For refugee children, daycare or elementary school can play an important role in integration into German society. In the context of the arrival of more than 890,000 refugees in Germany in 2015 alone, this study focuses on daycare and school attendance among refugee children up to the age of 12. It is based on data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees, a representative study of more than 4,500 adult refugees conducted by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the SOEP at DIW Berlin. In the survey, respondents are asked to provide information about all children living in their household. Descriptive analyses show that more than 98 percent of elementary school- aged refugee children attended school in 2016 but that less than half of these children received language support. In the 3 to 6 age group, findings show only minimal differences in attendance of early childhood education and care programs between refugee children and other children. But in the 0 to 3 age group, the number of refugee children in daycare is far below average. Overall, the findings present a relatively positive picture of daycare and school attendance among refugee children in Germany, but with significant room for improvement in the use of early childhood and care education programs. The results do not allow for more detailed conclusions about the quality of the daycare children attended, and thus do not show, for instance, whether attendance of daycare or educational programs is actually fostering these children’s further integration.
Keywords: migration, children, integration, education, daycare