Die RBB-Abendschau berichtet vergangene Woche über die Ersatzleistung für einen Kitaplatz. Wer keine Betreuung für sein Kind findet, kann anteilig die Kosten für einen Babysitter vom Jugendamt erstattet bekommen.
Dabei stellen wir mehrere Probleme bei dieser Maßnahme fest:
1) Eltern erfahren nur durch Zufall und Nachfrage davon, dass es die Kostenerstattung für Babysitter gibt. Nur wenige Jugendämter erläutern das Prozedere online (Pankow, xhain).
2) Die Kostenerstattung gibt es nur anteilig in Höhe des individuellen Kita-Gutscheins – also dem Geld was eine Kita bekäme. Eine Vollzeitstelle können Eltern damit nicht finanzieren und müssen den Rest obendrauf zahlen oder eine aufwändige Schadensersatzklage anstreben. (PS. Bis zu 3 Jahre im Anschluss möglich. )
3) Da die Kosten für einen Babysitter nicht direkt übernommen werden, sondern lediglich erstattet, erreicht die Maßnahme einige Familien gar nicht, die nicht in Vorkasse gehen können.
4) Die Verwaltungen sind zum Teil überfordert mit der Auszahlung. Familien warten zum Teil Monate bis sogar Jahre auf die Gelder vom Jugendamt. Jeden Monat muss eine Rechnung eingereicht werden, das ist frustrierend für alle Beteiligten.
5) Die Maßnahme ist aktuell befristet bis 31.07.2019. Im Gespräch hat uns Finanzsenator Matthias Kollatz zwar zugesagt, die Kostenerstattung zu verlängern, aber Eltern machen sich trotzdem Sorgen, solange nichts offiziell feststeht, da ihre Existenzen davon abhängen.
Was bedeutet das für Eltern?
Wie verzweifelt Eltern sind hat uns nicht nur Sarah Nathalie geschrieben. Sie wartet bereits seit über 3 Monaten auf die Auszahlung:
It is an early Tuesday morning and after dropping off our daughter with the Nanny we are now on our way to the Jugendamt – again. After 3 months in, working with a nanny, we still haven’t received any financial reimbursements from the Amt in spite of having gotten all the paperwork approved.
„We are tired, worried and under enormous pressure financially, at work, but also personally. A constant worry of how we are going to be able to afford to pay rent and nanny next month, what will happen if our nanny cancels care this week, how will we catch up on all the work we are missing, is our daughter affected by having such an unstructured daily routine (being watched either by us, the nanny, Oma, our other regular babysitter or someone else entirely she has never met before)?
As we wait at the tram stop, jokingly, I say to my partner: „Maybe we should just move to another country where we can get daycare for our daughter“.
This is status quo at the moment, as it is for many families in Berlin these days. Our daughter is now almost 17 months and we still do not have a Kita spot for her. If we are lucky (we have been told) we might get one in August 2020. We both work full time and cannot afford to work less, and so we have hired a nanny for 40 hours a week. On top of that we have a young woman who helps us on a more flexible basis – still every week – with filling in when our nanny cancels or has to leave early. Oma has also stepped in on occasion but as she has a full-time job herself, we obviously can’t take advantage of this too often. In addition, we have on a regular basis over these last 3 months spent vacation days or worked in shifts in order to care for our daughter ourselves when no other option was possible.
Like many others we started approaching kindergartens already when we were pregnant but were turned away and asked to come back once she was born. So, we did. We signed up initially with the kindergartens we saw fit to our wishes and criteria for a place for our daughter to grow and develop in a way we aspired and hoped for her. We quickly learned that this naive thought was never going to happen and after hours and hours of work we have signed up with roughly 50 kindergartens throughout Berlin. We have emailed, called, visited, begged and pleaded without any success – this being with both kindergartens and Tagesmütters in our Bezirk. In other Bezirke many turned us away due to the enormous pressure they are already under, and in many places, it is now no longer even a possibility to sign up. We even have an organization at work set in place to help families – also their efforts mounted to nothing so far.
On numerous occasions we have been to the Jugendamt for help and guidance only to be met by shrugged shoulders and replies such as: „I don’t know“, „I really can’t say“, „I don’t know when we will know“, „You will have to come back next week“. Constantly being met by contradictory statements depending on what day we come by in terms of how long we can get financial reimbursement for the costs of a nanny, how much we can get, what papers they need, or whether or not it is even legal to share a nanny. Something that seemingly is undecided in spite of it being very clear that this is the solution many families go with in order to be able to afford a full-time nanny.
In 2 months, we hit the end of July, and so also the end of the time period for which we are entitled to get reimbursements for the costs of the nanny – whenever this payout will happen, and however much it will end up being. We now wait for a political decision on whether or not this financial support will continue after July, as well as a court decision on whether or not it is legal for us to share our nanny with another family. Just thinking about the possibility of a no to both of these brings me close to tears out of frustration and worry of what will happen then.
Suddenly, moving to another country doesn’t seem like such an impossible idea….
By Sarah Nathalie