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Evaluation of childcare
services in NRW         


Ministry of Children, Family, Refugees, and Integration for North Rhine-Westphalia



The Children's Education Act (KiBiz) regulates the foundations and financing of childcare as well as the framework conditions for early childhood education in North Rhine-Westphalia. The amended version of the KiBiz came into force on August 1, 2020. With the amendment, childcare services in North Rhine-Westphalia were comprehensively professionalised, further developed, and given financial support.

On behalf of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration, Prognos evaluates the changes resulting from the new regulations in the field of childcare services and what effects the financial support has had. The project team dealt with the implementation of the new regulations at the youth welfare office level, the initial qualifications of childcare workers, and the municipal training possibilities for childcare workers.

Higher quality in childcare services but varied implementation of the regulations 

The results of the evaluation show:

  • Many of NRW’s youth welfare offices have adapted their internal rules or guidelines to align with the KiBiz and have substantiated the regulations. But there are also youth welfare offices where the guidelines and rules are yet to be updated.
  • Individual youth welfare districts have set different priorities in terms of raising the educational and financial levels in childcare. The implementation of the legal entitlement of parents to good quality care for their children within a childcare structure is very much a “patchwork quilt” of regulations.
  • The support and childcare services provided by the youth welfare offices, as well as professional counselling and local further training services, are very differently assessed by childcare personnel and youth welfare representatives.
  • The main criticism is that further training is not recognised equally, in terms of assuming the costs of further training or the increase in current cash benefits.
  • Positively highlighted was the obligation for high value and extensive qualifications, in accordance with the Childcare Qualifications Handbook (QHB), required by most youth welfare offices for new childcare employees - which, in part, also encourages the later qualification of already employed childcare personnel.
  • The raised expectations for better educational quality in childcare service structures is already showing results, with an increase in the qualification level of childcare workers across the board. 

Our approach

In the context of the evaluation, the project team evaluated existing documents from youth welfare offices and data from the internal controlling system (KiBiz-Web). A standardised online survey of the youth welfare offices in NRW complements the available information. In order to record the changes in community training sessions and to find out how childcare workers evaluated them, the authors of the evaluation also conducted interviews with two focus groups.

Links and downloads

Concluding evaluation report (PDF, in German)

More on our evaluation of the KiBiz (in German)

More information about the project (MKJFGFI website, in German)

Project team: Dr Anna Marina Schmidt, Dr Dagmar Weßler-Poßberg, Ulrich Weuthen 

Last update: 26.03.2024

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Dagmar Weßler-Poßberg

Partner, Head of Social Policy

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Dr phil Anna Marina Schmidt

Project Manager

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