Right for the whole day for primary school students from school year 2025/2026 | Free press

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Berlin (dpa) – Children who go to school in Germany from the 2025/2026 school year must be legally entitled to all-day care in the first four school years.

This is evidenced by a joint draft for a “All-Day Funding Act” by the Federal Department of Families and the Federal Department of Education. The design has been submitted to the German press agency. While not yet coordinated within the federal government, the project could start in the federal cabinet within the next week, according to DPA information.

AT LEAST EIGHT HOURS OF SUPPORT – EVEN DURING THE HOLIDAY

Primary school children should therefore be entitled to at least eight hours of care – including school – on weekdays “until the beginning of fifth grade”, as is said. The wording is intended to ensure that the students have a place through the summer holidays after the fourth grade, regardless of how the respective federal state defines the length of the school year. All-day offers must be available during the holiday season. A closing time of up to four weeks may be allowed throughout the year.

“The expansion of the daily offer for primary schools is the decisive step to increase equal opportunities in the country and thus decouple educational success from social origin,” said the chairman of the primary school association, Edgar Bohn. However, care must be taken to ensure that education and supervision are of high quality and closely coordinated.

Litigation for billions

The union and the SPD had agreed to create a legal right to all-day care for primary school children in their coalition agreement. However, due to the enormous cost in the billions, there is still a dispute with the federal states over the implementation.

It is true that a large number of primary school students are already cared for all day, especially in the East German states, in Berlin and Hamburg – in the morning at school and in the afternoon in after-school care or in general. -day school. In other countries, however, a lot of investment would have to be made in housing in primary schools to increase the number of childcare places.

In addition, annual running costs of up to four billion euros are expected and additional teachers are needed in primary schools; more than 33,000, according to a study by the Institute for Employment Research in Nuremberg. Against this background, the states are demanding more money and more support from the federal government.

The federal government has already pledged EUR 3.5 billion for investment in schools and continued participation in running costs. In the bill, three-digit million annual amounts are mentioned by the federal government for operating costs from 2026. Nevertheless, “We still have no agreement on the cost-sharing between the federal and state governments – not yet. We are working hard on it, ”Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) wrote in a post on her Facebook page on Tuesday.

EXECUTION OPENED

It is therefore unclear whether the project will continue to operate towards the end of the Grand Coalition’s rule. After the cabinet, the law would still have to be passed through the Bundestag and Bundesrat. The regional chamber’s approval is uncertain due to the funding dispute. Time is running out until the federal elections in the fall. In any electoral mandate, laws that are ultimately not up for discussion fall prey to what is known as discontinuity: they lapse.

Giffey and her cabinet employee, Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek, want to prevent this: “We sincerely hope that we will reach an agreement with the federal states on funding by the end of the election period,” the CDU politician told the dpa a a few days ago.

COMPATIBILITY OF FAMILY AND WORK AND SECURITY OF SKILLS

In the opinion of both ministries, creating a national legal right to all-day care in about 15,000 primary schools in Germany is necessary for several reasons: 74 percent of all parents would like to be offered education and care after school. the bill. In addition, it is about better opportunities for children to participate, the compatibility of family and work, equal rights for women and men and securing skilled workers for employers. “Mothers in particular are still too often professionally detained,” Giffey writes on Facebook.

The concept also states: “In addition to lessons, high-quality extracurricular offers can also contribute to successful educational biographies of students.” It is also argued that a national legal claim “is necessary both to create equal living conditions (in Germany) and to safeguard economic and legal unity in the national interest”.

CRITICAL PURPOSE, BUT …

The deputy chairman of the German trade union federation, Elke Hannack, said on Thursday that it is high time for the legal right to all-day care. Neither the federal government nor the states should continue to use political tactics. “The pandemic shows every day how important education, care and social contacts are for children.”

The chairman of the German Teachers Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, spoke of a “commendable goal”, but expressed doubts about the implementation due to the enormous staff shortages in primary schools. “There is a risk of creating a legal claim that cannot be enforced, which will lead to a further massive loss of confidence in politics as expectations are again raised that cannot be met,” said Meidinger.