Since the beginning of May 2020, child daycare for pre-school children has been gradually expanded again during the corona pandemic. The opening process requires a monitoring of the infection process as well as a careful consideration of existing risks. So far, however, there is no reliable knowledge about the role of children in general and child daycare in particular in the current pandemic. The decision of the Youth and Family Ministers' Conference of April 28, 2020 therefore stipulates that the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth together with the Federal Ministry of Health will fund a socio-scientific and medical study conducted by the German Youth Institute (DJI) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

"The extensive investigation of infection chains in different frameworks of the gradual opening of daycare centers and child daycare can provide important knowledge of control," explains Dr. Susanne Kuger, head of the DJI's „Department of Social Monitoring and Methodology“, and adds: "We analyze the connection between protective measures and the health situation of children as well as their role of spreading in the medium- and long-term." This extensive study by DJI and RKI (short name: "Corona-KiTa-Study"), has been started with a duration until December 2022.


Monitoring of the gradual opening in daycare centers

The objective of the study is to clarify to what extent the previous and further opening in emergency care or in restricted regular operation lead to an increase of infections among children and adults. Basically, the focus is on five questions: Which conditions can child care be provided under? Which challenges are of particular importance for the facilities, the staff, the children and the parents with and without care? Under which conditions will a gradual, controlled opening succeed? What are the associated health risks for everybody involved? Which role does the design of child daycare play in the further spread of SARS-CoV-2, and what is the role of children in this context?


Four modules of the research project

In the first module, a nationwide survey of the management staff of 3,000 daycare centers is planned. In addition, staff and parents are also to be surveyed in 600 facilities. The second module includes the establishment of a voluntary, nationwide register of german daycare centers in order to be able to better track the gradual opening. In the future, the web portal will document the current status of capacities on a weekly basis. Furthermore, regional occurance of infections shall be monitored and detected. In the third module, the incidence of the disease in children with and without participation in daycare and the transmission within families and to educational professionals is examined. Investigating the basic question under which conditions children are possible carriers of the spread of COVID-19 is in the focus of the fourth module. For this purpose, occasion-related tests will be carried out on all children, pedagogic professionals, siblings and parents in daycare centers in case an infection occurs. A total of up to 1,000 people are to be examined at up to three measuring points.

More information and most recent figures are found on the official project website (available in German only)


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