"We want greater equality of opportunity for all children"

Extending full-day care for primary school children "We want greater equality of opportunity for all children"

Full-day education and care supports primary school children and helps their parents balance family and professional commitments. Since demand for these services still outstrips supply, the German government intends to provide a total of two billion euros to help individual federal states roll out full-day care over the period 2020 and 2021.

A day-care staffer looks at a sheet of paper with a child.

Full-day care allows primary school children to benefit from one-to-one support after classes

Photo: picture alliance / dpa

"Today, we have taken a great step forward towards a legal entitlement – we want to ensure greater equality of opportunity for all children and to help parents reconcile their family and professional commitments," said Federal Family Affairs Minister Franziska Giffey.

As well as making it easier for parents to balance family and work, primary school children themselves benefit from day care outside school hours: good day care and educational services in the afternoon underpin their individual development. School children can receive one-to-one support outside the classroom.

"The talents and passions of every child should be encouraged. In practice this means that high quality educational and day care services must provide for individual support for each child," stressed Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek.

The coalition agreement states that by 2025 primary school children should be legally entitled to full-day care.

Federal government to help states expand services

Although the day care infrastructure in the individual federal states has already been expanded, the demand for full-day care for primary age children still outstrips supply.

The federal government thus intends to provide one billion euros a year in 2020 and 2021 to help the individual federal states expand full-day care. The aim is to encourage the expansion of reliable and needs-driven educational and care services across the country. 

The financial assistance will be provided to the federal states through a government special fund. The Cabinet has now approved the establishment of a special fund for this purpose.

Government special funds are set up exclusively for specific areas of the responsibility of federal government, and are managed separately from other federal property.