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Evaluation of the federal program „Sprach-Kitas“ (engl. „Language daycare centers“)

In January 2016, the German Federal Ministry for Families, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) launched the federal program “Sprach-Kitas: Weil Sprache der Schlüssel der Welt ist” (English: “Language daycare centers: Because language is the key to the world”). From 2016 to 2020, the BMFSFJ utilized this federal program to assist about 6000 German daycare centers in their task of supporting the language development of children from non-German as well as educationally disadvantaged families. In doing so, a special focus was on the realization of inclusive pedagogics as well as on the cooperation with families. In the course of the program execution, additional expert consultants and supplementary employees were implemented to offer the daycare centers continuous support. For detailed information about the federal program please click here

In the extension phase 2021/2022, not only the proven structure of the federal program was maintained, but also the challenges and chances of digitalized pedagogical activities were taken up. This new focus on digitalization refers, on one hand, to monitoring the digital transformation within the three main areas of the federal program (everyday language education, inclusive pedagogics, cooperation with families) on the levels of children and families. On the other hand, it refers to utilizing digitalization in terms of communication and professionalization on the level of the employees.

The goal of the current extension phase through June 2023 is to allow the federal states a transition period to transfer the program to federal-state structures in order to maintain the structures and competencies that have been established since 2016.

The scientific evaluation of the federal program is conducted by the Department of Early Childhood Education of the Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the Chair of Early Childhood Education of the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg. In the evaluation, the implementation and the effects of the program are investigated on the levels of expert consultants, daycare centers, employees, and families. The empiric evaluation has a longitudinal design that contains quantitative and qualitative elements  


What are the focuses of the current evaluation phase?

(1) Re-analysis of data collected from past program phases: Which structural and implementation characteristics can be identified as basic conditions for the effectiveness of the federal program?

(2) Interviewing state representatives and other relevant stakeholders: How do the different federal states plan to transfer the federal program into federal state structures? What challenges and success factors can ensure sustainability?

(3) In order to identify the challenges and initial conditions resulting from the changes in the context of the transition from the "Gute‐Kita‐Gesetz" to the "Kitaqualitätsgesetz" (Childcare Quality Act), data and results of the evaluation of the "Gute‐Kita‐Gesetz" will be used and reanalyzed.

(4) In the picture book study of the evaluation, we shed light on the reading behavior of parents and their children in shared picture book situations and analyze effects of the federal program through approaches of cooperation with families. From this, we will derive success factors for the embedding of dialogical reading in daycare centers and in the context of parent education or cooperation with families.”


Who are we?

The institutions that cooperate in the conduction of the evaluation study are the Department of Early Childhood Education of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Chair of Early Childhood Education of the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg.


Project lead:


Project period:

First project period: 04.03.2016 – 31.12.2020

Extension period: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2022

Second extension period: 01.01.2023 – 30.06.2023


Project sponsor:

Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (BMFSFJ)