Questions and answers for students studying with children in times of corona

Due to the current situation, we kindly ask you to avoid personal contact and only come by personally if absolutely necessary and after prior consultation.

We have listed the most important questions for you in the following.

For the year 2020, legally insured parents with their own sickness benefit entitlement to care for a sick child under the age of 12 have an extended entitlement to child sickness benefit. The entitlement to sickness benefit in the event of a child becoming ill is extended by the Krankenhauszukunftsgesetz (KHZG) (Hospital Future Act), which came into force on 29.10.2020, by 5 working days for each parent - for a maximum of 15 working days per insured parent, and for a maximum of 30 working days for single parents. For parents with several children, the maximum entitlement per insured person will be extended from the previous 25 working days to 35 working days, for single parents from 50 working days to 70 working days.

If you have any further questions, e.g. to check whether the extended entitlement can also be granted for periods of care for sick children that were before the KHZG came into force in 2020, please contact your health insurance company.

Child bonus
In order to relieve the burden on families in the Corona crisis, they will receive a child bonus of 300 euros for each child for whom there is a claim to child benefit in September 2020, paid in two installments - 200 euros once in September and 100 euros once in October. A child bonus in the amount of the one-time payments totaling EUR 300 for the calendar year 2020 is also paid for a child for whom there is no entitlement to child benefit for the month of September 2020, but for at least one other calendar month in the calendar year 2020. For this purpose, Section 6 of the Federal Child Benefits Act will be amended. The child bonus will be taxed, but not credited against social security benefits.

Relief for single parents
In order to take the special situation of single parents into account, the relief amount for single parents, regulated in § 24 b of the Income Tax Act (EStG), will be increased from currently 1908 euros to 4008 euros for the years 2020 and 2021.

With the start of digitalized semester operations at universities, student parents face major challenges when emergency childcare in daycare centers is discontinued. Like all other daycare centers, the daycare centers run by the Studenten- und Studierendenwerke are subject to the instructions of the federal states on closure and emergency care that have been in place since mid-March. According to these instructions, only parents of system-relevant occupational groups and single parents may benefit from emergency care. The Studenten- und Studierendenwerke, like the DSW, are committed to opening up these facilities. At the end of April, the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs and the state ministries presented a framework for a gradual opening of daycare centers, the design of which is the responsibility of the states and municipalities.

As long as (emergency) childcare is not available for children of student parents, you can inform your university (faculty/family office/equal opportunity commissioner) that you cannot participate in the digital courses/examinations on an equal footing with other students and ask them for possible compensation/disadvantage compensation. The legal framework for ensuring that students with children are not disadvantaged as a result of the conversion of the course offerings to web-based forms etc. and receive possible compensation for disadvantages is provided by the Federal Framework Act for Higher Education and the higher education laws of the federal states.

The regular child benefit supplement (KiZ) was introduced as an alternative to unemployment benefit II for parents who raise enough money for their own existence but not to secure the child(ren). The KiZ can be applied for in addition to child benefit.

To mitigate the corona pandemic for families, the following three adjustments were made - in the so-called emergency KiZ - for a limited period of time from 01.04.2020 - 30.09.2020:

  1. For new applications between April and September 2020, only income from the last month before the application is used to calculate income. In these cases, assets are generally not taken into account.
  2. For applications that were already decided before 01.04.2020 or for which the approval period began before this date, an application for review can be submitted once during the approval period in April and May 2020. Only income from the month prior to the review period may be used for the review.
  3. In cases already decided, in which the highest possible total child benefit supplement is received and the six-month approval period expires in the period from 01.04. - 30.09.2020, an extension for a further 6 months will be granted by the authorities.

Information from the BMFSFJ on emergency KiZ can be found here.

Studying parents may be eligible for the child allowance as well as the emergency KiZ under certain conditions.

In April 2020, the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs and Senior Citizens, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth initiated the following adjustments to the parental allowance to ensure that (expectant) parents are not disadvantaged by the parental allowance:

  • Parents who work in system-relevant professions and are urgently needed at their workplace should be able to postpone their parental allowance months.

  • Similarly, parents should not lose the partnership bonus - an additional benefit for mothers and fathers who work part-time and share child rearing at the same time - if they work more or less than planned due to the corona pandemic.

  • Further parents and becoming parents, who are up-to-date affected by income losses, are not to have no disadvantage with the purchase of parents money. It is meant here that corona-conditioned short time work pay and unemployment pay I do not reduce the parents money and also with later calculations of the parents money for a further child do not flow in.

What the changes mean in individual cases is explained in an overview with case studies from the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs.

The law was passed in May 2020. The regulations come into force retroactively to 01.03.2020.

Paid exemption according to § 616 BGB
If schools or daycare centers are closed due to official orders and employees cannot work because of the care of their children, the employer is obliged to continue to pay the remuneration for a few days due to the employee's personal incapacity in accordance with § 616 BGB. The number of days granted is at the employer's discretion. We therefore recommend consulting your employer.

Short-term continued payment of salary according to § 616 BGB can be considered for all full-time and part-time, un- and fixed-term employment relationships as well as short-term temporary work or minor employment relationships (minijob). If employees are still in the probationary period, § 616 BGB also applies.

Continued payment of remuneration in accordance with the Infection Protection Act (IfSG)

Since 30.03.2020, employed guardians of children up to the age of 12 or disabled children have been entitled to compensation for their loss of earnings in accordance with § 56 (1a) IfSG, if this is solely due to the fact that they have to look after their children themselves as a result of the official closure of the day care center or school and are therefore unable to work.

The compensation amounts to 67% of the monthly net earnings, but not more than € 2,016.00 per month for a full month, and is granted for up to 10 weeks or up to 20 weeks in the case of single parenthood. Compensation can also be paid to marginally employed persons. For employees, the payment is made by the employer, who can apply for reimbursement to the competent state authority.

There is no claim for compensation:

  • if there is another reasonable care for the child/children The other parent, adult siblings, the possibility of emergency care, friends or relatives must be considered. People who belong to a risk group cannot be called upon to provide care.

  • if you or the other parent work in your home office, also if the working hours are reduced due to short-time work.

  • if time credits and previous year's vacation entitlements still exist. The vacation of the current year is not to be used.

  • for loss of earnings that occur during the school vacations stipulated by state law.

This regulation is limited in time until 31 December 2020.

More detailed information can be found in the FAQ of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Psychological and social counseling services offered by the Student and Student Services support students in coping with the challenges of their life and study situation and thus contribute to equal opportunities during their studies.

If you have any questions, you can contact our social counseling staff. You can reach them by telephone during their office hours on Mondays and Tuesdays from 09:00-12:00 and Thursdays from 13:30-16:00.

In addition, you can contact our psychotherapeutic counseling team. To arrange a consultation, you can contact us by phone at 0761 - 2101-269 or by e-mail at r.meyer(at)swfr.de. For an open consultation by phone you can always contact us on Wednesdays from 13.00 to 14.00 o'clock. During this time the staff offers a short consultation of about 10 minutes to clarify the further procedure.

It is not easy for children to understand why they have not been able to go to the daycare center for weeks and why they cannot romp around on their usual playground. It is also not always easy to encounter the repeated 'why's'. Here you can find helpful information about this.

The Studentenwerk im Saarland e.V. has developed a child-friendly explanation book on the topic of closing daycare centers during the Corona period, which can be purchased for a small donation (see also the section on good practices below on this website).

The City of Vienna has developed a video in which the corona virus is simply explained.

The weekly newspaper Die Zeit has compiled an informative Corona children's encyclopedia.

Since physical activity is good for everyone and helps us stay healthy, Alba Berlin has been producing a daily sports lesson for different age groups since March. Every day there are two digital sports offers - Mo-Fr the daycare center broadcasts are always published at 09:00 in the morning and in the afternoon there is sports for school children. The programs are available on the Alba Berlin homepage or on the YouTube channel.

Sporty suggestions are also provided by the approx. 30 short CLIPS FOR KIDS, published by the state capital Stuttgart, which give simple movement ideas for at home or in the garden.

For children from 5 years of age, you will find radio plays, stories and fairy tales at ohrka.de - a total of 150 listening adventures.

Stiftung Lesen has set up the page "(Reading aloud, playing and learning in times of Corona" and provides tips on media, action and craft ideas, for digital reading stories and books for self-reading.

If you are slowly running out of reading aloud stories, the website "einfachvorlesen" will help you. Here, reading material is compiled for the age groups from 3, 5 or 7 years.

In the "digital buzz hour", exciting and varied stories from children's books are read out twice a day. At 11:00 a.m. the 4-7-year-olds can look forward to listening. And at 15:00, it is the turn of children aged 7 - 10.

The website "kinderstarkmachen" presents play and craft ideas for home and the whole family.

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