• Germany's news in English

Authorities fear parents could sue for day care

The Local · 6 Nov 2012, 12:01

Published: 06 Nov 2012 12:01 GMT+01:00

Critics are demanding authorities urgently increase their efforts to create more day care places - or that legislators dilute the law and introduce it in stages to relieve the mounting pressure.

Due to come into force next August, the move to extend the guarantee of day care to children between the ages of one and three means an additional 220,000 day care places must be created over the next nine months if the 780,000 eligible children are to be catered for, the Federal Office for Statistics said on Tuesday.

But crunch time is fast approaching for local governments, Munich mayor Christian Ude and president of the German Association of Cities told ARD broadcaster on Tuesday. He said authorities had failed to release funding for new day care centres quickly enough and allowed unnecessary red tape to get in the way.

And after the law changes next August a large number of disappointed parents will sue for compensation if their children are not given places, he warned.

"If [getting a place] is not objectively possible there will be claims for compensation," said Ude. "It's especially absurd if cities in difficult financial straits also have to pay that kind of compensation."

Gerd Landsberg, managing director of the municipalities association, called for the new law - which guarantees all under-threes a place in a nursery, day care centre or with a childminder - to be watered down and introduced in stages to take the heat off cash-strapped local authorities.

Landsberg told Tuesday's Handelsblatt newspaper he supported a proposal from cities in Baden-Württemberg which would see the guarantee apply only to two-year-olds at first, to be extended to include one-year-olds at a later stage.

"In this way the construction of new day care centres can be sped up and at the same time we can do something about the danger of raising false expectations among affected parents," he said.

Tübingen Mayor Boris Palmer agreed. "For many cities which today don't have a hope of creating the necessary places [in time], the suggestion is appropriate and would avoid senseless lawsuits," he told the paper.

Story continues below…

However, Landsberg said he thought it unlikely that local and national politicians would be keen to be seen to be going back on their popular pledge to parents so close to next autumn's parliamentary elections.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

21:43 November 6, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
This being Germany I would be more worried about the kids doing the sueing.
Today's headlines
VW to pay US suppliers $1.2 bln over Dieselgate
Volkswagen model vehicles on a dealer lot in Bedford, Massachusetts, USA. Photo: Cj Gunther/Picture Alliance/DPA

German auto giant Volkswagen has agreed to pay US suppliers $1.2 billion to settle claims emanating from the "Dieselgate" pollution scandal, the firm and suppliers said late Friday.

This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
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
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
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
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd