Systemically relevant parents: Emergency care has been a bad joke so far

There were reassuring words when the daycare and school closings were decided: "Parents in systemically relevant professions are entitled to emergency care". Uff. At least that. But who was dependent on this emergency care had to realize very quickly that behind this promise in many places there was nothing more than hot air. We started with the question: Who is now systemically important? Yvonne (*), drugstore manager and mother of two children, was at least in the daycare center of her three-year-old son not relevant enough to take him in. "It wouldn't have helped me anyway," she says. "The emergency care only takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In another kindergarten building of the owner with completely foreign teachers. Not a single teacher from our daycare center was on duty." So she had no choice but to bring her children to work.

"We don't open for a child"

Melanie (*) and her husband also no longer know how to get through so many weeks. In both cases, the employer insists on presence, home office is not an option. The ten days of special leave granted to employees in the event of illness of the children have already been granted "out of goodwill". But this bonus has been used up. Although Melanie's work is urgently needed in the current situation in the job center, it is not considered systemically important. Some colleagues were nevertheless given an emergency care place. But in her daycare center, her son would be the only child to be looked after and the daycare management has a clear opinion: "We do not open for a child!" Melanie hopes that this will change with the new decisions. Until then they have to get along somehow. "We have no choice but to ask family members for help. Even if that is not compatible with the blocking of contacts."

The police provide care

And then there is practice and theory, which sometimes do not really fit together, even if the theory sounds great. A police officer says: "We get emergency care places from the police because we don't have any places in town. But everyone who has small children knows that you can't just throw them in to strangers without getting used to them and only after a whole Can pick up the shift again. This is a purely theoretical solution that is out of the question for very few parents and children. " He and his wife, who is also a police officer, are currently working at different times. "What we're doing here is going to be exhausting. We won't be able to keep it up for months."

Slowly parents need help

Whether it is systemically important, at risk of unemployment or simply at the end of its own strength … it cannot be the case that entire kindergartens are empty and educators scrub group rooms or stay at home, while parents despair or children in tears have to be handed over to completely foreign caregivers. If you are lucky, you will have a child-friendly boss in these times who sees himself as responsible. In the worst case, those who are unlucky may even lose their jobs because the job is incompatible with childcare.

There are rooms and workers. There are even educators who would take care of children at home. "But we can't do that!" Says Meike, one of the many teachers who are currently sitting at home and waiting for new decisions.

What parents need are contacts who make decisions based on common sense rather than catalogs. And politicians who create a binding legal situation for parents. At the moment, not even two families can come together to share the care. That may sound sensible, but it is simply not feasible for this long period of time … Therefore please: there is not only black (daycare centers stay closed!) And white (everything runs as before!). There are a lot of shades of gray that no one can touch. The right that two families can help each other would certainly be a good step in the right direction.