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  1. My husband and I are both academics and will be spending this June through August in Berlin with our son, who will be almost three years old.  We will be living near Savignyplatz and working in Dahlem near the Freie Universität.  Does anyone have advice about how to secure short-term childcare?  Is there any possibility of securing a short-term Kita spot, despite the shortage of care in the city?  We have begun the process of applying for the Kita Gutschein, but we are also prepared to pay privately.  We would prefer a nursery school setting since our son is getting older, but we would also consider small-group care or a Tagesmutter.  While our son's native language is English, he also understands some German (and we would be happy for him to expand his German language skills).
  2. So I'm pretty sure we've got a place at a Kita, but now we need to commit to the Kita and get the Gutschein.   From what I understand, we can get the Gutschein w/o any problems for 5 days a week, 7 hours a day.  If we need more hours, we need to state the reasons why and hope that they deem our request acceptable.  If they give us extended hours, great, and if not, we need to pay the kita for those hours.  Is that correct?     I am not sure why we shouldn't just try to get the extra hours, whether we need them 100% of the time or not (ex: we need 8 hours, 3 days a week, but could make do with 7 hours for 2 days of the week).  I am thinking it could save us a relatively big amount of money (for us), but am not sure if there will be some sort of financial punishment for taking our child out of kita 'early' 2 days of the week, every week.     Also, if we take our child on non-German holidays out of Kita, will we be getting charged because our child wasn't there?  (ie we go to South America for the month of January).    
  3. Please advice me what legal/reasonable steps can I take given following situation: 1. My 3 years old child started Kindergarten in September. He was in kinderkrippe before without any problems but with 8 weeks Eingewohnung. 2. It takes him a while to accustom to new people, first 3-4 weeks he was crying when we left him. We think he could have light form of asperger's syndrome but its too early to figure it out. 3. Die Betreuerin suggested many times we should change kindergarten imho they were even trying to get rid of us. We catched them lying. I'm not sure if the reason is that they thought there is problem with our son or they simply did not like us 4. We contacted Jugentsamt, Carritas and Pediatrician psychologist. The first 2 could not help us, they called kindergarten and told us we should sort things out by ourself. The last one suggested we should not change kindergarten, because it takes so longer for our son to accustom 5. We are recording what caregivers are saying, every day asking for details, they answer everything ok, but they are constantly prolonging Eingewohnung 6. Our Son is happy with Kindergarten, now he likes to go there, don't cry and don't want to go home when we pick him up, but sometimes has problems with interaction with other kids (I think that it's language problem, he almost does not speak german) 6. We are starting to run out of money(didn't thought it will take that much time, but still I'm unable to start work as Kindergarten will not agree to stay longer with a kid. We can quit our contract and look for other Kindergarten, which is a bit unrealistic but possible, also not good for kid. Or stay in current one and limit maximally our expanses   Is there anything we can do? Please advice
  4. Least year, We were on holidays for about 2 months in total. Also the kita was closed during summer break and January which I think would be 4-5 weeks in total.   So wondering if the kita is supposed to return back the lunch money related to those days?    Thanks!
  5. Hi! I'm kind up just throwing this out there, but I've been looking for a Kita spot for my daughter for next fall (2018) and it's not looking great. I'm starting to think that the only sure-fire thing to do would be to open one as an Eltern Initiative. This requires a Verein, which requires 7 people. (I've founded a Verein before, so I've got a bit of experience with that part.) I'm also just finishing a degree in pedagogy. I'm casting a wide net and looking to see if there's anyone thinking the same thing. I live in Reinickendorf, bordering on Wedding and close to Prenzlauerberg, and there's exactly one bi-lingual Kita that I'm aware of opening near here, so I think there's a nice gap in the market, not that any Kita would go unfilled at this point. The rents are also less in this area. Anyway, if there are any parents who would be willing to put their nose to the grind with me and put a Kinderladen together, I'd like to go to the Neugründungsberatung at the Dachverband für Berliner Kinder- und Schülerläden e.V. (, which is a free workshop, on Sept 6 (10-14.00) and find out what I/we'd really be up against. If it proves to be too much of a nightmare, so be it, but if there  are any enterprising souls out there who would be willing to go with me and check it out, get in touch and let me know!