Quality of Life
Well-being, working and quality of life in Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is not only an excellent business location, but also a federal state with a high quality of life. Not only can a person work well here, but also live quite well!
The nationwide best childcare, favourable housing opportunities, diverse cultural offerings, fascinating nature as well as the numerous sports and recreational opportunities are particularly appreciated.
The state-wide care rate of children under 3 years of age is currently 57.7 percent. As a result, Saxony-Anhalt is the frontrunner in a federal comparison.
Childcare in Saxony-Anhalt enjoys an unabated high degree of popularity and a demand that is still increasing year after year. This emerges from current statistical surveys for 2013, which the President of the Saxony-Anhalt Statistical Office, Manfred Scherschinski, presented in Magdeburg on Thursday together with Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Norbert Bischoff.
According to this, well over 137,000 children were cared for in day care centres and day care facilities on the reference date effective 31 March 2013. This was 2,100 children more than a year earlier. In particular, the demand in the nursery sector has significantly increased with a plus of almost 1,300 children.
Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Bischoff: “The increased demand is proof of the confidence and quality of the good childcare in Saxony-Anhalt. This is a cause for celebration. But at the same time, an increased demand also presents the state with the challenge of meeting the increased demand in terms of financing. Here the pencils must be sharpened and individual budgetary positions must be scrutinised”, said the Minister. According to statements by the President of the Saxony-Anhalt Statistical Office, Manfred Scherschinski, as of 1 March 2013 the number of children under 3 years of age in day care for children increased slightly in comparison to the previous year. The increase was therefore more moderate than in previous years. Between March 2009 and March 2008 the number of children in this age group increased by more than 1,500. Although a high level of day care for children was already reached in March 2006, the care rate (percentage of children under 3 years of age among all children in this age group cared for in day care centres and in publicly sponsored day care facilities) increased annually and in March 2013 reached almost double the federal average of 29.3 percent with a rate of 57.7 percent. The average in the West German federal states was 24.2 percent.
From the children aged 3 to less than 6 years of age, 96 out of 100 children were cared for in a day care facility or by a childminder. Here the care rate also increased between the years 2006 and 2012. In March 2013, 456 children more were cared for than a year earlier. Not all parents in the high birth rate years 2007 and 2008 accepted an offer of childcare, and so the care rate decreased slightly.
A total of 17,130 individuals were employed in the 1,751 day care centres on 1 March 2013. Among those individuals, 9,062 were employed as group leaders, 2,430 as additional or supplementary personnel, 2,479 in a group-overlapping capacity, 602 for promotion of children in accordance with the German Social Security Codes SGB VIII/SGB XII, 523 as managers, 156 in administration and 1,878 individuals were employed in the housekeeping/technical area. Therefore 14,573 individuals worked as educational personnel and 224 individuals also worked as managerial personnel who also performed part-time educational work with the children in addition to their managerial activity.
A total of 15,252 individuals were employed as educational, managerial and administrative personnel in the day care centres. Among those individuals, 8,288 were in the age group of 45 to less than 60 years of age. The age group of 55 to less than 60 years of age had the largest percentage of employees with 2,858 individuals, followed by the age groups 45 to less than 50 years of age and 50 to less than 55 years of age, each with 17.8 percent. Only 7 percent of employees were under 25 years old.
In Saxony-Anhalt, 14,435 individuals working in day care centres had a specialised educational vocational qualification.
The majority of educational, managerial and administrative personnel were childcare workers with 12,850 individuals (84.3 percent). A total of 536 individuals (3.5 percent) had a diploma (university of applied science, university or comparable degree) in the socio-educational, educational, special education or educational science field. A total of 691 individuals (4.5 percent) with a vocational school degree worked in the fields including special education, curative education and curative education therapy, and 281 individuals (1.8 percent) were employed as childcare assistants.
Within the past 20 years there was an impressive change in Saxony-Anhalt’s cities. Several billion euros were invested in the refurbishment and modernisation of cities and significantly changed the appearance.
In the past Saxony-Anhalt was regarded as dreary and grey, yet today it is livelier than ever. Modern, multifunctional centres have emerged, and a successful mixture of old and new has been achieved.
Not only Saxony-Anhalt’s cities have been revived, but quite a few things have also happened in the urban fringe and rural area.
Nowadays there is an oversupply where a lack of housing opportunities once prevailed. In comparison with other federal states, Saxony-Anhalt is characterised by particularly favourable rental prices for dwellings of high quality.
Moreover, enough building land at moderate prices is available in Saxony-Anhalt, and the state also features great potential in the sphere of single-family and two-family houses.
In Saxony-Anhalt, children up to 14 years of age have a statutory right to full-day care in a day nursery, a kindergarten or an after-school care centre. Consequently, the state has by far the highest care rate among all German federal states and offers gainfully employed parents the opportunity to readily accommodate profession and family.
In the coming years Saxony-Anhalt is planning that initially all kindergarten children, regardless of the occupation of the parents, and then also followed by day nursery children, will have a right to full-day care, 10 hours a day. In doing so, the state government calculated additional costs of 52 million euros in order to be able to prepare and reinforce childcare workers by 2016 and also to enable benefits for families with several children.
As the figures demonstrate, parents in Saxony-Anhalt are accepting the offer: 55 percent of small children attended a day nursery in 2011. Childminders play only a minor role in childcare. Attending a day nursery is the exception before a child’s first birthday, but is not a very rare exception: every 13th baby in Saxony-Anhalt is temporarily cared for outside the family.
In addition to early childhood education in day care centres, the diverse educational offers range from general educational and vocational schools to music schools, special schools, adult education centres and universities. That variety, but also the connectivity of the educational system in Saxony-Anhalt equally offers everyone the chance of a good education and the opportunity to acquire a suitable educational qualification corresponding to their own specific achievement potentials, abilities and interests.
Saxony-Anhalt has an impressive cultural landscape. Five of the 36 UNESCO World Heritage Sites existing in Germany are located in Saxony-Anhalt. The Bauhaus in Dessau, the Luther Memorials in Wittenberg and Eisleben, the Old Town in Quedlinburg, the Naumburg Cathedral as well as the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Kingdom have been designated World Cultural Heritage Sites.
There are also numerous other significant cultural assets in Saxony-Anhalt. Our federal state assumes an outstanding position in Germany with its over 60,000 architectural art history and archaeological monuments. Among other cultural assets, the Romanesque Road features a journey of discovery in the German Middle Ages with fortresses, castles, cathedrals and churches embedded in the countryside. It is considered to be particularly worth seeing from a cultural and touristic point of view.
In addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Francke Foundations, the Moritzburg Foundation and the Handel House in Halle are also considered to be cultural beacons. In addition to the 60,000 cultural monuments, about 200 museums and 13 municipal theatres complete the cultural landscape in Saxony-Anhalt.
Saxony-Anhalt offers varied and charming landscapes. From near-natural lowlands with forests and health land in the Altmark region to the legendary Harz region with its impressive mountain landscape and 1,142 metre high “Brocken”, a diverse natural landscape can be marvelled at in Saxony-Anhalt. The Elbe, Saale and Unstrut rivers as well as many other rivers and numerous lakes complement Saxony-Anhalt’s unique landscape.
Several nature reserves such as the Harz National Park and the Elbe Biosphere Reserve were created to retain this uniqueness. Thanks to an extensive network of bicycle trails, unique tracts of land and historic sites in the heartland of German history invite visitors to enjoy charming discovery tours on over 17 bicycle trails, circular courses and connecting routes.
Saxony-Anhalt is a sports-minded state. About 380,000 sports enthusiasts are active in over 2,800 clubs. These clubs are organised under the umbrella of the Saxony-Anhalt State Sports Association (LandesSportBund Sachsen-Anhalt e. V.).
The promotion of “sports for everyone” is the focal point of the state goal to protect and promote sports, which is anchored in the Saxony-Anhalt state constitution. This not only encompasses the preservation and new construction of modern sports facilities, but also the promotion and development of sports medicine, rehabilitation and disabled sports as well as sports for children and adolescents. In addition, several million euros are invested annually in the construction and development of municipal sports facilities and club sports facilities.
Anyone who would rather watch then participate in sports themselves is also in good hands in Saxony-Anhalt. Whether it is handball, football or basketball – Saxony-Anhalt is home to many renowned clubs.
Water sports enthusiasts can choose from over ten attractive areas in Saxony-Anhalt, including the Barleber See in Magdeburg, which offers exciting sailing and surfing opportunities on an area of 98 hectares. The climbing rocks and climbing facilities in the state feature climbing sites between trees as well as horizontal stone walls, and enjoy increasing popularity that should make the hearts of adventurous climbers beat faster! But hiking and fishing enthusiasts can also get their money’s worth, for instance by indulging in diverse journeys of discovery between mountains and river bends.
Moreover, the Elbe, Saale and Unstrut rivers offer varied leisure programmes which invite gourmets to savour wine tasting sessions directly with vintners while enjoying boat trips. Idyllic walks and dreamy picnics in parks and gardens as well as unforgettable classic concerts set against fantastic backdrops await romantics. Saxony-Anhalt therefore offers a diversified playground, particularly for interested individuals who would like to combine culture and nature.