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The most important answers regarding the current situation

FAQ as of 25 May 2020

Coronavirus and studierendenWERK's services: FAQ

On this page, we answer the most important questions that students have asked us in the context of the corona situation. We update this list daily.

Your questions are not included? Just send it to us by email: info@stw.berlin

Topics

 

 

General information

At the moment the personal availability is limited and also all events are cancelled. How long this will last, we cannot say at this points.

The Berlin Immigration Office (LEA) does not offer personal interviews at the moment. An online portal for uploading the relevant documents has been set up. LEA considers visas to be ongoing, also with regard to work permits. Your work visa continues to be valid until LEA is regularly open again. Please note, that entering and leaving the country still requires valid documents! More information can be found here.

The VBB has decided that the ticket for the winter semester 2019/20 will continue to be accepted until 30 April 2020. However, you must be able to show the matriculation certificate for the summer semester 2020. Unfortunately, there is currently no solution for students starting their first semester, who have not yet received their ticket.

For travel packages booked, the Federal Foreign Office's worldwide travel warning means that trips can generally be cancelled free of charge based on exceptional circumstances. For all other individual trips, check the providers' websites to find out whether and how tickets can be cancelled or exchanged. Check all contracts for cancellation or withdrawal rights.

The German Red Cross continues to ask healthy people for blood donations. You can find information here.

There are also numerous platforms for arranging neighbourhood assistance for people who find it difficult to do their daily tasks, e.g. this one in Berlin.

bafoeg

Questions about BAföG

Basically, the start of the lectures has been postponed, not the start of the semester. If you apply in April, you will receive money for the whole of April – provided that funding is granted.

BAföG recipients still receive their payment when universities are closed. This was regulated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on Friday in a decree addressed to the federal states that are implementing the law.

Even first-year students whose semester start is delayed due to the pandemic will receive their BAföG as if the classroom lectures had begun at the originally planned time. As soon as online courses are available at educational institutions to maintain teaching, participation in these online courses is obligatory in terms of the funding requirements. More information on this topic can be found here: https://www.bmbf.de/de/karliczek-keine-nachteile-beim-bafoeg-wegen-corona-11122.html

Yes, every student who has already received a notification will automatically receive the funding amount stated there just in time at the end of the month for the following month.

Caution! This only applies until the end of the approval period. The subsequent application must be made in due time beforehand.

The capacity of the BAföG office is currently limited. Applications are processed gradually. Please refrain from telephone inquiries about the status of your application.

This is currently not possible. We expressly ask you to send your documents to us via the BAföG-Online upload portal. We're currently only able to to process PDF and Word files via email.

I do not get an appointment for my final exam (e.g. defense of Bachelor thesis) and therefore cannot complete my studies within the maximum funding period.

We recommend that you make a new application and state the reasons for extending the maximum funding period on a special statement. You can find the form here. In most cases, funding can then continue.

The capacity of the BAföG office is currently limited. Please use the contact form or send an email. We process all requests as quickly as possible.

The reasons must be stated and submitted along with Form 5 with the signature (a scanned signature is sufficient) of the authorised signatory of the university.

It is also possible to submit the ECTS point printout. For this purpose, the relevant specification of the university regarding the standard performance must be available to the BAföG office. In most cases, funding can then continue.

Entitlement to BAföG can be checked. It is necessary to file an application.

This is helpful and sufficient in order to meet the deadline. In this case, please send a short cover letter with your own signature (by post, fax or as a scan via the upload portal). However, payments can only be made once ALL documents have been submitted completely, since they are needed to process and, if applicable, to approve the application.

You can only receive a negative certificate if you are basically ("dem Grunde nach") NOT entitled to BAföG, e.g. if you have exceeded the age limit, are studying part-time, may not be eligible as a foreigner, have started further training that is not eligible, or there are no reasons for further funding within the meaning of the law due to a performance deficit.

We will not issue a refusal certificate for the housing allowance office ("Wohngeldamt"), if you, for example, are not entitled to BAföG due to your own assets, income or your parents income.

To check whether we can issue a negative certificate, you need to file an application including the relevant documents using this form. We will gradually process all applications and kindly ask for your patience.

I support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and have started working at a hospital or other health or social institution. Do I have to report the income to the BAföG office?

Yes, but the BAföG will be changed and this income will be afforded preferential treatment. The income from this kind of activity will only count for the respective months, in which the job is carried out. BAföG will not be affected by this in the other months.

I cannot present a proof of enrolment since the university currently does not issue matriculation certificates due to the corona situation. What should I do?

In principle, the certificate can be submitted later. In any case, you should still submit a BAföG application with all other documents required. You should enclose a statement that no application has been made to the Jobcenter or any other BAföG office.

My parent/parents, spouse or registered life partner cannot submit their income documents due to exceptional circumstances (e.g. risk area, ban on contact, quarantine, lack of electronic means of transmission).

We will look at your case individually to find a solution. Please call us or send us an email using the contact form (at the bottom of the page).

My parents / parent are strongly affected by the current situation. They currently have no income or their income has significantly decreased. Does this change my entitlement to BAföG?

If you have previously not received BAföG due to your parents' income, you can file an application for the summer semester and explain the current income situation of your parents. The BAföG office will check whether there is a claim.

If you're currently receiving a low BAföG rate due to your parents' income, you can apply for an update and the amount of the current BAföG rate will be checked.

Yes, if the parents continue to be economically productive (see above, otherwise BAföG entitlement). Because even if you do self-study (reading specialist literature, researching and writing homework etc.) or studying online, this counts as a study activity. Also, given the current situation, your parents have to accept delays and interruptions in training that lead to a longer payment period. In the event of delays and interruptions in training, the individual case must be considered, in particular whether there are special reasons for delay that are worthy of recognition.

In the current situation, which is completely unpredictable for everyone, a delay in training, as long as it is based on official measures, is completely without your own fault for the duration of the measures. However, you should use the extended lecture-free time as a time for your self-study and not as a vacation.

housing

Questions about Housing

No. Students who live at our halls of residence have a valid rental agreement that we will continue to comply with. As a precaution, we have closed common areas, such as student clubs and fitness rooms. It is now important to reduce social contact to a minimum, and, especially in communal living, to strictly adhere to the rules on protection against infection. Keep your distance and spend as little time as possible in the shared kitchen. Please avoid unnecessary hand contact, wash your hands often and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands. Ventilate your living rooms and the common rooms as much as possible, four times a day for 10 minutes.

In a tense situation like this, it is very important to treat each other with respect. Be considerate of your fellow students and take care of each other.

No, currently not. An official quarantine will be issued by the health department, if it becomes necessary. If you have been in one of the risk areas defined by the Robert Koch Institute in the past few days (read >> here), it is extremely important that you go into self-isolation and inform both the halls of residence administration and the health department (Gesundheitsamt). You can also contact the Corona hotline of the State of Berlin: 030-90282828

To top up the MensaCard, you can use the machines at the foyer of Hardenbergstraße 34. The building can be accessed from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm via the TU campus. The doors to the street side are still locked.

We've further installed a mobile cashier at the residence administration of Franz-Mehring-Platz 2. This option is available Mondays and Wednesdays from 12 to 2 pm. It is located in the concierge area of the halls of residence. Please bring banknotes with you. Please understand, that we’re not able to accept coins or give change.

We've also compiled a list of other launderettes located near the respective halls of residence.

According to your rental agreement, you are required to pay the rent regularly and on time. We are aware that there may be difficulties in paying rent in the coming months. Please try to cover your account sufficiently so that we can debit the rent. Should you nevertheless have considerable difficulties, please contact us by email (wohnen@stw.berlin). We can arrange an individual installment payment with you.

Shared apartments (and therefore shared hallways at the halls of residence) are not affected by the contact restriction. This means, you can still go outside together, but a mandatory distance of at least 1,5 metres must be maintained.

In any case, stick to the protective measuresSpend as little time as possible in communal kitchens. Please avoid hand contact, wash your hands often and thoroughly, and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with your hands. Ventilate your own rooms and common rooms as much as possible 4 times a day for 10 minutes.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the internet provider directly at 0800 550 555 702. Alternatively, you can also send your request by email to support@hotzone.de or send a private message on Facebook @cloudcast.hotzone.

I would like to sign my contract, give notice of termination etc., but the residence administration is currently closed. What can I do?

You can reach us from Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm and Fridays 9 am to 1 pm at 030 93939 8990. You can also send an email to wohnen@stw.berlin

We always send rental agreements to students by email. Please check your email regularly, including the spam folder. Print out the contract and sign it. We accept the signed and scanned contract in advance via email. We need the original contract at the latest when moving in. Your personal appearance at the residence administration is therefore not necessary.

I am an international student and because of the corona crisis, I urgently need to go back to my home country. What can I do?

You have concluded a legally valid rental agreement with studierendenWERK BERLIN, i.e. you are bound to this. If you need to terminate the rental agreement, you must observe the notice period specified in the contract. You are also obliged to pay your rent until the agreement officially ends. When giving us notice, you can request an early release from the rental agreement. We will check whether this is possible in individual cases. Please use the housing portal for handing in your notice of termination.

You are here on a programme and have been allocated your residence through the university? Then you have to submit your notice of termination to the university. We can only let you out of the contract once the university has confirmed your termination. Here's a list of contacts at the Berlin universities.

You have concluded a legally valid rental agreement with studierendenWERK BERLIN, i.e. you are bound to this. When terminating the rental agreement, you must observe the notice period specified in the contract. You are also obliged to pay your rent until the agreement officially ends. When giving us notice, you can request an early release from the rental agreement. We will check whether this is possible in individual cases. Please use the housing portal for handing in your notice of termination.

The placement of a subsequent tenant is not permitted. Also subletting your room without notifying the studierendenWERK is a violation of contract. Please understand, that processing your notice of termination takes a few days. We are working hard to process all requests as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, this is not possible. You can move out of your place and move back in later, but you will have to pay the rent consistently, even if you're not staying in the room. If you decide to terminate your rental agreement, we are not able to keep the room free. We will check whether it is possible to move back in (or to another halls of residence) at a later date. But we expect a large demand for rooms once the lectures start again. There is no entitlement to re-entry.

Please send us an email to wohnen@stw.berlin. We will check in individual cases whether the termination can be withdrawn. If there's already a new tenant for your room, withdrawal is not possible. In individual cases, we will check whether we can offer temporary accommodation. But there is no entitlement to this.

The rent (basic rent and operating costs) at studierendenWERK's residences is a pure cost rent that must cover all expenses. Utilities are already included in the rent (e.g. electricity, hot water, heating, internet). The rental price for rooms at our halls of residences is significantly lower than prices of the private housing market. As a public sector institution, we are obliged to work to cover costs. It is therefore not possible to waive the rents.

My rental agreement ends on 31 March or 30 April, but due to the current situation, I urgently need an extension. What can I do?

In this case, send us an email to wohnen@stw.berlin, stating your halls of residence and your room number. We will check in individual cases whether we can extend the contract. However, this is not possible if there's already a new tenant for your room. In this case, we will consider the possibility of moving. However, there is no entitlement to an extension or a new room.

Although there is currently a ban on contact in Germany, your move is not affected. Professional moving companies can continue to operate. Due to the ban on contact, the move should only be carried out with family members who belong to the same household. Distant relatives or friends are currently not allowed to help with the move.

Moving within our student residences is currently not possible.

Due to the current situation, we're trying to avoid personal contact. This is why it is possible, for example, that you leave the key in your room or in the mailbox when moving out. In either case (moving in OR out), please contact your caretaker by phone or email to discuss the handover. They will inform you about the process. Please note that you must move out by the date specified in the agreement.

psychos

Questions regarding psychological-psychotherapeutic counselling

We are currently no longer able to offer pregnancy conflict counselling, since all psychologists are needed in the emergency telephone service. Students can contact profamilia. Please make an appointment at: (030) 398 498 98.

Prompt confidential telephone appointments can be made by telephone via our secretariat on Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 15 pm and on Friday 9 am to 13 pm:

Location Charlottenburg, Hardenbergstraße 35
+49 (0)30 93939 8401

Location Friedrichshain, Franz-Mehring-Platz 2-3
+49 (0)30 93939 8438

Or via email at: pbs@stw.berlin

 

You may also contact the Berliner Krisendienst any time of day or night at +49(0)30-390 63 00.

studyfinance

Questions regarding study financing

Students in need can apply for an interest-free loan from the Credit Institute for Reconstruction (KfW). Application is possible from 8 May. The KfW student loan will be granted interest-free for all applicants from May 2020 to 31 March, 2021. The interest-free loan can be granted up to 650 euro a month and applied for online. The student loan is also open to foreign students from July 2020 to March 2021. They can also take advantage of this interim aid in the form of the interest-free loan in the initial phase.

*Please note that from 1 April 2021 the regular interest rate will apply again (currently: 4.36 % annual percentage rate, as of April 2020). More information can be found here.

I have lost my job / I am facing a loss of earnings and urgently need financial help.

You may be entitled to continued wages. The DGB Jugend has put together the relevant labor law explanations.

Federal aid for students in need – Start of application tba
The Federal Ministry of Education (BMBF) provides financial support for students in need, The distributuion will be handled by our umbrella organisation, DSW. They are currently clarifying with the ministry how the funds will be distributed among the Studierendenwerke nationwide and according to which rules they will be paid to the students. We will inform you as soon as the start of the application has been determined.

You can now reach the social counselling service of the studierendenWERK from Monday to Thursday between 10 am and 12 pm on these telephone numbers:

030 93939 8437 and
030 93939 8408

Accessibility outside these times is covered as far as possible via the existing numbers of the social counselling service.

You can also send us an email with your contact details and your request to: sb.hardenbergstrasse@stw.berlin

The possibillities depend on various factors, such as age, nationality and semester.

Some students may have the opportunity to apply for BAföG.

Another option could be to switch to part-time studies or to apply for a semester of vacation and obtain benefits from the Jobcenter.

Students with a visa for study purposes according to § 16.1 AufenthG cannot claim state benefits. You should seek advice on whether you are entitled to continued wages from your employer. In addition, you should look into the industries in which the job opportunities are currently good.

For individual advice, contact the social counselling service at: sb.hardenbergstrasse@stw.berlin
or by phone (Mon – Thu, 10 am – 12 pm) at
030 93939 8437 and
030 93939 8408

 

Due to the current situation, the processing of applications is unfortunately delayed. Applicants will be informed of the decision no later than mid-June. Until then, please refrain from making enquiries.

Unfortunately, a new application is currently not possible, as we cannot conduct the mandatory personal identity check and signature, because there are currently no public office hours at studierendenWERK BERLIN. Alternative sales partners can be found here. Current KfW student loans can be extended by sending the following documents via email to kfw-studienkredit@stw.berlin:

  • Extension protocol (to be drawn up by borrowers via the KfW credit portal)
  • Copy of a valid personal document (German ID or, in the case of non-German applicants, passport or EU identity card, front and back)
  • Proof of registration address (back of German ID card or current registration certificate)
  • Valid matriculation or study certificate with details of the course, degree, number of semesters, semester validity

Obtain various offers and compare them carefully. Pay attention to the requirements for a student loan from the respective providers, the processing fees, the interest rate and repayment modalities. You should also be well informed about any additional costs that may arise.

studierendenWERK's social counselling service is also here to help you with your questions. You can now reach them from Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 12 pm at

030 93939 8437
030 93939 8408

Accessibility outside these times is covered as far as possible via the existing numbers of the social counselling service. You can also send an email with your contact details and your request to: sb.hardenbergstrasse@stw.berlin

Usually, full-time students cannot claim unemployment benefits. If you are thinking about applying for a semester of vacation or part-time study in order to claim benefits, please make sure to speak to studierendenWERK's social counselling services first. You can reach them from Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 12 pm at

030 93939 8437
030 93939 8408

Availability outside these times is covered as far as possible via the existing numbers of the social counselling service. You can also send an email with your contact details and request to sb.hardenbergstrasse@stw.berlin.

The Jobcenters are also currently set to emergency operation. People already receiving benefits should use the eService. The Jobcenters have installed extra phone numbers for initial applications. You can find the respectice number for your Jobcenter here. Agentur für Arbeit has also compiled FAQs regarding the services of the Jobcenter.

The eligibility requirements for housing benefit remain the same. Those who currently have no income due to job loss or lack of wages are not automatically entitled to Wohngeld. The basic requirement of a BAföG rejection ("dem Grunde nach") and the examination of the coverage of the monthly living expenses remain.

No, you are not currently entitled to ALG II benefits. Full-time students are generally excluded from benefits under SGB II.

There are a few exeptional cases, e.g.:

  • You're taking a semester of vacation due to pregnancy/child rearing or leave of absence due to your own illness or impairment. It is important that no study activities are carried out during the leave of absence, otherwise, ALG II benefits are at risk and can be reclaimed. In addition, other requirements must be met. To find out if you are entitled to ALG II benefits, call studierendenWERK's social counselling service.
  • You're studying part-time due to pregnancy/child rearing or leave of absence due to your own illness or impairment. However, there are a few things to consider and certain requirements must be met. Get advice from the social counselling service.
  • In cases of hardship, e.g. if funding is lost without one's fault and your studies are well advanced, the Jobcenter can check whether you're entitled to benefits as a loan in accordance with § 27 section 3 SGB I.
  • Claims for additional benefits for certain beneficiaries accoring to § 21 SGB II.

In addtion to my studies, I work self-employed / freelance and have lost my commissions or cannot carry out my work due to official regulations. Can I claim compensation under the Infection Protection Act (IfSG)?

The Berlin Senate has approved grants for solo self-employed persons and small businesses. You can find more information here.

The Infection Protection Act (IfSG) enables very drastic measures to contain the spread of infectious diseases and to facilitate their treatment. This includes, for example, the prohibition of activities or quarantine measures. Specific official prohibitions on activities or officially ordered quarantine measures against a person who in individual cases poses a risk of infection can lead to a claim for compensation under the IfSG.

Attention: Voluntary quarantine, for example, does NOT trigger compensation claims. According to § 56 section 2 IfSG, compensation is based on the loss of earnings. For the first six weeks, it is granted in the amount of the loss of earnings. From the beginning of the seventh week onwards, the amount of sickness benefit is granted in accordance with § 47 section 1 of the Fifth Book of the Social Code, provided that the loss of earnings does not exceed the annual wage limit applicable to statutory health insurance.

In the case of the self-employed, the compensation amounts to 1/12 of the monthly earned net income (average of the last year before stopping the prohibited activity). Self-employed persons who are exposed to a threat to their livelihood as a result of a measure in accordance with the IfSG can be reimbursed to an appropriate extent by the competent authority for any additional expenses incurred during the lost earnings periods. Should the business have to close, additional compensation will be provided for the duration of the measure according to the IfSG for the operating expenses that are not covered during this period to an appropriate extent.

Applications must be submitted to the relevant authority within three months of the discontinuation of the prohibited activity or the end of the quarantine.

You can find up-to-date information on student jobs and self-employment on the website of students@work.

What can I do if I am currently unable to pay my health insurance, rent, mobile phone bill etc. due to a lack of wage payments / jobs?

Take initiative and get in touch with, for example, your health insurance company, landlord, mobile service provider etc., should you be unable to make payments at the moment. Ask them for a defferal or a dunning block. You could also ask, if a reduced down payment is possible.

The "Law to Mitigate the Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Civil, Bankruptcy and Criminal Procedure Law" was passed on 25 March, 2020. Accordingly, tenants who, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were unable to pay their rent in the period from 1 April to 30 June, 2020, or were unable to pay it in full, are protected from termination. The connection between the inability to make payments and the COVID-19 pandemic must be credible. However, this does not mean that you're not obliged to pay rent; the costs must then be paid later. The new regulation only applies to rent debts that arise from 1 April, 2020. A notice of termination already given before that date remains effective. Terminations for other reasons also remain possible.

The same applies to the electricity, gas and telecommunications supply. If the contract was concluded before 8 March, 2020, it should not be blocked until 30 June, 2020. However, the unpaid costs have to be paid later.

studierendenWERK BERLIN provided an emergency fund to help in cases of acute financial emergency. Within a few days, the number of applications had exceeded the amount of funding available. Thus, we had to stop accepting applications and do not accept applications at the moment.

FU teaching staff have now called on their colleagues to donate to the emergency fund under the keyword "SoliFUnd". This has been agreed with us and we thank them very much for their commitment.

HTW has also started a call for donations among its employees. Here, too, we would like to thank them on behalf of the students.

studentjob

Questions regarding student jobs

As an employee, you have protection against dismissal. It has to be sorted out whether the employer still has to pay you. To find out about your rights, you can, for example, contact the company's work committee (Betriebsrat).

You may be entitled to continued wages. DBG Jugend has put together some relevant information regarding employment law.

If you are in need of advice from a lawyer

DGB Jugend has put together a comprehensive overview of employment law issues. Some universities also offer legal advice from lawyers, such as the AStA of the TU (see point 2). Also, the counselling service students@work is still available by phone and email. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is also active in the field of labour law. You can reach them by phone at (030) 221 911 004, more information can be found here. International students can get advice from the Senate of Berlin by phone or email, or (in different languages) from BEMA.

If you are searching for a new student job:

Many companies are urgently looking to employ temporary workers. These include, for example, sumermarkets, pick-up and delivery services, harvest hands, beverage stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, chemist's shops, post offices, hospitals, call centers, babysitting. Check out https://www.stellenwerk-berlin.de/ for job opportunities.

Harvest hands for the current season

The agricultural sector lacks 300,000 workers who normally enter from other countries. Students can register on the platform Clever Ackern or das Land hilft and help with the harvest.

May I work more than 20 hours per week, just like in the lecture-free period, since the start of the lectures has been postponed?

This is particularly relevant with regard to health insurance. You need to check with your health insurance company to clarify this matter. Let them know for how long you're planning to work, what wages you will earn and what hours you will work and ask them if there's anything in the way.

You can find more information on this topic on the website of the DGB Jugend (students@work).

In any case, you must inform your employer. If you have a sick note or received an official order for quarantine from the Health Department (Gesundheitsamt), your employer must continue to pay wages for up to six weeks.

writingcentre

Questions regarding the writing centre

Unfortunately, due to the current situation, personal consultations can no longer take place for the time being. Instead, we offer advice over the phone. Just send us an email to schreibberatung@stw.berlin with your request, leave a telephone number, and let us know when we can call you.

You can still receive text feedback from us. Send us a selection of a maximum of 5 pages of your work as usual. You will then receive a questionnaire from us about what we should pay particular attention to in our feedback. We can then discuss the feedback in a telephone consultation. Send us an email to schreibberatung@stw.berlin.

Either you check our website regularly or you subscribe to our newsletter, where we inform you monthly about all current events around the writing centre. Simply send us an email to: schreibberatung@stw.berlin

There will be now events at the writing centre up to at least 20 April. We are currently working on possible alternatives to offer online and will keep you up to date on the website or through our newsletter.

barrierfree

Questions regarding the counselling service for barrier-free studies

Due to the current situation, personal consultations can no longer take place for the time being. You can reach the counselling centres by phone during the usual office hours from 10 am to 1 pm and via email at all times.

  • Mondays, Dahlem: 030 93939-9020 (FU and EHB students)
  • Tuesdays, Charlottenburg: 030 93939-8416 (TU, UdK, PFH, HDPK, Hertie School, IPU students)         
  • Wednesdays, Friedrichshain: 030 93939-8442 /-8442 (ASH, Beuth HS, Charité, HTW, HfM, HfS, KHB, KHSB, HWR, HU, HSAP, IUBH students) 

Yes, applications for integration aids will continue to be processed. We currently accept all relevant documents being sent via email.

Yes, invoices can be sent and will be processed.

Deaf students and students with hearing impairments can reach us by email. If you have any questions about interpreting assignments, our sign language interpreting coordinators also offer Skype appointments upon request.

childrencare

Questions regarding the daycare centres

By decision of the Senate of the State of Berlin on 21 April 2020, the daycare centres remain closed and operation is restricted to emergency childcare. The suspension of regular childcare in daycare facilities continues to serve the purpose of minimising chains of infection by reducing social contacts to a minimum.

With effect from 27 April 2020, the Berlin Senate has already decided on the first measures to expand emergency care. In particular, this includes strengthening the criterion of key workers (“systemrelevant”) through the elimination of the two-parent rule and the inclusion of the group of single parents.

In view of the further planned lifting of containment measures in many areas of society and the continuing high burden on families, the Senate Administration believes that further steps require a gradual expansion of flexible and expanded emergency care.

In a next step, starting on 14 May 2020, the children at the transition to primary school (including their siblings cared for in the same daycare centre) should first be considered as part of the emergency care. This also includes the children for whom the deferral of school attendance has been confirmed by the school supervisory authority. Subsequently, depending on the epidemiological development, in descending age, the other age groups should be gradually included in further stages.

The decisions regarding the entry into the next stages of the expansion as well as its organisation, e.g. the timing, are made by the Senate Administration on the basis of the development of the pandemic and the organisational circumstances. Basically, the intention here is to take another step every 7 to 14 days. Subject to the development of the infection rate, the next opening step is planned for 25 May.

The applicable regulations for emergency services and the list of professional groups that are considered key workers ("systemrelevant") and therefore entitled to emergency services can be found in the publication of the State of Berlin.

In order to maintain and resume public life, especially in the areas of health, care and public security, restricted operation is permitted for emergency care in daycare centres.

In particular, the following are entitled to emergency care

  • Children with parents from key worker (“systemrelevant”) groups (see current list from May 12, 2020)
  • Single parents
  • Children whose care is required for reasons of child protection after the decision of the youth welfare office (“Jugendamt”), as well as children from families with particularly challenging family situations (e.g. after serious illnesses, deaths etc.)
  • From 14 May 2020, children at the transition from daycare to primary school as well as their siblings in the same daycare

From 14 May 2020 there is a limited offer: In order to combine the goal of gradual admission of all children with the need for care in small and stable groups, the entitlement to care for all children in the state of Berlin is generally limited to max. 4h / day.

Possible different regulations for keyworker groups: According to the "Overview of the systemically relevant areas of daycare and / or emergency schooling", further extended care should be agreed for the group of people determined there, taking into account the individual needs and the space / staff capacities of the daycare.

Priority on home care: Due to the risk of infection, which cannot be ruled out entirely, the Senate Department urges parents to check whether care can be provided in the home or in the neighborhood.

With the gradual opening from 14 May, formal priority to home care is no longer given with regards to the respective age groups.

If you, as a legal guardian, belong to one of the groups that are entitled to emergency care, please note the following instructions when applying.

Priority on home care: Due to the risk of infection, which cannot be ruled out entirely, the Senate Department urges parents to check whether care can be guaranteed in the home or in the neighborhood. With the gradual opening from 14 May, formal priority to home care is no longer given with regards to the respective age groups.

From 14 May 2020 there is a limited offer: In order to combine the goal of gradual admission of all children with the need for care in small and stable groups, the entitlement to care for all children in the state of Berlin is generally limited to max. 4h / day.

The facilities must design their offers unchanged and individually in accordance with emergency care with a limited care facility.

The following organisational measures are recommended and are considered to be approved by the supervising authority:

  • opening times may be changed or limited
  • care can be offered in "shift groups" (morning / afternoon)
  • childcare on a daily or hourly basis
  • interchangeable care for children, e.g. weekly

Each daycare centre of the studierendenWERK Berlin specifies the childcare model individually on the basis of the available premises and the staff and communicates this to the parents.

The decision on inclusion in the care is made by the respective institution or daycare centre. In the event of a dispute, the daycare supervising authority decides in consultation with the daycare centres.

Possible different regulations for keyworker groups: According to the "Overview of the systemically relevant areas of daycare and / or emergency schooling", further extended care should be agreed for the group of people determined there, taking into account the individual needs and the space / staff capacities of the daycare..

Due to the current short-term changes in criteria for emergency care and the currently uncertain availability of staff (due to illnesses of staff or their belonging to the so-called risk groups, which should only be used as a subordinate measure to care for children), emergency care for key workers, single parents and families with special challenges can currently only be approved by the daycare management until 24 May 2020. (The written approval of the daycare management is essential for accessing emergency care. The approval continues to apply to children who have been admitted to the emergency service up until 13 May and is valid until 24 May. No weekly application has to be made in those cases. However, the weekly required emergency care times must still be passed on to the daycare centre in a timely manner.)

For applications for emergency care based on keyworker groups, single parents or families with special challenges, which have been requested and approved by the Kita management from 14 May 2020, the Kita management will provide individual care times in accordance with the max. 4h / day regulation specified. If emergency care is required outside these specified times, the need must be proven.

An application for emercency childcare should be made as follows:

  • The completed and signed self-declaration issued by the State of Berlin and the required emergency care hours must be submitted to the daycare team in writing (by email) by 8:00 am on Friday for the following week.
  • If care is required outside of the emergency care times specified by the daycare centre, the following documents must be enclosed with the application for emergency care without being asked:

Students with weekly attendance times

Students are entitled to emergency care limited to the attendance times at the university (exam times or online presentations count as attendance time).

  • Certificate stating the weekly attendance times
  • Statement that home care cannot be provided

Legal guardians working in a key worker ("systemrelevant") profession

  • Certificate of the weekly presence working hours (to be filled in by the employer)
  • Statement that home care cannot be provided

Single parents

A single parent is recognized as someone who is custodian, single, widowed, permanently separated or divorced and does not live with another adult, but with his or her child or children in a constant household.

  • Certificate of the weekly presence working hours or certificate stating the weekly attendance times at university, or proof of full-time work
  • Statement that home care cannot be provided
  • Proof of tax class II or other proof of being a single parent

The Senate Administration has stated on 12 May: In cases of joint custody, i.e. the child has half of their habitual residence with both parents, so the child does not live with only one person with custody, the rule for single parents does not apply.

If a parent with legal custody lives together with the child and another adult in a cohabitation relationship, it can generally be assumed that this additional adult takes part in the upbringing of the child. The (missing) personal custody authorisation of the life partner is generally not relevant. In this case too, the characteristic "single parent" would not apply..

Families with special challenges

In the event of a special hardship situation, you can contact the daycare centre management (via email).

In special cases, we will check individually whether childcare in the daycare can relieve the family in an emergency situation. This particularly affects children with an increased need for support and child protection cases.

Attendace times for students and teaching staff are lectures, office hours or similar, at which they have to give presentations (also online), meaning that they are required to be visibly present for students or lecturers (e.g. give presentations, hold online lectures or being physically present at the university). Following an online lecture without being visibily present is considered working from home and does not lead to entitlement for emergency care.

Only healthy children are allowed in the daycare centres!

The group of children who are entitled to childcare in daycare facilities is determined by the Berlin Senate. In addition, a child may only be cared for if they

  • do not show any symptoms of illness (except for proven chronic deseases, e.g. hay fever and so on),
  • is not in contact to people who are infected or has passed 14 days since contact with infected people and the child has no symptoms of illness,
  • has not stayed in an area that is currently identified as a risk area by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) or 14 days have passed since returning from this risk area and no symptoms of illness appear.

Even though we are very aware that these times are extremely challenging for families, we urge you to support us in complying with the regulations to contain the coronavirus pandemic. We can only continue to offer emergency care if the daycare centre staff stay healthy.

First of all, until 5 June 2020, we are all obliged to reduce social contacts or avoid them if possible. All currently applicable regulations in connection with SARS-CoV-2 can be found here.

Bring and pick-up: Even during the bring and pick-up phase, contacts should be reduced as much as possible (e.g. between employees and parents, parents among themselves, etc.). For this, e.g. staggered bring and pick-up times and / or a delivery in the outdoor area can be arranged. Please show solidarity by only one adult bringing the child / chrildren to the daycare centre and leaving the daycare centre as soon as possible after bringing / picking up the child. You should also wear mouth and nose protection for bringing and picking up the child when you enter the house. Please ensure that the minimum distance between the adults is observed (children are exempt from the distance regulation and the mask requirement).

Access to the daycare center by external parties (e.g. parents, authorised persons, specialist services, suppliers, etc.) is checked by the daycare centre for its necessity and reduced to a minimum. If this is necessary that external persons must wear a mouth and nose cover. Please also make sure that the minimum distance between the adults is observed.

Consultations with parents: These should now mainly be conducted by telephone. The direct precautionary measures (mouth-nose protection, sufficient distance) must be observed in direct contact.

Culture

Questions regarding the culture office

The BKI (Office Culture & International Affairs) offers a lot of events and activities online: seven different courses, online readings, virtual exhibitions, a talent contest and many more. Just check out the website www.stw.berlin/kultur and join our events.