The DJI has been researching the care of children in Germany up to the end of the primary school age on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth (BMFSFJ) in annual representative large-scale surveys since 2016. Until 2017, children up to the lower secondary level were also included in the study.

The DJI Childcare Study (KiBS) intends to investigate the development of childcare expansion for children in three age groups: Children under three years of age (U3), children from three years to school enrolment (U6) and children in primary school age. From the parents' point of view, a needs-based care offer includes firstly that parents who demand institutional childcare can actually use it, has secondly the time scale that they need and thirdly corresponds to parents’ expectations in qualitative perspective (Alt et al. 2018).

  • Childcare situation and demand, including informal care arrangements comprising, e.g. grandparents or siblings
  • Satisfaction with the offer used
  • Expectations regarding daycare quality and the evaluation of its implementation
  • Reasons for the nonuse of daycare
  • Difficulties of family and work
    • Difficulties to organise childcare
    • Compatability of family and work
  • Regional differences, e.g. with respect to the use of institutional childcare

We carry out annual, representative surveys of approx. 33,000 parents with children under the age of 12 years. Based on random samples from the residents' registration office, about 2,000 interviews are conducted in each federal state. This means the same number of interviews take place in each federal state regardless of its size. The youngest age cohort, children under one year of age, is drawn each year anew, while the older children continue the panel survey. As not all parents repeatedly participate in proximate years, so-called refresher cases supplement the sample.

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

Aim of the study

The aim is to investigate the extent to which the current childcare situation for children up to primary school age has changed since the beginning of the corona pandemic. In addition to the deviation from the "usual" care situation, the support received in organising childcare as well as changes in the parents' working behaviour will be surveyed. Over the field period from the end of March to the end of July 2020, the overall course of the collected information can provide information on the extent of the changes over time and the flexibility that families have to provide as well as the stabilisation of the care situation in the following months.



Study design

The school and kindergarten closures in March 2020 as well as the contact restrictions imposed as part of the measures to contain the corona virus have led to massive childcare problems for many families, as their usual care arrangements suddenly collapsed. For this reason, the KiBS survey, which has been in the field since January, has been supplemented by a short additional module on the effects of the corona virus on the care of children up to primary school age (start 31 March). Parents already interviewed at this time were also asked about the current changes in the care of their children due to corona as part of a follow-up study. First results are expected to be available in autumn 2020.

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


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

Additional Information