• Germany's news in English

Parents to be paid to keep tots at home

The Local · 6 Jun 2012, 14:50

Published: 06 Jun 2012 14:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

As of January 2013, parents will receive €100 a month for two- and three-year-olds who are not sent to state-subsidised care facilities, while this sum will increase to €150 a month from 2014.

The pressure is now on to push the law through parliament before it breaks for the summer at the end of June.

The provision has been championed by the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – and was opposed by not only by much of the CDU but also the union’s coalition partner the Free Democratic Party.

The opposition parties have slated the idea, saying it encourages parents to keep their children from the enriching environment of kindergarten groups. “Nothing can justify this fundamentally wrong step in education policy,” said Social Democrat Manuela Schwesig.

She said the money would be better invested in expanding the network of day care facilities on offer.

Other groups have condemned the plan as increasing the pressure on women to stay at home with their children rather than returning to work. Some have warned that low-income and immigrant families will feel particularly pressured to keep their children out of day care.

Merkel and her family minister were allowing the CSU to “force the entire republic into its long-outdated ideas of women and family,” said Green Party MP Katja Dörner.

CSU family policy spokeswoman Dorothee Bär said it offered parents an alternative to state-subsidised day care.

Story continues below…

The law provides for the money to be paid even if both parents are working and the children concerned are being cared for by relatives or au-pairs.

It is expected to cost around €300 million in 2013, and at least €1.1 billion from 2014.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:09 June 6, 2012 by Bushdiver
Another rediculous law passed by the Germans. I wonder how long they can keep throwing money away. How much of the 5 Trillion ECB bailout fund is Germany paying?
15:40 June 6, 2012 by smart2012
i do not get this. i have my baby and if i send her to the kinder garden in Munich I will have to pay app. 500 Euros. They should give me money to support this, and not to people that keep the baby home. Are they trying to reduce women going to work? As maybe jobs are getting less and less?
17:04 June 6, 2012 by Leo Strauss
In my opinion, this is a good idea. I would prefer to keep my children out of the hands of the state for as long as possible. It is also traumatic to remove toddlers from their mothers at this young age and place them in the hands of strangers. I know, because I have two little ones. Small children can socialize with other children outside of the KiTa- they are not ostracized from their peers.

I would ask those who are against this law: Are you also against homeschooling? Should our children be subjected to 15,000 hours of gov`t sponsored brainwashing? I recommend reading some John Taylor Gatto on this subject, if you are interested.
20:22 June 6, 2012 by morel
What a novel idea! Paying parents to look after their own children!
23:03 June 6, 2012 by tuckerjj
Smart2012, is that a private kita? If so you'll get the money and can put it towards the costs.

My girlfriend and I are desperate to get our daughter to a kita in Berlin so that she can get back to work, but the state funded ones have waiting lists so long that many won't even consider adding any more names until next year. Our only option seems to be to go private, and this money will help us afford it.
06:25 June 7, 2012 by wires
The 1,2 billion euros could be used instead to increase the subsidy for nannies or wages of kindergarten personnel. In that way parents can decide on how to raise their toddlers without being forced. Throwing money at parents who are already big earners or keeping non-German speaking children from integration is not a beneficial road to follow. Sweden will be disbanding a similar program because of those negative effects.
07:23 June 7, 2012 by shaken not stirred
Is it beyond belief that parents might actually love and WANT to take care of their own children. The destruction of the family is the root of all problems. Maybe if parents start putting their children first, society would not have so many deviants.

The sooner children are taken away from their parents and raised by state workers the better for the state. Only then can the brainwashing be successful.
10:22 June 7, 2012 by The-ex-pat
@ 23:03 June 6, 2012 by tuckerjj

Smart2012, is that a private kita? If so you'll get the money and can put it towards the costs.

The cost of a Kits placing is directly linked to how much you earn. That being, if you are a low wage earner, then you pay almost nothing, in fact less than the money being offered to look after your children. In NRW not only is it linked to your wage, it is linked to the combined wages of parents. So for my two children, we had to pay €650 a month for a normal Stadt kita, so I agree with smart2012.

On a lighter note for those who who get the money, the state is going to be paying for their alcohol and cigarettes..............................
10:52 June 7, 2012 by DoubleDTown
2 and 3 year olds? I guess the idea is that 4 and 5 year olds won't be properly socialized if they don't go to Kindergarten, therefore keeping them at home is not supported? Everyone's got different ideas about childcare, and different economic opportunities, but I think 2 and 3 is pretty young to be shipped off to a day care center.
14:52 June 7, 2012 by Leo Strauss

roger that!
17:33 August 17, 2012 by sally#
Opinions about the state-subsidised -child- care law vary from person to person. As far as I am concerned, it's really beneficial for both children and the parents. Because of this law, parents,especially the low-income ones, can choose whether to take care of the children themselves at home or to work regardless of the money problem; Children, therefore, have more chance to get a parent-accompanied childhood which the best kindergarden cannot give.
Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
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
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd