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Childcare failure

What's possible when things don't go according to plan


Childcare is cancelled - what parents can do

It's a topic for all parents: What to do when childcare is suddenly unavailable and a solution needs to be found quickly? Who steps in when grandparents are not spontaneously available and relatives or neighbors have no time? Employers can also accommodate parents with various measures and offers. We have compiled options for emergency care that you can negotiate with your boss.

Flexible regulation of working time and place

You don't always have to take leave to ensure your child is cared for. Today, mobile working and home office are part of the normality of the working world in many companies. The option of working from home or being able to flexibly adjust working hours in the event of emergencies is a great help to parents concerned: they can stay at home with their child at short notice without having to look for an extra childcare option.

Some things can also be arranged in terms of working hours: Shift models, flextime and flextime days as well as the reduction of overtime help to be able to react flexibly to sudden situations. For example, in an emergency you can take individual flexi days and use flexi time differently by starting earlier and going home earlier, preferably staggered to your partner.

But there's more: long-term accounts can be used to absorb fluctuations by reducing overtime or subsequently compensating for minus hours.

And what if childcare is not available for a longer period? Then you should clarify with your employer whether you can flexibly adjust your hourly volume or even take (unpaid) special leave.

Can my child come to work with me?

Taking the child to work with you can be a possible short-term solution in some industries. But for this, certain conditions must be met:

  • Your employer must agree.
  • The profession and the workplace must be suitable, on the construction or laboratory, for example, this option is not considered.
  • The supervision of your child must be guaranteed and no one must feel disturbed.
  • If necessary, the insurance question must be clarified and checked whether the public liability for any damage.

Again, if the framework conditions allow, clarify with your employer whether he agrees with such a solution. Maybe even a playroom is available in the company.

Finding cross-company solutions

You have several colleagues with children working in your company and there is always a spontaneous reorganization of childcare? Perhaps there is an opportunity to get together and look around for in-house offers with the support of the employer. An alternative is to have external professional babysitters fill in. Suitable childcare offers can often be found on the Internet. In larger cities, the association Notmütterdienst arranges substitute mothers.

In principle, it is recommended not to search only when the need is suddenly there, but already in advance to collect contacts and make arrangements. So that parents know in urgent cases directly whom they can turn to within the company, it is a good idea to set up a "family service" within the company. A family service can also help to build up a network within the company in which parents can support each other.

Where can we find help and advice?

In spontaneous emergencies, it is always advantageous to find a good solution together. Therefore, talk openly with your employer about the company's own options - ideally already when there is no loss of care yet. That way, you are well prepared in the event of an emergency.

More informationLinks for further reading

Further information on childcare and daycare centers can be found on the website