In November 2012 German politicians voted in a new childcare/ECE benefit programme that will financially help parents who stay at home to be their child's carer/educator instead of using government subsidised childcare.
This has happened at a time when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has been urging other European nations to rein in spending and cut back public debt. It demonstrates support for parents to have a real choice as to whether to have a paid job and put their child into childcare/ECE or be their child's full-time carer and educator.
Families where one parent stays at home will receive €100 a month under the programme, increasing to €150 a month from 2014 onward.
The proposal was met with harsh criticism by the opposition and business leaders but the law passed with a vote of 310 to 282, with two abstentions.
It has been reported in the media that the centre-left opposition is critical because they say the money should be used to create more early childhood centres and increase children's participation in early childhood education. They say parents should not be paid not to use state funded early childhood programmes. German business leaders argue it could delay parents' entry into the workforce for longer and deprive the German economy of valuable workforce.
From a purely economic viewpoint the subsidy does not make sense. But from an ethical, educational and social development perspective it does make sense. It is argued by supporters of the policy that it is not a question of giving parents money not to use childcare/ECE, but one of fairness and free choice in terms of care.
To keep reading and view the full article login with your member's username and password
Here’s how our membership plans work:
- Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals (but not the ECE Service management article area). In addition, individual members can discuss and ask questions of fellow members any time through the online childcare and early childhood education practice, policy, and research discussion forum.
- Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles. Also on this membership plan members can access the online discussion forum for individual members AND the online ECE service management / business forum.
- Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and related research articles only
Should you not hold a current membership – you are welcome to apply now.