A chance for kindergartens in the light of declining birth rates in Germany

The number of women in Germany who gave birth last year fell by 5.5% below the average for the years 2019 to 2021, which is equivalent to 739,000 children. There are various reasons for this decline, but this decline could be an opportunity for kindergartens.

In 2022, the number of births in the states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia fell by 12% from the previous three years.

Kindergartens in Germany

Opportunity for Kindergartens in Light of Declining Birth Rates in Germany

This is understandable in view of the second wave of lockdowns and the subsequent baby boom. Nataly Nietzsche from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research explains that the desire to have children may have been brought forward.

There are several reasons for the decline in birth rates after the pandemic, but they should be approached with caution, as Nietzsche suggests. She believes that what is commonly circulated is “people’s desire to avoid pregnancy after a new vaccine that has not been tested for a long period yet, and perhaps they wanted to wait and monitor the development of health and social situations,” according to her statement.

However, the current figures of the birth rate are not surprising for another reason as well. Olga Putschsh from the Federal Statistical Office explains the correlation between them and the generations born in the 1990s:

“Currently, in the East, we are facing a situation where the number of women in the childbearing age, between the mid-twenties and mid-thirties, is significantly low.”

These figures are also noticed by the policymakers and administration, and perhaps the ministries concerned with the affairs of the future generations – those ministries that deal more promptly with new citizens – are the most attentive.

Derek Riefel, from the Ministry of Culture in Saxony, confirms this matter and says:

“We will experience a decline in the birth rate, first noticeable in kindergartens, and there are projections that the number of children under the age of six will decrease by about ten percent by the year 2025.”

Does this mean a 10 percent decrease in healthcare personnel? Rifles sees this decline as an opportunity not to already do so, and he calls it the “demographic dividend.

“If we desire to enhance the quality of early childhood education, we must commit to supporting the personnel working in kindergartens.”

This idea, highly welcomed according to Sabine Grohmann, who works at the Childcare Office in Dresden city, comes at a time when the city has been experiencing a continuous decline in the number of newborn children for approximately ten years.

The city administration is already responding to this setback, and eleven prefab nurseries will be removed as part of the right to obtain a proper childcare facility for young children.

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