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Early Childhood Education and Care in Germany

Availability of childcare is a major problem in Germany, especially for younger children because of Germany's views that mothers should stay home and care for children before they reach school age.

  • Only 1/3 of children age 5 and under have a slot in full-time childcare in Germany.

Although 90 percent of three to five year olds are covered in Germany under public and publicy-subsidized childcare facilities in preschools, hours can be very inconvenient for working mothers.

  • Most preschools only offer half-days and only have 5 percent coverage for working mothers.
  • Children in kindergarten must go home for lunch, which usually consists of a 2 hour mid-day break in the school day.
  • School vacations are usually longer than work vacations and often do not happen at the same time.
  • Childcare during school vacations is extremely limited.
  • Before and after-school childcare programs are also very scarce

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References

"Germany Country Summary."2004. Columbia University: The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth, and Family Policies, Retrieved 10/24/2006 (www.childpolicyintl.org).

Trzcinski, Eileen. 2000. "Family Policy in Germany: A Feminist Dilemma?" Feminist Economics 6(1):21-44.