Neglect, stress and exhaustion - psychiatrists are sounding the alarm -

The situation in nurseries has deteriorated dramatically

According to a recent study, many German nurseries lack almost everything, from staff to equipment. As a result, neglect, stress and burnout are evenly distributed between children and professionals.

Even before the pandemic, around one in five children showed signs of tension, apathy and/or depression in a study conducted in 35 different kindergartens in Berlin. Although the formal quality of facilities is generally average to good.

The crises have particularly affected nurseries

The team around pedagogy professor Dr. Rahel Dreyer from ASH Berlin has now come to the conclusion in the "Kita Report 2022" that the situation in many child care centers has deteriorated further and reached a dramatic level as a result of the corona pandemic and the refugee crisis.

Children exhibit extreme forms of malaise

Many professionals are completely overworked and emotionally and physically exhausted. According to the researchers, this is noticeable in children in the form of “extreme forms of malaise”.

Due to understaffing, overcrowded groups are cared for by stressed and exhausted professionals. The current results of the study on nurseries of the Paritätischer Gesamtverband underline the alarming situation in nurseries.

It is currently not possible in many institutions to adequately meet the needs of children. This was confirmed by 60% of child care workers surveyed.

Many crèches do not have enough money for a balanced diet

A third of the educators also complained that the funds provided were not even enough to finance a balanced diet for the children.

“We want our little ones to have the worst possible start in life,” warns Professor Dr. Michael Schulte-Markwort. "We neglect and ignore the emotional needs of our children."

"These are tendencies to negligence that must be resolutely countered", underlines the psychiatrist.

Load limit exceeded

Not only the children suffer from the situation, but also many employees. "Many are on the verge of burnout, they are physically and emotionally exhausted," adds Dreyer, the study's leader.

The expert describes the situation as "disastrous". According to her, it is to be expected that further staff shortages will ensue, which will further aggravate the situation.

Children do not have a hall

The researchers see one of the reasons why this has happened in the absence of a lobby for the needs of children and education professionals. This was already the case before the pandemic, but now the full impact of this absence is being felt.

Increase in mental health problems

The task force led by Dreyer and Schulte-Markwort sees the well-being of many at-risk children. The researchers conclude that the effects will become noticeable in the years to come through an increase in mental health problems.

Furthermore, educational gaps are particularly evident among socio-economically disadvantaged children and will cause almost irreparable damage. (vb)

Author and source information

Show now

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


stimulation or stress? The influence of group concepts on the behavior and well-being of young children in child care Duration of the project: April 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018 Rahel Dreyer (ASH Berlin), Prof. Dr. Rainer Senz (Beuth, ash-berlin.euParitätischet Gesamtverband: Daycare Report 2022 (PDF, status June 2022), der-paritaetische.deASH Berlin: Neglect, stress and exhaustion in many daycare centers (published July 21, 2022 ),

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.