Fewer small children and more staff in daycare centers

The number of employees in child daycare increased last year. On March 1, 2021, 751,159 people were employed in this sector, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Thursday. This corresponds to an increase of 23,435 people (3.2 percent). Of these, 708,136 people were employed as pedagogical, managerial and administrative staff in daycare facilities for children and 43,023 as daycare mothers or fathers in publicly funded daycare. In addition, 110,165 people were employed in the housekeeping and technical areas of daycare facilities.

In contrast, the number of children under the age of three in care decreased for the first time since the start of the time series in 2006: As of March 1, 2021, 2.3 percent fewer children were cared for in daycare facilities or by child minders than a year earlier. In addition to the population trend, the statistics office also attributes this to the fact that, due to the Corona pandemic, new care contracts were presumably not concluded in some cases because, for example, settling in at daycare centers was only possible to a limited extent. In contrast, there was no decline in the age group of three to under six-year-olds. Here, the number of children in care rose by 1.1 percent year on year to 2.2 million.

As of March 1, a total of around 3.9 million children under the age of 14 were being cared for in daycare centers or daycare services across Germany. There is still an east-west divide. While an average of 52.3 percent of all children under the age of three are in daycare in eastern Germany, the figure in western Germany is just under a third at 30.6 percent. This difference is smaller for three- to under-six-year-olds - 94 percent in the east and 91.4 percent in the west.

As before, the proportion of men working in daycare is relatively low. As of March 1, 2021, 55,455 men were employed in educational, managerial, and administrative positions in a daycare facility or were active as daycare providers. The proportion of men - in relation to all persons working in these areas - was thus 7.4 percent. Compared with other German states, the proportion of male employees was highest in Berlin and Hamburg (12.5 percent each).

At the same time, over the past ten years, more and more men have opted to work in daycare, the report continued: the number of male employees has more than tripled since 2011 (2011: 18,433), and the proportion of men has almost doubled (2011: 3.8 percent). Saxony-Anhalt recorded the highest increase. Here, the number of male employees has increased almost fivefold (from 298 to 1,373).Meanwhile, the number of daycare centers themselves have also increased. Nationwide, there were 58,500 daycare centers on March 1 of the current year - 900 more than at the same time last year (up 1.6 percent).

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