Questions About Care? Information for Parents Working or Studying at the University

January 8th, 2021 | by

The NRW state government is urgently appealing to all parents to only bring their children to childcare facilities if absolutely necessary from now until January 31, 2021. For daycare centers, weekly care will be reduced by 10 hours and will be provided exclusively in fixed groups. The contractually agreed times apply to daycare for children. This appeal and the related requirements also apply to RWTH childcare facilities. You can find further details in German in the letter to parents by the Minister for Family Affairs, Dr. Joachim Stamp, and here.

In-person classroom instruction in all schools and school types is suspended through January 31, 2021, with distance learning applying to all years from Monday, January 11, 2021. This regulation also applies to pupils in their final year. Starting Monday, all schools will offer childcare for pupils in grades 1 through 6 who cannot be cared for at home or who are at risk of harm. For more information, please see the email sent January 7, 2021, regarding school operations beginning January 11, 2021.

Germany is planning to grant each parent an additional 10 days of child sick leave or an additional 20 days for single parents, with the parent being able to take one of these days if they have to care for their child at home due to school and daycare closures. Should parents wish to take advantage of this, we recommend contacting your statutory health insurance provider. If they are prepared to pay the wage replacement, RWTH has no objections to releasing the employees without payment of their wage under personnel law.

In any case, RWTH will once again provide parents with special childcare leave days for 2021. Employees may take up this offer if they have no overtime nor remaining leave days from 2020. Any unused special childcare leave days from 2020 cannot be carried over and taken in 2021. For more information, please contact the Department of Human Resources.

If necessary, parents can also apply for a wage replacement due to the closure or prohibited access to the daycare center or school in accordance with § 56 of the Protection Against Infection Act (IFSG). The regulation of § 56 IFSG also applies if in-person classes in schools are not mandatory, so we assume that, in principle, employees could make a claim on the basis of the current regulations for daycare centers and schools. You can find more detailed information at You can apply for wage replacement due to daycare center and school closures in the document “Lohnersatz wegen Kita- und Schulschließung nach § 56 IfSG” in the form center.

We expect that a solution comparable to the child sickness benefit should be possible for civil servants whose income is below the annual earnings threshold (2021: 64,350). Civil servants may not be compensated under the IFSG.

The NRW state government is also planning to suspend parental contributions for childcare for January.

As soon as more information is available on possible compensatory services for parents, it will be posted here on the blog.

Employees and students of RWTH who are looking for a private carer for their children can still use the babysitting network. Please note that the requirements of the Corona-Schutzverordnung (Coronavirus Protection Ordinance) of the state of NRW must be complied with. Students with child(ren) can also take advantage of the childcare allowance if applicable.

Feel free to contact the Family Services Center of the Equal Opportunities Office if you have any questions or need advice.


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