The day-care center can be an important place of education for children. According to a recent study, however, whether a child gets a place also depends on the education and income of the parents.
According to social researchers, children from poorer and less educated families are still disadvantaged when it comes to the allocation of day care places. In addition, the need for care of boys and girls, who mostly do not speak German at home, is largely uncovered than for peers who speak German as a family language. This is the result of a current study by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in Wiesbaden.
According to this, even ten years after the introduction of a legal entitlement to a daycare place for girls and boys from the age of one, it still depends heavily on the socio-economic circumstances of the parents whether a child is cared for or not. Among other things, the experts examined the data on daycare use by around 96,000 children under the age of three.
With a view to the federal government’s education summit on March 14th and 15th, the researchers called for barriers to access to early childhood education to be broken down, especially for children who do not speak German at home.
Experts are calling for better advice
“The day-care center is the first important place of education outside of the family,” stressed BiB director Katharina Spieß. However, those who could particularly benefit from this are still underrepresented in the daycare groups for under-threes. “And this despite the fact that parents with a migration background, for example, often want to go to a daycare center,” explained Spieß. “As a result, many children are unable to develop their educational potential in the first few years of life.”
Among other things, the expert suggests providing families with low-threshold information about the advantages of attending a daycare center early or actively supporting them in their search for childcare places. In addition, the number of places must be further expanded. The nationwide legal entitlement to early childhood support in a day care center or in day care for children from the age of one was introduced on August 1, 2013.
According to the BiB, the study is based on the child care study by the German Youth Institute for the years 2013 to 2020, the most up-to-date data currently available.
According to the studies by the Wiesbaden researchers, in 2020, for example, the gap between the need for care and an actual place in a daycare center was just under 15 percentage points for families with a lower level of education, and almost 10 percentage points for the more educated. The two groups were divided according to whether the mothers had a high school diploma or not. If the groups were differentiated according to their risk of poverty, a similar picture emerges, according to the study.
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