Working parents with little children

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I have heard on more than one occasion that especially for young children, school in Bavaria usually ends in the early afternoon and it's parents' responsibility to take care of them for the rest of the day. This makes it difficult for working parents to have full time jobs. Is this true? Are parents working full time frowned upon? What options do those who want to work full time have? In your experience, is this usually a difficult issue to solve?

And also, how does this (especially in Munich) compare to the situation in Berlin?

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Children go to Hort.    Childcare in Germany (Kita / Kindertagesstätte) (iamexpat.de)

 

Before- and after-school care (Schulhort)

Before- and after-school care is a form of daycare for children aged 6 and above who are attending primary school. It is provided by the schools themselves, to help bridge the gap between school finishing and parents being able to collect their children after work. What your local Schulhort offers depends on the facilities available and local demand, and thus can vary hugely from region to region. Fees for after-school care will vary according to what provision is being offered, how long your child is being cared for, and whether food is included. 

 

 

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well, it can be tough to find childcare before/after school anywhere in Germany (Berlin or Munich doesn't make a big difference). There are several different ways to organize this, though. 

Some companies address the problem by offering daycare services for their employees' children.

Some people find a "Tagesmutter" or hire a nanny.

Some people are lucky to get a spot in a "Hort".

And there are also "Ganztagesschule" - more for older kids, but also some for elementary school: https://www.ganztagsschulen.org/de/gts-finder.php?M=197

 

Depending on your job, you may be able to work from home - especially now that employers had to realize (thanks to COVID-19) that home office does work. That way you could take care or your children before and after school. Or, if both parents work full time, you could try to arrange your schedules in a way that at least one person will always be there for the kids

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57 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

well, it can be tough to find childcare before/after school anywhere in Germany (Berlin or Munich doesn't make a big difference). There are several different ways to organize this, though. 

Some companies address the problem by offering daycare services for their employees' children.

Some people find a "Tagesmutter" or hire a nanny.

Some people are lucky to get a spot in a "Hort".

And there are also "Ganztagesschule" - more for older kids, but also some for elementary school: https://www.ganztagsschulen.org/de/gts-finder.php?M=197

 

Depending on your job, you may be able to work from home - especially now that employers had to realize (thanks to COVID-19) that home office does work. That way you could take care or your children before and after school. Or, if both parents work full time, you could try to arrange your schedules in a way that at least one person will always be there for the kids

 

Sorry but this is a bunch of nonsense.  The primary schools offer pre and after school care, it is called Hort.  Sometimes you can arrange Hort for kids in classes 5 and 6 but at that age it is normally expected the kids does not need it.  And it might be problematic in the states where primary school is only until grade 4 (so most of them) because the kid will have to travel to a primary school.

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41 minutes ago, Krieg said:

The primary schools offer pre and after school care, it is called Hort.  Sometimes you can arrange Hort for kids in classes 5 and 6 

 

yes, see my post, option #3

 

the problem with that is, that demand is higher than supply - with all the consequences. 

you need a bit of luck to get your child into Hort for most public schools. Some assign available places based on "need", whatever their definition of it is.

 

My daughter was in Hort up until 5th grade - she went to "Orientierungsstufe" for 5th and 6th grade, which being admitted into that in Munich was in itself almost like winning the lottery. They admit 300 children per year - and have around 700 applications.

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Thank you for all the answers, but our kids are 1.5 and 4.5 years old. We will be eventually concerned by all you've discussed above, but what about even younger children? Is it common to leave these in nursery/kindergarten or any other suitable place in the afternoon?

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1 hour ago, WallE said:

Thank you for all the answers, but our kids are 1.5 and 4.5 years old. We will be eventually concerned by all you've discussed above, but what about even younger children? Is it common to leave these in nursery/kindergarten or any other suitable place in the afternoon?

 

because I was  working full time - and needed the income - my daughter was in full time daycare from when she was about 2 months old until she told me "mom, I can take care of myself now" when she was 11. Mind you, she is 32 now. Things (hopefully) have changed.

 

It is still not very "common" to put your pre-school aged children into some kind of daycare full time in Germany - but getting more popular. It is relatively "easy" to find (at least part time) options for a 4.5 year old in Kindergarten. But I'd say the 1.5 year old in Kinderkrippe may be not so easy.

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I thought that working parents have been putting their kids in daycare since the 1970's when I did. Nothing new about that.

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6 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I thought that working parents have been putting their kids in daycare since the 1970's when I did. Nothing new about that.

 

Not around where I lived.  I had to pay a Tagesmutter for my oldest daughter and I gave up working altogether when my second child was born.  There was nothing around here pre Kindergarten and we didn't have a Hort for after school, so I had to be home.  That was the late 80s, it's changed a lot now.

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Where I live, it's uncommon to get kids into day care until they are 1.5-2 years old.  Day care usually ends at 1 pm but you can in some cases get it extended until 3.  Elementary schools may or may not have a full day program or a hort.  The elementary school on my block has a program available until 3:30 pm except on Fridays.  People I know here who have kids have bridged the gap with relatives or babysitters.

 

There is a tendency in Germany to frown up on parents who both work full time.  From what I've heard, this is more common in south Germany but also happens in the north where I live but less in the east.

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Paying a babysitter (Tagesmutter) is just another form of daycare, isn't it?

 

I also quit working when my second one came but I didn't need to. Had I needed to, I would have used daycare like I did when my oldest one was young.

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2 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Paying a babysitter (Tagesmutter) is just another form of daycare, isn't it?

 

 

True, but I didn't have a choice of anything else.  I had to give up work eventually because I had another 2 children and once they started school, I had to be there because classes finished back then at 1 o'clock, and often earlier when a teacher was missing.  I remember coming home once from food shopping and finding my 6 year old son on the doorstep waiting for me because the last hour was cancelled.  I don't think it happens today though, things seem to be better.

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3 hours ago, WallE said:

Is it common to leave these in nursery/kindergarten or any other suitable place in the afternoon?

Not where I used to live (rural Lower Franconia). In fact  there wasn´t a single case in our neighbourhood where both parents were working while having children younger than 3. That was back in the 90ies though. Not sure about the situation today. From experience I can tell you that you´ll miss out on a lot if you outsource childcare at that age already.

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1 hour ago, LeonG said:

There is a tendency in Germany to frown up on parents who both work full time. 

True. I´m one of them.

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Outsourcing childcare: new vocab!

 

In the DDR there was a lot of childcare so mothers could go back to work asap, the situation is still a bit different in Neufuenfland.

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The good news first:
In Munich it's completely normal that both parents of small chlildren work full time. Ohterwise most people wouldn't be able to pay the rent.

Now we get to the bad news:
Getting one child into daycare without beeing on several waiting lists for at least one year is possible but unlikely. Your problem is, that you would need not only one but two spaces in the same 'Einrichtung', otherwise you would spend most of the day dropping off and picking up your kids. And this is where your chances go from 'very unlikely' to 'highly improbable'. Unless you've got the money for very, very, expensive daycare.

You could do what most families hereabouts do: don't move to munich. In fact most couples restrict themselves to one child if they want to stay in Munich. Or they leave the town when the second child is on the way. Exceptions are the very poor and the very rich. This is also due to the fact that most families in Munich can't afford a place big enough for two children.

In short: no you won't be frowend upon and if you've got enough money everything will be alright.

The big difference between Munich and Berlin: daycare in Berlin is a) available and b) free. 

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26 minutes ago, Catastrophe said:

....

You could do what most families hereabouts do: don't move to munich. In fact most couples restrict themselves to one child if they want to stay in Munich. Or they leave the town when the second child is on the way. Exceptions are the very poor and the very rich. This is also due to the fact that most families in Munich can't afford a place big enough for two children.

In short: no you won't be frowend upon and if you've got enough money everything will be alright.

The big difference between Munich and Berlin: daycare in Berlin is a) available and b) free. 

 

"in Munich" this would be an accurate assessment - but go just a little bit out of town, things become more relaxed.

 

House for rent is possible, at a price that OP could (my opinion) afford easily, if the salaries are what they mentioned.

https://www.immobilienscout24.de/expose/113108906 like this one, for example.

 

Daycare for small children is available in Vaterstetten too 
https://www.wichtel-muenchen.com/en/locations/vaterstetten/

https://www.vaterstetten.de/city_info/webaccessibility/index.cfm?modul_id=33&record_id=91174

 

but, yes, you do have to pre-register, space is limited. It may really be best for your children (and yourself) if at least one parent can spend time at home with the kids until they go to school.

 

As far as deciding between Berlin and Munich - maybe I'm biased? 

 

I think Berlin is awesome, but too hectic. My daughter (born in Munich) moved to Berlin 12 years ago. She said Munich was too "small" and not "diverse" enough for her. She met her husband in Berlin. They have been married for 3 years now. And they plan to move to Munich this year. Because Berlin is too "big" and not "cozy" enough. Go figure.

 

If I personally had to pick another place (apart from Munich) to live, it'd have to be somewhere in Northern Spain, Asturias.

 

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I think you need to be very lucky to find a kindergarten/Kita/Krippe space in Germany and Ganzentagsklassen at primary schools are always very full as well - lots of immigrant families and severe teacher shortage. 

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1 hour ago, karin_brenig said:

 It may really be best for your children (and yourself) if at least one parent can spend time at home with the kids until they go to school.

Or at least until they go to kindergarten. Btw: Are employers obligated to grant you part-time Elternzeit (or whatever it's called nowadays) if you already have children when you start employment or only for children born while you were already employed?

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20 hours ago, Tap said:

 

Not around where I lived.  I had to pay a Tagesmutter for my oldest daughter and I gave up working altogether when my second child was born.  There was nothing around here pre Kindergarten and we didn't have a Hort for after school, so I had to be home.  That was the late 80s, it's changed a lot now.

 

Yea, my son is not yet 2, started Krippe last August (nevermind that half the time he hasn't been there due to corona). Around here anyway, luckily not Munich, it was not hard to find a spot (i.e. for under 3s, basically). Ours even had 1 or 2 spots left, although we did visit Krippe and a few combined Krippe/Kita that were full. But we still got our first choice and it wouldn't have been disastrous to go for 2nd or 3rd choice either. 

 

But we have been warned it's Kita proper when all the competition starts, because then all the other moms taking time off until the child is 3-4 will be looking for a spot. Of other moms with kids our son's age that we know, I'd say maybe 60-70% or so work (all non-full time, AFAIK, my wife included) and have their kids in Krippe.

 

19 hours ago, LeonG said:

There is a tendency in Germany to frown up on parents who both work full time.  From what I've heard, this is more common in south Germany but also happens in the north where I live but less in the east.

 

I've been surprised to encounter this notion in people who otherwise consider themselves progressive or liberal or whatever, but it is certainly a strong cultural belief here. It is hardly a surprise that Germany's population is rapidly shrinking, despite decent child benefits and labour schemes.

 

I once had a colleague here -- a single mother of 3 girls -- who was 'indirectly' called a Rabenmutter here, by a woman, a school director in fact, at one of her city's more prestigious 'posh' schools. She was told in a meeting something like "only a Rabenmutter wouldn't take my advice...", because the single, divorced (dad in another country), full-time working mom had to commute 60ish minutes to work and couldn't be home at 1pm to immediately help with homework, etc. 

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