Our figure of the month 06/2020: When socially necessary services disappear: nursery schools closed – who is affected?


Worst effects of closures expected for working parents in Eastern Germany

Children are particularly affected by restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus Pandemic and so are working parents, who now have to organize other ways of child care. Due to closures of nursery schools as part of the anti-coronavirus measures, regular external care of nursery school children is no longer available. Politics have adopted drastic measures. Emergency care is provided for parents of certain occupational groups. But most parents have to find solutions by themselves. In the following, the number of small children who regularly attend nursery schools in each federal state are compared with the employment statistics by region to identify where closures hit parents most strongly.

According to the latest figures of the Federal Statistical Office from March 2019, about 700,000 children under 3 years of age and nearly 2.1 million children aged between 3 and 6 are attending nursery schools in Germany. When comparing the figures of the 16 federal states, most nursery schools can be found in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the state with the highest population, as can be seen in the figure below. However, the number of under 3-year-olds attending nursery school in Bavaria is even slightly higher than in NRW. A relatively large number of under 6-year-olds is also cared for in nursery schools in Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony. At the other end, Bremen and Saarland as states with the smallest population also count the least number of nursery schools.

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