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Innocenti Working Papers

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) was created to strengthen UNICEF's research capability and to support its advocacy for children worldwide. The Working Papers (formerly Innocenti Occasional Papers), are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues.

English

Overcoming Disparities and Expanding Access to Early Childhood Services in Germany

Policy Considerations and Funding Options

In comparison to the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) systems of many other advanced economies the German system can be characterised as relative uniform, when looking at programmes and providers. But in other ways, there are considerable variations. There are considerate regional differences in governance, funding, and attendance rates, in particular with respect to certain socio-economic groups. This paper describes and evaluates these differences, mainly from an economic perspective and also taking child well-being into account. In Germany (a federal republic of 16 states) the federal government has legislative and organizational authority over the area of child and youth welfare, including ECEC services. Nevertheless, the provision and financing of programmes are a state and municipality responsibility, for which the later must plan and ensure the provision of ECEC services. Within this framework the federal government recently set the political goal of increasing the supply of ECEC places for children below the age of three to 35 per cent by 2013. This is the first time ever that the federal government has made a concrete commitment to allocate federal funds to the sector, given the federal framework special means had to be found to do so.

English

Keywords: Basic social services, attendance rates, regional disparities, early childhood education and care, ECEC
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