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Little bird - Introduction of an interactive search-, allocation and administrative procedure for child care services

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Award nominee

‘Little Bird’ is Germany’s first eGovernment solution with an interactive process mapping out the entire range of administration functions for allocation of childcare services. ‘Little Bird’ can be easily integrated into any administrative structure, and it offers substantial interactive features such as navigation, transparency and control. Both childminders and privately run childcare can be integrated. Even in the very early phases of the concept, the requirements of local municipalities throughout Germany have been considered during the implementation of the solution. Therefore, the solution can be customised very easily to meet municipality requirements.

This unique package of solutions offers advantages for all parties:

  • For parents there is the ability to view all childcare services (both privately and publicly owned), identify currently available vacancies for childcare services of different types and in facilities of different providers and the opportunity to participate in the process interactively and online.
  • For providers it offers advance predictability of demand for their services and a modular management programme which supports the facilities in their work.
  • For public administrations it offers an overview of spare capacity or surplus demand in the childcare sector, including for its own facilities, the quantity demanded of all childcare services and thus advance predictability of costs, minimisation of administrative costs and optimised internal administrative processes.

Registrations merge into a real-time management system with central data entry. The registration and the parents’ contact details are stored in a common database. Parents are safe in the knowledge that the childcare search is transparent and, when parents have registered on the waiting list, employees of the local administration can offer a personalised customer service. Support will be offered during the period between the parents’ first registration of interest and the actual need for the childcare service. There is controlled access to the central allocation list for local authorities, enabling them to monitor multiple applications of the parents who are searching. When children are offered a place in day care, their registration data on the waiting list is automatically deleted.

As part of a project, the Fachhochschule of Public Administration in Dortmund, under the special direction of Prof. Dr Volker Hassel, examined the central application process for childcare centres. The result of the project was that ‘Little Bird’ received the best rating by far out of all tested systems. When considering operating efficiency and profitability the verdict went in favour of ‘Little Bird’.

Award info
Award category: opening up the public sector
Award type: nominee
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: Child care facility
Short English description: ‘Little Bird’ can be easily integrated into any administrative structure, and it offers substantial interactive features such as navigation, transparency and control. Both childminders and privately run childcare can be integrated.
Further information
Organisation: Municipality of Heidenau
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://business.little-bird.de
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: 50-100
Number of people involved: 11-15
Country: Germany
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Little bird - Introduction of an interactive search-, allocation and administrative procedure for child care services (50.9804877, 13.8704182)
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