From the beginning of 2021 to the end of 2023, KiBS will be in a further project phase. Since 2016, the German Youth Institute (Deutsches Jugendinstitut), , has been collecting annual, federal state representative data on childcare for children from the first year of life to the end of the fourth grade in primary school as part of KiBS and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). These children can be divided into three age groups: children under three years of age (U3), children between the ages of three and school enrolment (U6) and primary school children (GS). With the help of the KiBS data, indicator-based reports on the development of parental needs and the care arrangements used are submitted on a regular basis. The annual KiBS survey not only collects data for the core indicators to be reported in the trend comparison, but also sets changing thematic focuses or makes additions to the content of the study depending on the current situation (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic) and the social discourse.

Main topic of the reporting is the parental demand of institutional care for their children. This enables a needs-oriented estimation of the expansion of places in institutional childcare (i.e., the demand side) that is still necessary. The demand for expansion varies widely across different regions, time, and parent groups, so that regular and accurate monitoring is needed in order to be able to steer expansion efforts in a targeted manner.

  • Which care needs do which parents have to what extent, and which care arrangement do they want for their child?
  • Which parents use which childcare services to what extent, and how many individuals or organizations participate in a childcare arrangement?
  • How well is the parental demand for childcare met by the existing services and where are gaps? What is the importance of off-peak hours and how great is the demand for them?
  • How satisfied are parents with the services they use?
  • How do parents cope with difficulties in caring for their children, for example, during vacation periods, at institutional transitions, or due to the closure of childcare facilities and schools as part of the containment of infectious disease during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Which parents do not use childcare services and what are the reasons for this?
  • What regional aspects and differences are there in the use of childcare?

KiBS is an annual, federal-state-representative survey of approximately 33,000 parents with children up to the end of the fourth grade of primary school.

Based on samples from population registration offices, the aim is for between 100 and 556 interviews per age cohort and federal state. The slightly disproportionate distribution ensures that, on the one hand, the number of inhabitants of the respective federal state is taken into account in the sample, so that larger federal states are included in the sample with a higher number of cases. On the other hand, it is ensured that at the same time sufficient numbers of cases are still generated in very small federal states such as the city states for the subsequent state-specific analyses.

Children under the age of one are redrawn annually to include the youngest cohort in the sample. For the older age cohorts, about half of the respondents are continued in the panel, while the remaining case numbers are filled by so-called “refreshers”.

The interviews are conducted as proxy interviews with the child’s primary caregiving parent. In 2020, this was the mother of the target child in about 85 percent of cases. About half of the interviews are conducted by telephone (CATI) (interview duration: between 20 and 30 minutes). The remaining respondents are reached through an online questionnaire (CAWI), but also have the option of requesting a written questionnaire (PAPI) for self-completion.

After data collection, adjustment weighting is first used to correct for the slight disproportionality in the sample, and the data are also adjusted to official data on care to allow for representative statements on care demands. Depending on the age group, this is done using different key figures from official statistics.

The KiBS data are analyzed descriptively and/or multivariately depending on the research question and topic.