Childcare in comparison, costs, advantages and disadvantages at a glance

Even before the child is born, many expectant parents begin to think about the time after parental leave and the topic of childcare. What is the right form of care? What costs arise and what advantages and disadvantages do the different forms of childcare have in comparison?

Numerous types of childcare

There are a number of different forms of childcare. In addition to public and private Institutions in which several children are cared for also have the option of organizing individual care for their child.
In addition to financial aspects, all forms have certain advantages, but also disadvantages. When choosing childcare, personal preferences also play a role, as well as the amount of care required, where you live and the question of the child’s special requirements. Last but not least, despite a legal claim, it is not always easy to get a place at all.

Carrier of day care centers

Child daycare facilities are operated by a carrier. This is responsible for the operational management of the respective institutions and employers of the educators. There are public and free bodies.
Public bodies are, for example, municipalities and cities.
Free sponsors include church sponsors, such as Caritas or Diakonie, but large welfare organizations also run day care centers (Arbeiterwohlfahrt, Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, pro familia). There are also commercial and private providers.

Comparison of childcare options

Kind of childcare Number of facilities
Total day care facilities 55293
from that
– with integrative support 19657
– for disabled children 251
– for children of employees 726
– from parent initiatives (children’s shops) 4351
Source: Federal Statistical Office, as of March 1, 2017

The classics: crèche and kindergarten

The crèche is for children between the ages of six months and three years. Then there is a change to kindergarten, where the children are looked after until the start of school. Depending on the federal state, the care time is possible from early in the morning until late in the afternoon. In the new federal states in particular there are facilities where children are looked after until 6 p.m. Depending on the institution and institution, there are various educational concepts according to which the nursery or kindergarten is used.

Benefits: The scope of care is often greatest in kindergartens and there are usually no closing times. That means a lot of flexibility for the parents.

Disadvantage: The care key is usually relatively poor compared to other forms of childcare.

Cost factor: There is no nationwide uniform regulation, so depending on where you live and your income, the costs for a day care center are different. The costs vary between 0 and several hundred euros per month. As a rule, around 20 to 60 euros per month are then added to the meals.

Company kindergarten and forms of company support

In addition to the classic company kindergarten, company childcare also means the possibility of booking places in other childcare facilities. The proportion of company kindergartens in the various forms of childcare is very small and lies in the lower single-digit percentage range.

For reasons of cost, many companies shy away from setting up their own company kindergarten. However, since the compatibility of family and work is an increasingly important issue and also a means to attract skilled workers and retain them in the long term, many companies support other variants of company childcare. The type of operational support is varied. Some companies have a certain number of places in existing local childcare facilities. Others contribute to the costs and finance additional staff, for example, or directly support the employee in financing childcare.

Benefits: Company childcare is based on the working hours of the employees and sometimes allows longer childcare times to be taken at short notice.

Disadvantage: If there is a change of employer, the daycare center may also be gone. The adjusted opening times can lead to the employer requesting that these be used accordingly.

Cost factor: Similar to the classic day care center, the costs for a childcare place are usually dependent on the amount of childcare and the income of the parents.

The alternative: the children’s shop

Children’s shops are particularly common in larger cities. They are often so-called parent-initiative children’s shops. This means that the parents take on certain tasks or so-called parenting services. The type and scope of the tasks vary from institution to institution. An average of 15 to 20 children are looked after in a children’s shop.

Benefits: Small, mostly mixed-age groups. Intensive pedagogical support is possible due to an inexpensive supervision key.

Disadvantage: The childcare times are usually shorter than in state kindergartens. In addition, there is usually a closing time of several weeks in the summer of the year. Parents’ work assignments are a time factor.

Cost factor:The costs correspond to those of the state care facility. In some cases, children’s shops charge an additional individual contribution, for example to finance organic food and or the higher childcare key.

The small variant: childminder

Child minders usually only look after up to five children, most of whom are under three years old. Child minders are usually lateral entrants because pedagogical training is not a requirement. However, depending on the federal state, certain requirements have to be met in order to receive permission for commercial childcare.

Benefits: The groups are small, so that intensive care can be guaranteed without the child having to do without playmates.

Disadvantage: Since the care is usually taken over by a single person, unforeseen closing times are very likely. Sick days cannot be compensated for by other educators. In addition, it is usually necessary to change the childcare facility to the child’s third year.

Cost factor: Depending on the federal state, the costs correspond to those of a state daycare center.

Concepts, statutes and guiding principles

Most childcare facilities have their own website where parents can find out more about the facility. The mission statement and concept in particular provide important information as to whether the ideas about childcare fit together. In the concept, the heads of the institution describe how important things and topics are handled in day-to-day care. In addition to the classic concepts, which are based, for example, on the educational programs of the respective federal state, there are numerous other concepts on which institutions base their way of working. Such concepts are reflected, for example, in Montessori, Waldorf or free kindergartens.

Variants of individual care

In addition to state daycare centers, children’s shops and child minders, there are several options for individual care. This can be an option if the child is still too small for larger childcare facilities. Or the parents explicitly want individual care, which may even take place over a long period of time. Sympathy and trust play an important role in individual care, which usually takes place in the home or in the house of the child’s parents, since the child and the caregiver are largely alone.

AU Pair

An au pair is a temporary opportunity to organize individual care. Au pairs are young people who go abroad and live with a host family for the duration of their stay. The host family offers the au pair accommodation, meals and pocket money. In return, the au pair takes care of the child. In the best case, a family relationship develops between the au pair and the host family.

Benefits: The care time can be arranged relatively flexibly, since the au pair lives in the household. In the best case, the au pair also develops into a real caregiver for the child.

Disadvantage: The au pair lives in the household, which has an increased potential for conflict. Language barriers and the additional financial burden should not be underestimated either.

Cost factor: approx. 500 euros per month, the family should pay the au pair around 200 to 300 euros pocket money. The family also bears the cost of accommodation and meals. There is also health insurance and accident insurance for the au pair.


In contrast to the childminder, a nanny or nanny looks after the children in the apartment or in the house of the child’s parents. In addition to looking after the child, light household chores are often also taken on, which are related to looking after the child. These include, for example, cooking food, putting the dishwasher in and out, tidying up children’s rooms and driving services for the children.

Benefits: The children have a clear caregiver who accompanies them in everyday life and over a long period of time.

Disadvantage: The nanny is one of the most expensive childcare options.

Cost factor: Depending on the amount of time, a full job must be financed. Recommended hourly rates are around 20 to 30 euros. Depending on how many hours the nanny works for the family, social benefits are also due.


Rental grandparents can be an alternative if the “real” grandparents do not live in the vicinity or are still employed. The arrangement with the loan grandparents can be fulfilling for both sides. However, there are some legal restrictions to consider.
If the care time is more than 15 hours per week, the rental home / rental home needs a nursing permit. The same applies if care is not provided only in the household of the child’s parents and if a period of three months is exceeded.
The nursing permit is issued by the youth welfare office after participating in a preparatory course.

Benefits: In a cost-effective manner and in the best case, all those involved enter into a long-term commitment.

Disadvantage: The educational ideas of parents and surrogate grandparents can differ widely. Because of the volunteer work, the paths may separate quickly in the case of smaller frictions. As a rule, they are not professionally trained people.

Cost factor: no or hardly any costs. The concept is a voluntary activity.

Special form: babysitter

Babysitters differ from other types of childcare in that the classic babysitter takes care of the children especially in the evenings and at the weekend. As a rule, this is not about pedagogical support. The babysitter mainly "looks after" sleeping children.

Benefits: Babysitters provide parents with opportunities for child-free leisure activities.

Disadvantage: Babysitters are mostly untrained.

Costs: 10 to 15 euros per hour

Legal right to childcare

Since August 1, 2013, children from the age of 1 have a legal right to a childcare place. This right exists regardless of whether the parents are employed or not and is enshrined in the Social Code.

Current numbers on the number of childcare places

According to a study by the Institute of German Economics on May 18, 2017, around 300,000 childcare places are missing nationwide (source).
The situation is not equally tense in all federal states. In the old federal states in particular, there are many childcare places for children under the age of three. In Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia, 16.2 of all children under the age of three were not given childcare, although the parents wanted one. In Bremen, every fifth child was affected. The problem exists throughout Germany and the situation is particularly tense in larger cities.

Resistance forms

Parents’ initiatives have been founded in Leipzig and Berlin, creating the public and defending themselves against the tense situation. Often the problem is not the space itself, but the lack of staff.
Another option that can be used when the legal claim comes into force is the lawsuit.
It was only in March 2018 that the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg decided on two applications for childcare places and the State of Berlin obliges the applicants “one each care place at a reasonable distance from your home ”(source).

Conclusion childcare

If you look at the current situation, there is often no question of what kind of childcare you want for your child. In view of the current lack of childcare places, many parents are happy to get a place at all. However, if you have the opportunity to choose from various offers, it is worthwhile to get an idea of ​​all types.
All childcare options have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, the available offer and the financial means decide whether, for example, individual care is even possible.


Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Christina Cherry
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: