Report of September 1, 2016
Non-compulsory educational programs including extracurricular school activities, child day care centers, and non-formal educational programs, such as sports or music activities outside of school, make an important contribution to social integration. But to what extent do children and their families actually make use of these voluntary programs? On the basis of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and the joint migration survey of the SOEP and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the present report seeks to address this question for the first time with a specific focus on children with a refugee background. The study shows that these children participate in some voluntary educational activities such as extracurricular school activities just as frequently as or even more frequently than other children. However, they are less likely to participate in a parent-child group or to attend a day care center, particularly those under the age of three, than their peers. Further, at both primary and secondary school age, children of refugees participate less often in sports activities outside of school. Efforts to integrate those with a refugee background should therefore also focus on these non-formal educational activities held outside of school and specifically target these children, adolescents, and their families. When it comes to extracurricular school activities, however, a great deal has already been achieved—it is important that we make full use of and continue to tap into this potential.