The following recommendations can be useful for coping with everyday life during the corona epidemic. You can also find out what you should consider when shopping, for example.
Particularly during this time, try to be there for your child. A structured daily routine with fixed sleeping and eating times offers support and security. Take care to keep as closely as possible to accustomed routines and to be especially consistent with holding to agreements and promises. Additional information is available at: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/wie-eltern-ihren-kindern-jetzt-helfen-koennen-1730182.
In general, families can visit their grandparents and other family members. During such meetings, remember to make a special effort to stick to the basic hygiene principles summed up by the DHM formula: Maintain a distance (at least 1.5 metres), adhere to hygiene rules (be considerate when coughing and sneezing, washing hands) and wear a non-medical face mask (community mask) where there is little room. The number of people who participate in a meeting should be kept as low as possible and ideally be limited to one or only a few regular contacts. Which particular rules apply in your respective region is specified on the website of your Land Government: Reduce the length of the visit and ideally plan your meetings outside, where the risk of infection is lower than in enclosed spaces. Should you be unable to meet up outside, regularly open windows and ensure good circulation of air within the room. Avoid close physical contact, which involves a risk of droplet infection. Until now, old-age and nursing homes have often followed very strict visiting rules to protect their residents. These rules have in part been eased. Please inform yourself at the respective home to find out if and under which conditions visits are possible. More information can be found in the article entitled Darf ich meine Enkelkinder jetzt wieder treffen? (May I now visit my grandparents again?).
Yes, children are also urged to wear a non-medical face mask (“community mask”) in public spaces. In most of the Laender, it is obligatory for children from the age of six to wear a community mask when using public transport or shopping. They may also be required to wear a community mask during school. This applies above all during school breaks or when going to the toilet, but not during lessons. Please check which regulations apply in your area.
The exact definition of essential or key occupations varies between the individual German states (Bundesländer). Those that are considered essential in all states include healthcare, energy, water supply, water and waste disposal, public administration, food supply and hygiene. This also includes personnel required in the operation of public transport and information technology. Parents who both work in essential services or key jobs and are unable to organise any other form of childcare are entitled to emergency care for their children. There is also a one-parent rule which applies in exceptional circumstances and these are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For information on emergency childcare, please contact the responsible authorities in the state (Land) in which you live.
The Second Act to Protect the Population in an Epidemic Situation of National Significance stipulates that caregiving relatives will receive better support. Until 30 September, caregiving relatives are entitled to 20 days’ caregiver allowance as an earnings replacement benefit and can take this time off from work. In addition, you can claim the care relief amounts that you accrued in 2019 for a longer period. Read more on these and other epidemic-related flexibilisation elements in the Caregiver Leave Act here or here.
The restricted opening of schools and nursery schools poses great challenges for parents. The Federal Government has taken measures in response.
The decision has been made to pay a child bonus of €300 per child. This will be paid out together with child benefit in two instalments of €150 each in September and October. It is not deducted from welfare benefits. It is, however, deducted from the tax-free child allowance which benefits higher-income families. This means the child bonus specifically benefits families with small and medium incomes.
As single parents face special challenges due to the increased childcare demands and the associated additional expense, the tax-free allowance for single parents is being substantially increased. This allowance reduces the figure on which income tax is based. That means a single parent has to pay less income tax. The allowance is being raised from €1,908 to €4,008 per year, which is more than double. The increase applies for the years 2020 and 2021.