New report on parenthood in Germany recommends more work-life balance, educational fairness

Michaela Kreyenfeld contributes research as part of government-appointed expert commission on families.

A new report, “Being a Parent in Germany”, which was recently published by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, says that national family policy is on the right track, but effective and consistent support for parents and children must be continued and expanded.

Hertie School Professor of Sociology Michaela Kreyenfeld contributed to the Ministry’s report in her role as one of seven members of an Expert Commission appointed by the German government. The report highlights the realities of life for families in Germany and provides recommendations to the government.

It shows that parenting in Germany has become increasingly demanding: parents want to spend more time with their children, encourage them as much as possible, reconcile family and work, and at the same time pursue their own goals.

To be able to achieve this, the report highlights a need to rethink traditional role models, create more acceptance of complex family structures, and acknowledges the challenges of digitalisation and the unequal social conditions when it comes to opportunities for children.

The Expert Commission offers three central recommendations in their report, focused on improved quality of work-life balance for a better partnership, educational justice for children and stable economic security.

The German parliament requires the government to produce a report on the situation of families at least every second legislature period, with the aim of guiding family policy-making. The ninth edition of the family report covers the period from July 2018 to August 2020.

You can read the study (in German) here.

The Hertie School is not responsible for any content linked or referred to from these pages.
Views expressed by the author/interviewee may not necessarily reflect the views and values of the Hertie School.