Online conference on the situation in daycare centers and universities

Publishing Date: 23.05.2023

At the invitation of the University of Ioannina in Greece, an ERASMUS+ partner university of HAWK, experts from six countries discussed current developments in the daycare sector as well as in higher education in the context of an online conference. Furthermore, the event offered a good opportunity for students to learn more about ERASMUS+ stays abroad. The moderator was Dr. Konstantina Rentzou, who has already been a guest at HAWK online conferences several times.

Prof. Dr. Tim Rohrmann from the HAWK Faculty of Social Work and Health at the Hildesheim location introduced the wide range of international opportunities at HAWK. In his keynote speech he addressed, among other things, the rapid expansion of childcare places for children under the age of three and the challenge posed by the increasing number of multilingual children. Also in view of the shortage of skilled workers, he emphasized that childhood educators can play a decisive role in opening up new perspectives for education, upbringing and care in childhood.


In Denmark and other Nordic countries in recent years, the ‚First 1000 Days‘ program has focused on the health and well-being of children and families in the first three years of life and has developed measures to support children, parents and daycare centers. In view of the high burden on young families and the challenges that daycare centers are facing, especially in the area of work with children under the age of three, such a focus would be desirable for Germany as well, according to Rohrmann. While in Germany still only a small proportion of daycare professionals have a university degree, in Italy, Spain, Greece and Denmark, the training of specialists at university level has long been a matter, according to the stocktaking at the online conference. However, in the exchange about the participants' systems of day care for children, the great complexity and confusion of institutional structures in many countries became clear. This often means that not all parents are provided with good quality care: In Turkey, although the kindergarten sector had been significantly expanded for the last two years before school attendance starts, the offers available for younger children was still low in many regions.

In contrast to the extreme shortage of skilled workers in Germany, the situation is much different in other countries: for example, graduates of Spanish universities often do not find suitable jobs despite the expansion of daycare, as Concepción Sánchez Blanco from the University of A Coruña in northwestern Spain reported. This is due not least to the staffing ratio, which is still significantly lower than in Germany: one specialist is available for eight children in the first year of life, 12 children in the second year, and as many as 25 in the three to five age group.



Professorship for Childhood Education - Coordination of BA programme in ECEC