One of the main future tasks of our society is to slow down demographic change. Therefore, an important aim of German policy is to implement a fertility-friendly family policy. This paper studies the role of early childhood education and care within such a family policy. At first, fertility behaviour in Germany is shortly described. In the next section, the economic theory of fertility is used in order to analyze the individual decision-making process on whether or not to start a family. It turns out that the compatibility of family and job is increasingly significant. As a consequence, a proper system of early child education and care of good quality can be expected to have a positive effect on fertility behaviour. However, in comparison to other European countries Germany is still running a system of only moderate quality. This is why only a fundamental reform of the system of early child education and care can have a significant positive impact on fertility behaviour. In the last section of the paper, we give a preliminary discussion of the main aspects of such a reform.