Daycare parents to help solve bamberg’s daycare problem

If you’re looking for regenbogen daycare, you’ll find it in a multi-family house in egelseestrabe. Only the bell sign and a battalion of children’s shoes in front of the door distinguish the apartment to auben from the others. But inside, three children stumble towards you, and two more can be found in the rough playroom. Natalie kleimann is preparing waffles for the afternoon snack, while her husband christian stacks the cribs left behind after the afternoon nap. In 108 square meters, no space is wasted when you have five of your own and five "foreigners" children cared for full time. "It’s a satisfying job, as long as the bureaucracy doesn’t throw a spanner in the works", says christian kleimann, one of two day fathers in bamberg.

The two-meter man proudly presents a two-story playing level with a kitchen, workshop and ball bath that he carpentered himself, talking shop about a "real" trolley, which he obtained from holland. Along the way, he and three kids are packing books, registering a full diaper and burying three parents. "I should have done this 20 years earlier", says the 52-year-old former salesman.

In view of the long waiting lists at most daycare centers and the many parents who have been pressing for a solution, CSU district chairman christian lange is now calling for even more daycare mothers to be trained. "I am concerned in this connection with three points: we must have the children from zero to ten in the eye, concretize as many projects as possible of the kita-offensive and train as many day mothers as possible until then", suggest long. In bamberg, there are currently 35 daycare mothers and two daycare fathers who look after a total of more than 80 children.

On average, they receive around 750 euros a month for 35 to 40 hours a week of care for a child under the age of three, according to the youth welfare office. "For a self-employed person, that leaves half, and then you still have to pay the rent", says day father kleimann.

No advertising necessary

He found his new vocation three and a half years ago, and together with his wife natalie, a qualified childcare worker, he is training to become a daycare provider. Because both have a daycare permit and are allowed to care for five children per person, they would like to expand into a more spacious apartment. Because "if you want to live on it, it will only work through the number of children". But the wish is not so easy to fulfill. "Most landlords don’t want so many children in the house. And when we did find a suitable apartment, the youth welfare office didn’t even want to look at it until we had applied for a change of use. But it costs 1000 euros", kleimann complains.

"Our son has been cared for by daycare parents since his first birthday," says, says freelance music editor michael preis, whose wife verena obermayer is cellist with the bamberger symphoniker. "In our experience, this form of childcare offers a protected environment, especially for the youngest children, which is hard to imagine: in our case, two adults take care of five daycare children, plus the children of the daycare parents themselves in the afternoon", says obermayer. It is as regrettable as it is difficult to understand that, given the current need for childcare personnel, daycare mothers and fathers are not more strongly demanded.

"Most parents come to us through word-of-mouth. We don’t need any advertising, at the moment there are no childminders available in bamberg", says christian kleimann. "But we are networked with each other and have founded a regional group of the professional association of child day care workers."

There, for example, he also shares his annoyance that his wife’s nine-month online training in child psychology was not recognized. "We invested more than 1,400 euros for this, and then the course doesn’t even count towards our 15 hours of compulsory training a year.", says natalie kleimann, who, like her husband, has paid for some bureaucratic hassle.

Course has already started

"As the mother of an almost two-year-old son, i am also disappointed by the progress of the "kita offensive", says annett seidler, whose child also attends the daycare center regenbogen. She points out that daycare mothers and fathers "contribute to cushioning the precarious childcare situation in bamberg with great commitment and tireless dedication, while themselves increasingly reaching their limits". The mother calls for more flat-covering demands for day care, because "legal claim or not, whoever lives in the city center of bamberg and has no chance despite the endless search for a day care place, has simply had bad luck."

The city of bamberg is always looking for suitable day mothers and fathers, explains the city’s press officer ulrike siebenhaar. "The day care offer is already a part of the variety of child care offers within the city of bamberg." The prerequisite is the personal suitability of the person, i.E. Pedagogical knowledge and complete exemption from punishment. The spatial requirements were clarified with the interested parties personally, especially with regard to the sleeping and playing facilities.

Anyone who wants to start working in day care must complete a free qualification course. This comprises 160 hours and lasts from january to december. "Unfortunately, the start of the 2019 course was already", says siebenhaar. "However, the interest of participants from the city of bamberg is very low. A short-term expansion of the capacities will therefore hardly be possible."

Christian kleimann female that in the current day mother course only ten of 20 places are occupied. "Our children sandra and alex also wanted to take part, then they had been able to support us." But the wish of the 17- and 18-year-olds was rejected because they live in their parents’ apartment.

Demand and demand – a commentary by stefan fobel

In principle, the idea of expanding the number of daycare parents is a very good one. However, if this threatens to fail because there are simply not enough interested parties, the reasons need to be asked.

Financial aspects certainly play as much of a role as bureaucratic. It is the responsibility of the authorities to carefully check the personal suitability of potential applicants, because the parents must also be able to trust them. It is also essential that the caregivers are fully prepared for their responsible task. But there are certainly borderline areas where discretion can be exercised without affecting the quality of the care provided. If, for example, online training courses lasting several months are not recognized, but the third safety training course with the same wording is. Or when daycare parents want to expand their functioning care model, but the potential home is not even looked at without a change of use.

Besides this, it is not least a matter of payment and demand. Anyone who is able to contribute to solving the daycare problem, which is not unique to bamberg, and who offers good care should also be adequately remunerated for it. The level of demand also determines how feasible the demand for an expansion of day care for children can be.

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