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Germany:Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Germany

Contents

Germany:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Germany:Historical Development

Germany:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Germany:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Germany:Political and Economic Situation

Germany:Organisation and Governance

Germany:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Germany:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Germany:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Germany:Organisation of Private Education

Germany:National Qualifications Framework

Germany:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Germany:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Germany:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Germany:Funding in Education

Germany:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Germany:Higher Education Funding

Germany:Adult Education and Training Funding

Germany:Early Childhood Education and Care

Germany:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Germany:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Germany:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Germany:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Germany:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Germany:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Germany:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Germany:Primary Education

Germany:Organisation of Primary Education

Germany:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Germany:Assessment in Primary Education

Germany:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Germany:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Germany:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Germany:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Germany:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Germany:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Germany:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Germany:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Germany:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Germany:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Germany:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Germany:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Germany:Higher Education

Germany:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Germany:First Cycle Programmes

Germany:Bachelor

Germany:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Germany:Second Cycle Programmes

Germany:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Germany:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Germany:Adult Education and Training

Germany:Distribution of Responsibilities

Germany:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Germany:Main Providers

Germany:Main Types of Provision

Germany:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Germany:Teachers and Education Staff

Germany:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Germany:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Germany:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Germany:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Management and Other Education Staff

Germany:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Germany:Management Staff for Higher Education

Germany:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Germany:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Quality Assurance

Germany:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Germany:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Educational Support and Guidance

Germany:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Germany:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Germany:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Germany:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Germany:Mobility and Internationalisation

Germany:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Mobility in Higher Education

Germany:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Germany:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Germany:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Germany:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Germany:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Germany:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Germany:National Reforms in School Education

Germany:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Germany:National Reforms in Higher Education

Germany:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Germany:European Perspective

Germany:Legislation

Germany:Institutions

Germany:Bibliography

Germany:Glossary

Traditionally in Germany children under the age of three years are looked after in Kinderkrippen (crèches) and children from the age of three up to starting school in Kindergarten. In past years the profile of day-care centres has changed considerably. The number of facilities, which offer day care exclusively for children from the age of three up to starting school has decreased while more and more facilities offer day care for different age groups. One reason for this change in the supply structure is the expansion of day care for children agreed by the Federation, Länder and local authorities for children under three years of age, which is expected to create a needs-oriented supply of day-care places for children nationally and thus establish the basis for fulfilling the legal right to early childhood education and care in a day-care centre or child-minding service which has entered into force on 1 August 2013. This complements the legal entitlement introduced back in 1996 to day care in a day-care centre for children from the age of three up to starting school. The heightened efforts to expand day care for children aged below three have since the introduction of official statistics in 2006 led to a steady rise in day-care uptake.

General objectives

Under the Social Security Code VIII (Achtes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch – Kinder- und Jugendhilfe) day-care centres for children and child-minding services are called upon to encourage the child's development into a responsible and autonomous member of the community. Furthermore, day care is designed to support and supplement the child’s upbringing in the family and to assist the parents in better reconciling employment and child rearing. This duty includes instructing, educating and caring for the child and relates to the child’s social, emotional, physical and mental development. It includes the communication of guiding values and rules. The provision of education and care is to be adjusted to the individual child’s age and developmental stage, linguistic and other capabilities, life situation and interests, and take account of the child’s ethnic origin. In terms of pedagogy and organisation, the range of services offered should be based on the needs of the children and their families.

Under the joint framework of the Länder for early education in day-care centres for children (Gemeinsamer Rahmen der Länder für die frühe Bildung in Kindertageseinrichtungen), educational objectives in early childhood education focus on attaining basic skills and developing and strengthening personal resources, which motivate children and prepare them to take up and cope with future challenges in learning and life, to play a responsible part in society and be open to lifelong learning.

Specific legislative framework

Under the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), as part of its responsibility for public welfare, the Federation has concurrent legislative competence for child and youth welfare. This also applies to the promotion of children in day care (Kinderkrippen, Kindergärten, Horte or Kindertagespflege). The Federation exercised its legislative authority in this field by passing the Social Security Code VIII in June 1990. The legal framework of the Federation for child and youth welfare is completed, supplemented and extended by the Länder in their own laws.

The Social Security Code VIII was amended in July 1992 and expanded to include the legal right, introduced on 1 January 1996 and in force without restriction since 1 January 1999, to a Kindergarten place for all children from the age of three years until they start school. The Social Security Code VIII was last amended in December 2008 by the Children Promotion Act (Kinderförderungsgesetz – KiföG). The Child Promotion Act laid down a gradual expansion of supervision and care offers for children under the age of three. In a first stage the maintaining bodies of public youth welfare had been obliged to increase the number of places available to children under the age of three in day-care centres or child-minding services and to provide a place if required for child development purposes or because the parents are in employment, seeking work or in training. This was an objective obligation, however, not a legal right to a place. On 1 August 2013 the second phase of the expansion of supervision and care offers was achieved: since this point there has been a legal entitlement to a place in day care for children who have reached the age of one. The implementation and financing of child and youth welfare legislation lies, under the Basic Law, in the sphere of competence of the Länder and, as a matter for local self-government, is the responsibility of the Kommunen (local authorities).

Under Federal Law the legal framework for day care for children provided under the youth welfare office is regulated by the Child and Youth Welfare Act (Kinder- und Jugendhilfegesetz) and covers the placement, briefing, training and payment of suitable day-dare staff by the youth welfare office. The Länder and local authorities are responsible for implementation, and have as a rule adopted their own legal provisions substantiating the framework conditions.