[24. 6. 2020] In an open letter to members of the German Bundestag on 12 June, family organizations pointed out the importance for families of the legal right to all-day care for children of primary school age and emphasized that the quality-related conditions must be designed in such a way that a high quality of education, upbringing and care can be guaranteed.
The open letter in the wording:
Open letter to the members of the German Bundestag:
Implement legal entitlement to good all-day care at primary school age now
“All-day care”, in the form of all-day schools or a combination of school and after-school care, is a central place of education for elementary school children and for many also the most important place to meet friends and peers. For parents, the lack of all-day care offers presents a major barrier to re-entering the workforce or expanding their employment, and can lead to stress and emotional and material strain in families. All-day programs have the potential to even out socially unequal starting chances at the beginning of children’s school careers and to strengthen intercultural coexistence. The Corona crisis highlighted just this, showing that families depend on quality all-day care for children. All-day care also promotes intercultural living together.
From the point of view of family organizations, the quality framework must be designed in such a way that a high quality of education, upbringing and care can be guaranteed. In addition, the “all-day” program for elementary school children must offer a scope that enables all families to benefit from the offerings. This includes comprehensive, needs-based vacation and off-peak care.
In the discussion about the consequences of the Corona pandemic, families have gained the impression that almost all interest groups receive more attention and subsequently faster support from politics than families. From the point of view of families, it is now to be feared that the plan to create a legal entitlement to all-day care at primary school age, which was even set as a priority goal in the 2018 coalition agreement, will be “forgotten” during this legislative period. However, the introduction of a legal right to all-day care for children of primary school age is an important step for families to create more educational equity for children from families with different educational resources and to make it easier to reconcile family and career. In our view, it would also be a step toward improving the equivalence of living conditions in Germany.
In the view of the family associations, adequate corresponding funding is needed for appropriate implementation of the legal entitlement. Minister Karliczek’s proposal to double the federal funds earmarked for start-up financing of all-day care and the federal government’s decisions on the investment program for the expansion of all-day schools and all-day care are therefore steps in the right direction. What is needed, however, is future-proof, permanent funding for the expansion, for which a commitment by the federal government to contribute to the running costs of all-day care is essential.
The AGF appeals to you, as well as to the other responsible parties at the federal, state and local levels, to quickly reach agreement on the unresolved issues of start-up funding and permanent financial security for regular operation, and to introduce a legal entitlement to high-quality all-day care for primary school children now.
Daniela Jaspers, Chair
Sven Iversen, Managing Director