In Germany, family day care is a form of child day care, like crèches or kindergarten. The childminders assist the children in their development. They plan teaching activities, foster the children’s education, and enable them to have their own experiences and discover the world. The children play together with other children, and learn the basics of getting by in our society through social interaction. In a friendly, familiar environment, the children are able to gain the everyday education they will need for their academic education. They receive highly personalised care and support. The care hours can also be arranged individually with the childminders.
The teaching is based on the educational programmes in place for children at day nurseries and family day cares, which cover the areas of social learning, communication and language development, mathematics and science, music, theatre, art, health and the body. The childminders describe their work in a teaching plan.
In Germany, all children aged 1 and over have a legal right to education, early learning and care at a day nursery or with a childminder. Parents wanting their child to be looked after may enquire with the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) or a Special Service capable of arranging this.
All childminders need a permit from the Youth Welfare Office. To obtain this, they must provide a medical certificate and police clearance. They also need to attend a training course in first aid for children. The Youth Welfare Office will additionally inspect the premises where the children are due to be looked after. The permit is valid for 5 years, after which it needs to be renewed. A childminder is only permitted to look after a maximum of 5 children at a time.
Payments are usually made by the Youth Welfare Office. The childminder is remunerated for their work, and also receives a percentage for health and pension insurance, the material costs for operating the day care centre, and the money spent on feeding the children. The parents then pay a fee to the Youth Welfare Office, usually based on their income. In some regions, childcare is free, and only a fee for meals needs to be paid.
Childminders and parents are entitled to seek advice and counselling. The Youth Welfare Office or other centre contracted by it (counselling centre, association, Special Service) can offer advice on all matters relating to family day care. From organisational and legal aspects to everyday education, or even in the case of conflicts, specialist advisors are the first port of call. They can generally provide advice in advance, and help you find the right minder for your children.
A total of 118,000 children under 3 and 44,000 children aged 3 and over were looked after at a family day care facility in 2017.
45,000 people currently work as childminders; 1,500 are male. 30% are trained in education; the rest have qualified by working 160 or 300 hours as a minimum.
70% of childminders look after the children alone in their own home, and 7.5% at the child’s home. 23% work in pairs or groups to look after 10 children at separately leased premises. Small groups are an important feature of family day care services.
The Bundesverband für Kindertagespflege
(German Federal Association of Family Day Care)
The Bundesverband für Kindertagespflege was founded in 1978. It is the professional association for family day care in Germany. It has 107 associations and family day care societies as members, and a volunteer executive board. Its office and staff are largely financed by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
Tasks performed by the Bundesverband für Kindertagespflege
The work carried out by the Bundesverband für Kindertagespflege primarily consists of
- Professionally and politically campaigning to further develop quality in family day care. This includes, in particular, aspects such as childminder training, financial framework conditions, and involvement in laws.
- Providing advice and advanced training for all those working in the family day care industry: staff from Youth Welfare Offices and counselling centres, advisors, childminders, scientists/academics, and many more. At https://www.bvktp.de/info, parents can find information on family day care in Germany and the Bundesverband für Kindertagespflege in ten different languages.
- Preparing information on family day care to further publicise the service and provide additional information.
- Helping advanced training providers in their work, providing advanced training for consultants, and awarding certificates to “Qualified childminders”. Over 40,000 childminders have so far obtained a certificate.
- Supporting family day care associations as an umbrella association.
The website of the Bundesverband für Kindertagespflege gives visitors the option of ordering a number of German-language publications, including on topics such as education in family day care, hygiene, payment and training, and also posts the latest news.
If you would like to learn more about family day care in Germany or the Bundesverband für Kindertagespflege, information in German is available at www.bvktp.de. For communication in English, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Heiko Krause on: 0049-30-78097078. We look forward to speaking with you.