According to a recent study, there are still 266,000 day-care places for children under the age of three in Germany. The gap in supervision is therefore somewhat smaller than in previous years, reported the employer-related Institute of the German Economy (IW) in a study published on Saturday. For comparison: in 2019 there was still a shortage of almost 360,000 childcare places for small children in Germany.
According to the study, the situation is particularly bad in Bremen. The IW reported that the percentage of childcare gaps had fallen there from 19.7 percent to 16 percent since 2019. But the city-state takes last place in the nationwide ranking. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the gap in care has narrowed by 6 percentage points to 13.9 percent within three years. According to the study, the situation for childcare was best in Saxony-Anhalt and Hamburg.
According to the IW experts, the fact that all federal states were able to close the gap in care is due to three factors. Firstly, the cities and municipalities have pushed ahead with the expansion of day care centers, secondly, the number of children under the age of three has fallen. In addition, due to the pandemic, the proportion of parents who were even looking for a childcare place has decreased.
With a view to the future, the IW believes that there is no reason to give the all-clear. "Due to the corona pandemic, fewer childcare places were needed. In addition, many people from Ukraine have been looking for protection from the Russian war of aggression for several months - including parents with their small children," emphasized IW study author Wido Geis-Thöne. It is therefore difficult to estimate how the demand situation will develop in the coming years. However, the situation could get worse again.