Family and children

From zero to more than 600 euros: a wide range of daycare fees

Summary

Berlin (dpa) – One pays hundreds of euros, the other nothing at all: In Germany, the place of residence decides how deeply parents have to dig into their pockets for the daycare. According to a new study by the Institut […]

From zero to more than 600 euros: a wide range of daycare fees.  According to the IW study in Berlin, parents pay the least: since this summer, daycare has generally been free here.

Berlin (dpa) – One pays hundreds of euros, the other nothing at all: In Germany, the place of residence decides how deeply parents have to dig into their pockets for the daycare. According to a new study by the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) Cologne, the range of fees is several hundred euros.

As a rule, the parental contributions for the daycare centers are set by the municipalities. They are usually calculated according to the age of the child, the time of care and the annual income of the parents – with the so-called Good Day Care Act, such a graduation will be required in future.

According to the IW study in Berlin, parents pay the least: Since this summer, daycare has generally been free of charge here – regardless of how much the parents earn and how long the child goes to daycare each day. From the second birthday, this also applies in all cities in Rhineland-Palatinate. In Hamburg, at least five hours of care is free of charge.

Other places such as Düsseldorf, Hanover, Münster, Kiel or Erfurt do not yet take any contributions with a low income of 30,000 euros, but only apply later. Elsewhere, at least the last years of daycare before school enrollment are free.

According to the data, parents in Duisburg pay the most if they earn more than 90,000 euros a year and have their 18-month-old child cared for 9 hours a day. In this case, according to the IW study, it costs 630 euros. Families with a median income of 50,000 euros pay the most if they spend 25 or 35 hours in Cologne. With a care time of 45 hours a week, Saarbrücken asks you to pay the most.

The institute has evaluated the fee schedules of the municipal daycare centers in all places with more than 250,000 inhabitants and the smaller provincial capitals. Families with different incomes, children of different ages and different levels of care were considered. In general, the younger the children, the wealthier the parents and the longer the care period, the higher the fees.

However, the quality of daycare care is not taken into account, for example how many children a single educator has to look after. According to a study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the differences here are large: in West German daycare groups, one specialist looks after an average of 3.6 children, in East German 6 children. In addition, the municipal fee schedules do not apply in all federal states to independent daycare centers, which make up around two thirds of the facilities nationwide.

The study authors assume that middle-income parents often have to spend a tenth of their net income on daycare. This could have a deterrent effect on some families, so that they did not send their children to kindergarten until relatively late.