• Germany's news in English

Western states likely to miss day-care targets

The Local · 7 Nov 2011, 12:30

Published: 07 Nov 2011 12:30 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday that the federal government promised the states an extra €4 billion over the six-year period to provide extra places, to meet a target of 35 percent, but the current figures from the states’ various statistics offices suggest that the increase in the number of kindergarten places has actually slowed down since 2007.

German Family Minister Kristina Schröder is growing impatient. “I don’t understand the states,” she told news magazine Der Spiegel. “The federal money is there, and time is running out.”

The government even estimates that some German states need to reach 37 percent to meet demand, as many municipalities fear more and more parents will need kindergarten places in the coming years.

To achieve the 35 percent target, the western states need to create 250,000 more day-care places by 2013. But the latest figures show that only 40,000 places were created between March 2010 and March 2011, while previous yearly increases reached up to 45,000 spots.

Germany’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia has the lowest proportion of day care places. According to the state’s statistics office, only 15.9 percent of one-to-three-year-olds in NRW had access to a place in March 2011, an increase of 1.9 percent on the year before. If that rate continues, the state will not reach even 20 percent by 2013.

The smaller state of Rhineland-Palatinate, meanwhile, has managed to increase its percentage from 20 to 25 percent in the same 12-month period. The other western German states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, are all struggling with percentages of around 20 percent. The problem is not nearly as acute in the formerly communist eastern German states.

The federal statistics office is set to publish its own figures on Tuesday.

Thomas Rauschenbach, director of the German Youth Institute (DJI), which carries out studies into family issues, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, “If these figures are confirmed, the targets that were set with a big fanfare five years ago will be missed by a long way.”

Story continues below…

The growth rate is unlikely to be boosted by the German government’s decision on Sunday to go ahead with a new childcare benefit for those who keep their children at home until the age of three - known as Betreuungsgeld.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:10 November 7, 2011 by LecteurX
Oh dear, why did I read "Western states likely to tar day-care midgets"?
05:50 November 8, 2011 by Gretl
Kindergeld and Betreuungsgeld...when are they going to realize that a little bit of stipend is not going to convince people to have kids? People want to maintain their standard of living, and daycare will allow working adults to work, AND Germany will not have to import labor.

But...misogynist Germany seems stuck in antiquated gender roles.
Today's headlines
Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd