Alternative Childcare Options While Waiting for a Kita Spot

By Lisa H

Last updated on 16 July 2024

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

In Berlin, there are a couple of co-working spaces that also offer childcare. Basically, these co-working spaces have a dedicated area for childcare with toys, cots and caretakers for the little ones.

Your desk is in a separate area but still close by in case you are needed, want to feed your child, etc.

I used juggleHUB in Prenzlauer Berg with my daughter and Work'n'Kid in Friedrichshain with my son. Both were great options and allowed me to get some uninterrupted work done while my kids were well taken care of. (Update: Unfortunately, Work'n'Kid has since had to close down.)

On average, one caretakers watches no more than three kids at juggleHUB. The costs vary depending on the type of package you book (the more hours the better the hourly rate), but expect to be billed between €12 and €17 an hour including the childcare and your desk. (Kietzee members receive a discounted trial package with juggleHUB.)

From April 2023 there will be a new co-working with childcare option available in Prenzlauer Berg:

The Montessori Coworking House will be a combined Montessori preschool and parent coworking space. Children 3 to 7 years old can follow their natural desire to learn in five different academic areas (language, math, sensorial, culture and practical life). Meanwhile, parents get to work in close proximity to their children in their own, inspiring space. Classes are offered for 2.5-5 hours per day. Prices are €7 per hour for members (the optional membership costs €80 per month) or €15 per hour for non-members. 

Flexible Childcare

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 about €15 to €30 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 our article on where to find a babysitter or nanny in Berlin.

Au Pair

If you have the space to accommodate an au pair, this could also be a great option to get in-home help. From what we understand, working with an agency is recommended.

Private Co-Working

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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