Germany has a daycare problem, it has been made hugely worse by the importation of millions of immigrants who by law may use the municipal daycare facilities, for free given they have no income. However, there are simply nowhere near enough facilities to accommodate the German children, much less the multitudes of added immigrants. Merkel’s solution? Make it all free, then everyone will be guaranteed a spot! Yeah! Sounds good for the media! So what’s the problem? There are NO SPOTS! Stories abound of German workers who take advantage of the extended leave made available by law, put their children on a waiting list, only to find there still is no available slot after their 14 months leave has run out.
Making daycare free will only exasperate the problem! Subsidies already cover a hefty percentage of the costs at roughly 225 euros per month. Until recently, this subsidy was provided to parents that chose to keep their children home, out of daycare, but this law was over-turned when a group of activists protested that it encouraged moms to stay at home – a taboo in Germany.
Because in Germany, it is much more preferable to have the state bring up your children for you… And they can’t understand why their birth rate is the lowest in all of Europe. Odd.
Refugees and immigrants are given priority for daycare slots because the government feels this is the only way to assure the children will learn German… Thus, Germans are relegated to hiring nannies and au-pairs at a significantly higher cost.
Essentially, when Merkel announced free daycare for everyone, she was really addressing all the immigrants who have yet to take advantage of the welfare benefit. The potential domino effect of these policies is Germans will lose their employment because they can’t find daycare, can’t find an au pair or nanny, or can’t afford the private costs.
In 2011, Merkel announced that all children over three have the ‘legal right’ to daycare. In 2013, all children over the age of 12 months were granted this ‘legal right’. But the terminology is useless if there isn’t an available facility. In fact, it was estimated that in order to accommodate this right by 2013, Germany would have needed to ADD 140,000 new facilities! Never made it even close, the infrastructure was not available and the cost topped well over $3 billion.
In 2017, a judge determined that parents who are unable to find a government sponsored facility may sue the government for lost wages! Merkel?
While state sponsored German media outlets applaud the low cost grand scheme of daycare in Germany, the reality is starkly different:
- shortage of workers, in Germany they are called ‘childminders’ for family care, means importing them from other countries…
- shortage of facilities meant that many communities simply used PODS, or warehouses without any play areas, small spaces, crowded spaces, and inadequate supplies.
- parents have taken to bribing managers given the wait list can be exorbitantly long, 5 or more years in more urban areas like Munich and Heidelberg.
- a study commissioned by the Federal Families Ministry of Germany, found that only 3% of the facilities were considered of ‘good’ quality. None apparently made it higher.
- there is no standard curriculum and politicians don’t want to require one given this could increase already burgeoning costs.
The cost to the government in providing subsidies and promoting families has been running $270 billion per year. Part of the reasoning for the initiative was a result of the ever declining birth rate – which was the major reasoning behind bringing in the immigrants. Germany needs children and immigrants to fill the cost of supporting an ever aging population, because the German birth rate continues to decline. So the government decided that the reason adults in Germany were not procreating was because they wanted more state sponsored welfare programs to raise their children for them.
What will Merkel’s new freebie contribute?
Higher taxes given Germany is already grappling with the requirement that it boost it’s military spending to be in compliance with EU regulations, nothing is “Free”. Higher childcare costs as demand can not match availability, and expatriation as couples search to fill their needs.
Cost of Child Care in Germany:
State run facility – $400 Euro per month average
Private facility – $500 to $900 per month average
Au Pair – 4 weeks paid vacation, 30 hour work week, sick days, public holidays, paid travel, secure room, board and a monthly stipend starting at roughly 450 euros.
Nanny – typically charge 2,000 to 2,500 Euro a month