Kristina Schröder assured on Wednesday.

Day care guarantee not in danger, minister says
Photo: DPA

Choosing to make cutbacks in child care is not an option, the conservative Christian Democrat told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

The construction of new day care centres, known as Kitas in Germany, continues “dynamically moving forward” and will not be shaken by shrinking budgets, Schröder said.

The Family Minister’s comments came in reaction to a reproach from Hessian state premier Roland Koch, who suggested that the federal government should review whether it could still afford its Kita guarantee plans.

“Here and there we’ve decided on programmes that will probably be much too expensive than first thought, such as the guarantee of day care for children under three,” he told daily Hamburger Abendblatt on Tuesday.

On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed just how bad the situation had become, ruling out promised tax cuts “for the foreseeable future” following a harsh defeat in a key state poll in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Her coalition allies since the national election in September, the pro-business Free Democrats, had pushed for deeper tax cuts, but many Germans remain sceptical in light of the country’s distressing finances and the expensive efforts to save the euro following the Greek crisis.

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