Since 2016, the DJI has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) to examine the institutional care of children up to primary school age in Germany with the annual, federal state representative KiBS-study.*


*Until 2017, children up to lower secondary school were also included in the study.

The DJI Childcare Study (KiBS) aims to examine the development of the expansion in daycare for children in three relevant age groups: children under three years of age (U3 children), children from three years to school entry (U6 children), and children of primary school age. From the parents’ point of view, a care offer that meets their needs means that parents who express such a demand can firstly make use of a care place, secondly that this place has the scope that is actually needed, and thirdly that the place meets the parents’ expectations in terms of quality (Alt et al. 2018).

  • Childcare situation and demand, including informal care arrangements with, for example, grandparents or siblings
  • Satisfaction with the offers used
  • Expectations regarding the quality of care and the evaluation of its implementation
  • Reasons for nonuse of institutional care
  • Difficulties with the organization of childcare
  • Compatibility of family and work
  • Regional contexts and differences in the use of childcare

KiBS is conducted as an annual, federal-state-representative survey of approximately 33,000 parents with children under the age of 12 years. Based on samples from residents' registration offices, about 2,000 interviews are conducted in each federal state. This means that the same number of parents is interviewed in each federal state, regardless of its size. The youngest age cohort, children under one year of age, is redrawn annually, while the older children continue the panel survey. Unmet caseloads in panel cases are filled by so-called refresher cases.

The parent principally caring for the child is interviewed; in more than 90 per cent of the cases, this is the child's mother. The duration of a telephone interview (CATI) is about 20 minutes per person.

Study objective

The aim of the Corona-Add-On is to examine the extent to which the current childcare situation for children up to primary school age has changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the deviation from the "usual" care situation, the support received in organizing care as well as changes in the parents' work behavior will also be surveyed. Over the field period from the end of March to the end of July 2020, the overall pattern of information collected can provide information about the extent of change over time and the flexibility that families have to muster, as well as about the stabilization of the care situation in subsequent months.


Study design

The March 2020 school and childcare closures, as well as the contact restrictions as part of the measures to contain the coronavirus, have created massive caregiving problems for many families, as their usual care arrangements have been eliminated all at once. For this reason, the KiBS survey, which has been in the field since January, was supplemented with a short add-on module on the impact of the coronavirus on childcare up to primary school age (start date March 31). Parents already interviewed at this time were also asked about current changes in their children's care due to COVID-19 as part of a follow-up survey. First results are expected to be available in the autumn of 2020.

These additional data are made available to the scientific community as part of the regular publication of the KiBS Scientific Use Files after careful processing and anonymization.


+49 89 62306-322
Deutsches Jugendinstitut
Nockherstr. 2
81541 Munich
Martina Speier
+49 89 62306-233

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