Strengthen early childhood education


Educational biography begins in daycare

by Ilse Romahn

(31.01.2022) Daycare professionals from various federal states support Minister Habeck’s plan to reduce the school dropout rate. The most effective measure for this are child-friendly framework conditions in daycare centers, since the foundations of the educational biography are laid in the first years of life.

Early childhood education and the pedagogical quality in German day-care centers are not doing well. According to the current Bertelsmann country monitor, 72.2% of all German daycare children have to spend their everyday life in the facilities under conditions that are not suitable for children.

The first years of life lay the foundation for personality development and later learning success. What is missed here is almost impossible to catch up later and means that, as Economics Minister Robert Habeck stated in his government statement on January 28th, 2022, the rate of school dropouts is alarming at 10%. In order to counteract this, it is important to invest in early childhood education and thus in qualitatively better day-care centers. In order for children to be able to learn successfully at school in an age-appropriate manner, we need day care centers that provide needs-based care, individual support and enable good early childhood education. For this we need a child-friendly personnel key in the facilities throughout Germany. It cannot be that in reality there are up to 14 children for one pedagogical specialist and that in many places unskilled workers are employed. The groups have to be reduced in order to be able to respond individually to individual children. In many German day-care centers there is a lack of pedagogical specialists, which is why the training urgently needs to be reformed and working conditions made more attractive. The outdated framework conditions must also be adapted. “Day care centers with framework conditions far from the recommendations of the experts do not lay a good foundation for the child’s development,” says Claudia Theobald from the Association of Day Care Professionals Reinland-Palatinate. Anja Braekow from the Baden-Württemberg Kita Specialists Association adds: “The day-care centers are the first educational institutions that children attend. They must finally be recognized and treated as such, especially by politicians!”

The day-care center specialist associations from Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony & Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Thuringia and Rhineland-Palatinate are sounding the alarm and calling for early childhood education to be strengthened and investments made accordingly. The educational biography begins in daycare. Anyone who invests here will reduce the school dropout rate in the future and ensure that Germany will continue to have high-performing skilled workers available in the future. In its education report, the OECD has been calling on Germany for years to turn its education system upside down and to invest more in day-care centers and primary schools. “There needs to be an about-face in education policy, away from storage and care towards full-fledged education and relationship work,” adds Braekow. “We published a Germany-wide position paper in September and would like to finally see our demands being implemented nationwide,” explains Claudia Theobald, “because if you want to invest in a good social future, you have to start with the day-care centers.”


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