Where to go with the kids?: Holiday care can be a big challenge
Where to go with the kids? : Vacation care can be a big challenge
Mainz (dpa) – Children and teenagers have a full six weeks of summer vacation – longer than most parents can take time off. In many cases, this would correspond to the total annual leave of employees.
And so every year parents are faced with the great challenge of organizing the care of their children over the lesson-free period.
This is particularly problematic for employees of smaller companies. "Of course, a craft company cannot set up its own childcare," says Rita Petry from the vocational training department of the Chamber of Crafts in the Palatinate.
Although craft businesses are flexible and can occasionally take their employees off, the families themselves have to watch where they put the children.
The lack of vacation childcare is a problem, especially for primary school children, says Deputy Country Spokesman Markus Meier. The holiday season is too long for parents to be there for the children all the time.
The state of Rhineland-Palatinate is making 750,000 euros available for the care of children during the holidays for the first time – according to the Ministry of Education in Mainz, this will enable around four times as many childcare places as in the previous year. It should be one million euros next year.
Each applicant youth welfare office can receive a basic budget of 7400 euros, plus an individual sum that is calculated according to the proportion of 6 to 13 year olds in a youth welfare office district.
But here, too, the need is far from being met. This year the youth welfare offices applied for support for 31 359 childcare places – with 415 269 students at a general education school in the country. With regard to the funding, the deputy national parent Meier says: "This is probably just a drop in the bucket".
It is easier for parents who work for larger companies – these often offer in-house childcare options. At Chemierisen BASF in Ludwigshafen, for example, there are programs for all ages, from “Minis on tour” to “Kids on tour” and “Teens on tour”.
The children deal with nature and science or are given media skills, as group spokeswoman Katharina Maisch says. There are nature programs in the forest as well as visits to the circus and the theater.
At the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim there is a full-time care offer for 6 to 13 year olds. The parents wanted it that way, explains spokeswoman Heidrun Thoma. However, each child can participate for a maximum of two weeks.
According to Thoma, that covers the need. The company works with the youth department of the city of Ingelheim as well as the local multi-generation house and the summer vacation report natural sciences.
The special glass manufacturer Schott in Mainz also looks after the young employees. The company-owned daycare center is open all summer – also for employees’ children who would otherwise not go to the daycare center, says company spokesman Salvatore Ruggiero.
The same goes very well with those who went on vacation. "So far we haven’t had to turn anyone away." In addition, Schott offers hockey, soccer and athletics camps as well as an exchange program with children of employees at one of the company’s foreign locations.
The offers for parents are of course not completely free. At BASF, depending on the type of program, amounts of EUR 120 to 200 are incurred for one week. "This has always been well received," says the BASF spokeswoman. At Boehringer, the costs are said to be "very low". Schott also speaks of a “small amount” for the camps; the company will take over the flights for the exchange program.
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