Alternative Childcare Options While Waiting for a Kita Spot12 April 2022 | Kita Search | By Lisa H
Are you expected back at work but don't have a Kita spot yet? Or you'd like to start getting back into projects while your child is still little?
For me, as a freelancer and founder, I wanted to get back to work part-time before my kids started Kita, so I’ve got firsthand experience with a few different childcare options, which I’m happy to outline for you:
Co-Working with Childcare
I used a couple of different co-working spaces that also offer childcare. Both were great options and allowed me to get some uninterrupted work done while my kids were well taken care of.
Basically, these co-working spaces have a dedicated area for childcare with toys, swings and caretakers for the little ones. On average, one caretakers watches up to three kids.
Your desk is in a separate area but still close by in case you are needed, want to feed your child, etc.
The costs vary depending on the place and the type of package you book (the more hours the cheaper), but expect to be billed between €11 and €15 an hour including the childcare and your desk.
There’s a handful of co-working spaces with childcare in Berlin. I used juggleHUB in Prenzlauer Berg with my daughter and Work'n'Kid in Friedrichshain with my son. Both were great – in fact I still go to juggleHUB regularly on my own now that the kids are at Kita. Work'n'Kid was new when my son arrived and simply closer 😅.
There's currently a couple of private organizations that offer flexible childcare in a Kita-like environment with qualified childminders.
Berliner Stadtkinder in Charlottenburg offers flexible childcare Monday through Friday (07:00 - 22:00) as well as on Saturdays (09:00 - 22:00) for a minimum of two hours per booking. The minimum age for kids is two years.
Babysitter / Nanny
Alternatively, you could hire a babysitter or nanny to help watch your child while you are working. In this case, the babysitter would come to your house, which may be an advantage or disadvantage for you, depending on your preferences. Rates range from €10-€25 an hour depending on the sitter’s level of experience and their tax setup.
However, finding the right babysitter or nanny can be tricky – it took us a few weeks to find the right match when we were looking last year but we did ultimately find two lovely baby-sitters that now support us on a regular basis.
Here’s how to find a babysitter or nanny in Berlin:
Extra Arms Nanny Agency comes highly recommend and can especially help with nanny contracts. Read our interview with founder Giulia.
Ask for a recommendation from other parents in the Facebook Group "International Families Berlin”
Join the Facebook Group “Nannies and Babysitters in Berlin”
Use one of the many marketplaces such as Sitly or Sittery
Post a search ad on Betreut.de (we found that you have to sift through a lot of not so suitable applications but eventually we did find a great candidate there!)
You may also want to team up with another parent or two to do private "co-working" sessions. I did this for a couple of months with a mom whose daughter was about the same age as mine. It definitely wasn't as productive as hiring a caretaker but can be a good option if you don't have money to spend on the above options.
I found my co-working partner on the Facebook Group "Work Happy Moms", which I've found to be a great source for all sorts of parent/career related topics.
With all of the above options, be specific about your needs and preferences, such as how many hours and what days do you need care, where you live (most likely you should look for someone that lives nearby), languages, and any other preferences such as the amount of experience, character traits, etc.
Did You Know?
If you are being invoiced for the childcare services, you can claim 2/3 of the costs in your annual tax return (up to the amount of €4000 per child, per year).
Good luck securing the right childcare option for you and we keep our fingers crossed for a good Kita for your child spot as well!
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Peruse our list of activities for English speaking families with kids of all ages – from babies to teens.
Check this article for resources that feature open Kita spots.