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Child and Youth Services in Germany

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Structures > Financing

Expenditure for child and youth services

Total expenditure (billions of €)

Bar chart showing the development of the amount of expenditure on child and youth services in € billion for the years 2005 (20.9), 2010 (28.9), 2015 (40.7), 2019 (54.9)

accounts for 4.6% of the social budget (2020)

Breakdown of expenditure (€54.9 bn)

Pie chart showing the distribution of expenses in child and youth services in billions of € (54.9; data for 2019), most of which goes to day care for children (67 per cent)


Data on the revenues and expenditures of regional administrative bodies (figures exclude the resources contributed by non-statutory providers of child and youth services) is collected nationwide on an annual basis. This information gives the providers of child and youth services a baseline for planning decisions and is an important tool for further developing the regulations governing child and youth services.

Since 2005 expenditure on child and youth services has increased by a factor of 2.6 – from €20.9 billion to €54.9 billion. This increase is largely down to an expansion of tasks as well as a rise in the uptake of the programmes and structures available, e.g., in connection with the introduction of the legal entitlement to child day-care for the under-threes, the expansion of institutional child protection services, greater uptake of socio-educational support services, support for young adults, and integration support for young people with/at risk of psychological disability.

The largest portion of expenditure in 2019 went on funding for children in child day-care facilities and nurseries, which accounted for around two-thirds (67%) of all spending. Around one-quarter (24%) was spent on socio-educational support services, support for young adults and integration support, including expenditure on the provision of care and protection. A further 5% went on child and youth work and youth social work.

The activities and structures of child and youth services are financed predominantly via tax revenues. Only a small portion of this spending is recouped through contributions from users (adolescents, young people, persons with custodial rights, parents paying child maintenance) or from other providers of social benefits. The statistics reveal that a total of €54.9 billion (gross) was spent on child and youth services in 2019 versus revenues of €3.53 billion. Just over 6% of expenditure for child and youth services is thus recouped through revenues in the form of cost contributions, participation charges, user fees, etc. Accordingly, net spending for 2019 was €51.3 billion.

For context: in 2019 child and youth services accounted for just under 5% of the social budget. The social budget classes child and youth services as "support and care systems". Expenditure is roughly the same as that for basic income support for job-seekers or the "child benefit and family allowance" item of the social budget.

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