Parents enjoy 18 months of paid leave, with 13 months at 80 per cent of earnings and up to 60 days' paid leave to care for a sick child.
Pre-school services have been brought under education, leading to a curriculum for 0-6s and integration of training for pre-school workers, school-age childcare workers and teachers.
A revised model of training was introduced in 2001, which has created a new category of teacher, taking in pre-school staff and free-time pedagogues.
"Whole-day schools" combine education and childcare (or freetime services) with pre-schools, schools and school-age childcare and are often brought together into clusters under the director of a rektor. The rektor can be a pre-school teacher, schoolteacher or school-age childcare worker. All services share a mainly graduate workforce.
The authors state: "Services are funded and, for the most part, provided by communes (local authorities) on the basis of central government grants and, in the case of pre-schools and free-time services, a low-level parental contribution.
"So, while there is some (state-funded) independent provision, most provision across early childhood and school-age childcare services, as well as schools, has one local provider and one local administrative system."
That leads to an integrated school day with education and care in one setting.