A report published Tuesday said there was a shortage of around 430,000 day-care centres in Germany despite the legal entitlement to childcare facilities.
The Bertelsmann Foundation wrote in a report that although there has been progress in the expansion of day-care centres, demand has risen continuously, and the situation is now “unbearable.’’
The analysis identifies a crisis in childcare centres and calls for vigorous short and long-term measures.
Since 2013, children have had a legal entitlement to a childcare place after their first birthday. For children aged three and older, the entitlement has existed since 1996.
According to the report, more parents are looking for childcare for their younger offspring, in particular, saying that the shortage was correspondingly high, especially for children under three years old.
The lack of staff was still a serious problem, the foundation writes.
The report also identifies clear regional differences in the western German states, with a shortage of 385,900 day-care spots, while the eastern states lack 44,700.
In the east, however, the staffing ratio was much less favourable, with one full-time specialist responsible for 5.4 children under three, compared to 3.4 specialists in the western states.
Eastern states see an average of 10.5 staffing specialists for children aged three and older, compared to 7.7 in the West.
The shortage of skilled staff made it increasingly difficult for day-care centres to fulfil their educational mission.
“The situation has become unbearable for children and parents as well as for the existing staff,” education expert Anette Stein of the Bertelsmann Foundation said.