• Germany's news in English

How good is Germany for mothers?

Julie Colthorpe · 6 May 2014, 16:20

Published: 06 May 2014 16:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Germany was placed eighth in the 2014 Mothers' Index Rankings report from Save the Children, up one place last year.

The top three places were held by Finland, Norway and Sweden respectively, while the lowest ranking three were all in Africa – Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.

The annual report assesses the well-being of mothers and their children in 178 countries based on the education, health, economic and political status of the mothers in the country.

But what do expat mothers really think of raising their children in Germany?

“Berlin is the perfect place for raising kids,” said Catherine Bollet, originally from Aubagne, France. “Daycare is awesome, it's subsidized and the ladies at the Jugendamt (department of children’s services) are lovely.”

“The playgrounds are the best and there are so many – it is pretty much kid-friendly everywhere,” she added. “The subway and trains are big enough for huge strollers, not like stupid Paris where you get yelled at for having even the tiniest stroller. There is only one kid's cafe in Paris. In Berlin there are so many.”

Kate Price, who is originally from Manchester, said children in Germany appeared healthier and more active than their British counterparts.

“They get to run around a lot and have more freedom, earlier on. Parents don't seem as paranoid either,” she said. “Pre-school care is brilliant and state schools, despite the moaning, are pretty good - especially if you get a free bilingual place.”

SEE ALSO: These German grandmothers want to raise my child

Elizabeth from Hamburg agreed with Kate. “Children in Germany are much more independent from an early age. They have more responsibility than the children in the UK. They get themselves ready for school and take themselves off to dance class after school.”

But she added: “I don't think there is enough sport at school here. Because they finish school at 1.30pm, the parents are expected to take them to sports activities which is bad if you have to work.”

One thing all three mothers agreed was positive about Germany was the amount of child benefit they receive from the state.

“The Kindergeld (child benefit) is really good and the more kids you have the more money you get. In the UK you get less money per child. When we moved to Germany, the state even backdated the Kindergeld. That would never happen in the UK,” Elizabeth said. 

What are your experiences of raising children in Germany? Have your say below.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Julie Colthorpe (julie.colthorpe@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
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.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

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