Berlin / Stuttgart (dpa) – New calculations from the German Youth Institute set in motion the recent deadlock financial dispute over all-day childcare for primary schoolchildren.
So far, the federal and state governments have assumed that approximately one million additional spaces will need to be created in 2030 to meet the intended legal entitlement. In an internal working paper of the youth institute, which is available to the German press agency, experts now expect far fewer places.
“On average, one can assume around 600,000 additional full-time places required in the 2029/2030 school year of primary school age,” the newspaper said. This would mean that the previously assumed costs for the expansion would also decrease significantly.
Compromise within the mediation committee?
This should play an important role in the search for a compromise between the federal and state governments scheduled for Friday. At the end of June, the Länder passed the law in the Federal Council because, in their opinion, the federal government did not want to give enough money for enlargement. They called the mediation committee, but little happened during the summer vacation. Now, time is running out as the Bundestag will hold its last session ahead of the Bundestag elections on Tuesday next week, in which the law could be passed again. Now, an informal working group is supposed to seek a solution on Friday and present it to the mediation committee on Monday.
The Youth Institute incorporates three factors in its updated calculations: the demographic change in the number of children of primary school age, the daytime offers already available and the proportion of parents who would like their child has a place in the day. . Experts now assume that the number of children will increase dramatically by the end of 2026, but decline again three years later. In addition, the Länder have considerably increased the number of places available.
For the 600,000 additional places per day by 2030, investment costs of 4.55 billion euros are expected, explains the youth institute. Previously, the federal and state governments had assumed 7.5 billion euros. According to the bill, the federal government wanted to take more than 3.5 billion euros, which would represent 46.7%. However, the Länder require the federal government to bear 70 percent of the investment costs. Experts estimate the annual operating costs at the final stage at around 2.6 billion euros. The federal government wanted to contribute a good fifth of the previously assumed 4.5 billion euros. However, the Länder want a 50:50 split in the long term.
Especially the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), had recently lobbied on this subject. His state ministry does not yet see real progress in the new calculations. “A realistic and reliable forecast of needs must take into account the total need in all envisaged forms of care, which is included in the legal right,” said a spokesperson. “This is not the case in the updated July version.”
Total need means all forms of child care, in addition to after-school daycares and all-day schools, also offers mid-day or daycare services. “At the center remains the request of the Länder to the federal government to boost operating costs and finance half of them.”