On behalf of two ministries of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the Ministry for Schools and Education and the Ministry for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration (MKFFI), the Forschungsverbund TU Dortmund/DJI (Research association of TU Dortmund and the DJI) is investigating parents’ wishes for all-day school places for primary school children in NRW. This takes place on a small-scale regional level. In addition, the determinants of the parental wishes will be identified.

Over the past 15 years, all-day schools have significantly changed the way children and adolescents grow up and contributed to the (re)shaping of today's childhoods (c.f. Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth 2013). The open all-day school (Offene Ganztagsschule, OGS) is intended to be a high-quality educational and care offer at the same time to support parents in their educational work (Altermann et al. 2018; Arnoldt/Steiner 2015). The current debates on open all-day schools therefore often focus on topics that are of particular relevance to parents.

For the implementation of a legal claim agreed upon in the coalition agreement at the federal level by 2025, not only various legal and financial implementation steps are necessary. In addition, research desiderata become apparent in this context, which are to be addressed by answering the questions mentioned below.

The aim of the project, running until the end of 2020 at the Forschungsverbund TU Dortmund/DJI, is to gain insights into the extent and variance of parental demands for childcare in the form of an all-day place for primary school children in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, the causal factors are to be identified. It is also of interest to know how the demand is regionally specific.

When investigating parental demands further factors also play a role, such as the amount of time needed for care, reasons for use or non-use, or the preferred type of care. In addition, the survey creates a data basis for demand and cost analyses, which are a necessary condition for the research project in order to produce model calculations about additional places to be created and about the lack of pedagogical personnel.

The task of the DJI in the project is to create a reliable database for NRW. The surveys carried out so far have too small numbers of observations to serve as a concrete planning basis for the single municipalities with regard to the provision of a demand-oriented childcare offer (cf. Alt et al. 2018 at the federal state level). The creation of the database includes the adaptation of the programming template, the drawing of a sample, the cooperation with the survey institute, and the data set preparation. The survey uses the approved questionnaire routines of the DJI Childcare Study (KiBS).

With the database produced by the DJI, the Forschungsverbund TU Dortmund/DJI can subsequently answer a number of important questions for which extensive research desiderata exist:

  • How many parents need institutional care for their children in primary school and to what extent?
  • Which demand for childcare do parents have during the school holidays?
  • How do the parental needs differ depending on alternative settlement structures?
  • Which parents are satisfied with the childcare offer they use (e.g. with the quality and time slots)?
  • Which form of childcare (e.g., all-day school place, after-school care, daycare) do parents prefer?
  • How do the childcare needs for a full-day school place change with increasing child age?
  • Do form and extent of demand for all-day school places differ depending on the size of the surveyed municipalities?
  • Which sociodemographic characteristics are related to the different parental demands for all-day school places?
  • What reasons do families have for not using institutional childcare?
  • How do parents reconcile work and family if they do not use institutional childcare?
  • Does the amount of care used cover the amount needed?

In particular, the newly created dataset makes it possible to perform settlement structure evaluations, thus creating a solid planning basis for municipalities of different sizes. Additionally, differentiations can be made by grade levels and alternative sociodemographic variables.

The affiliation of the project to KiBS and the use of its methods allow for the interplay (matching) of KiBS data with data from NRW, by far the most populous federal state, so that joint evaluations can also be realized.

In order to be able to answer all questions reliably and thus to meet the diverse research desiderata, an additional representative sample for North Rhine-Westphalia will be drawn in cooperation with the 2019 survey wave of the DJI Childcare Study (KiBS) so as to obtain additional data for this federal state based on the basis of a survey instrument that has already been tested.

The sample for NRW should comprise 150 municipalities with 5,000 cases (200 sample points) in the age group of five to ten year old children who are currently in primary school. The questionnaire applied in KiBS will be used as the survey instrument, which will have to be adapted in parts.


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