German Parents Can Now SUE The Government For Failing To Provide Childcare 5 years ago

German Parents Can Now SUE The Government For Failing To Provide Childcare

Finding childcare when you are returning to work after having a baby is often both stressful and – in Ireland – most often insanely expensive.

And that is if they even have a free space in a creche anywhere near where you live or works in the first place.

In fact, cost and availability of childcare is still, in 2017, contributing to many Irish women having to put their careers on hold after having had a baby. Which, you know, is really all sorts of backwards.

In Germany, however, things are rather different. In fact, so different that German parents can now sue the government for lost wages if they can’t find a place for their child in a public daycare center.

Yep, that's right. And this is because in Germany, like the advanced, modern nation that they are, the state has decided that every child over the age of 1 has the legal right to a space in a public daycare facility

The judge who ruled that parents are now in the position to sue should the state fail in providing them with childcare, made his decision in response to three mothers who filed a lawsuit declaring that authorities had neglected to create the necessary daycare slots required by the ruling.

And because the mums couldn’t find a child-care center with any openings in their hometown of Leipzig, their lawyers argued that they were unable to return to work after giving birth, something which then had resulted in a loss of earnings.


According to, Chief Justice Ulrich Herrmann ruled in the mothers’ favor last October in what has become a bit of a landmark case.

Interestingly, stay-at-home parents, by contrast, wouldn't be able to sue the state, or have damages to recoup, because a lack of child-care availability wouldn't have resulted in a loss of wages to them.

This might seem a little far-fetched to many, but in countries like Germany (and also the Scandinavian countries, where childcare is heavily subsidized by the state) most mothers today return to work after having children –and high-quality, low-cost, universal childcare helps this happen.

This obviously also has the knock-on effect of more women being able to continue on with their careers, more equality in the work-place, less gender-based pay-gaps and a more equal society.

What do YOU think, parents? Would subsidized child-care and guaranteed creche spaces help Irish families? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie