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North Rhine-Westphalia is consistently continuing its clear concept of gradually opening child day care, taking into account the occurrence of infections. From May 28, 2020, the daycare facilities will open to all preschool children as planned. On June 8th, North Rhine-Westphalia will take the next step in its opening plan and will switch from extended emergency care to restricted regular operation. All children can then go back to their day care center to a reduced extent.

Family Minister Joachim Stamp: “I know that many families have reached the limit of their resilience in recent weeks and that many children without early childhood education are deprived of opportunities every day. It was my firm resolution to enable all children to receive childcare again as soon as possible, provided that this is justifiable. Therefore, I am very happy that, in view of the decline in the number of infections, we can take the next step in our opening plan from extended emergency care to restricted regular operation. "

In the event of a falling number of infections, the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Family Affairs developed conceptual proposals at an early stage with interdisciplinary scientific support from childhood education and hygiene, how daycare and day care can enable an operation with increasing numbers of children in times of Corona. The limited regular operation takes place in the context of infection protection. In addition, the state gives the porters time to carefully prepare the necessary changeover. The restricted regular operation from June 8th, like all steps of the opening concept, is closely coordinated with the municipalities and all other providers.

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Restricted regular daycare operations from June 8th:

  • The entry ban for daycare centers and day care centers is lifted;
  • the previous emergency care will be dissolved;
  • all children are again allowed to attend the day care center for a reduced amount of 35, 25 and 15 hours per week instead of 45, 35, 25;
  • Daycare centers which, due to their spatial and personnel capacities, see themselves in a position to offer a higher number of hours can make this possible in consultation with the responsible supervisory authorities;
  • Daycare centers that are unable to provide this offer due to the personnel situation can also deviate downwards in consultation with the local youth welfare office; this should only be done in exceptional cases;
  • Child protection cases and special hardship cases must be taken into account in the scope of care.

The limited regular operation from June 8th also applies to children whose parents were able to take advantage of more extensive care in individual cases in the previous emergency care. Family Minister Stamp: “I appeal to the solidarity of all parents. The transition to this new phase of restricted regular operation will be a major challenge. Not everything will go smoothly. The willingness to make concessions is necessary on all sides. "

The opening of day care in limited regular operations is carried out with quantitative and qualitative restrictions. The standards of the Child Education Act cannot yet be achieved again and the skilled worker key cannot yet be met. However, the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Family Affairs has defined clear standards for the restricted regular operation:

  • There are only fixed groups, no open concepts;
  • at least one specialist is employed in each group;
  • the groups are still spatially separated from each other;
  • all contacts must be traceable, the hygiene concepts must be adhered to.

The entry ban for daycare will also come into effect on June 8th. In principle, all children can go back to their day care staff. However, since not all staff are available in this area, the scope of support may be reduced.

The Family Ministry accompanies the step from extended emergency care to restricted regular operation with scientific monitoring in a model municipality. Several thousand children and specialists in day-care centers are regularly tested every week, and the infection process is closely monitored and evaluated.
In a further scientific monitoring, the protective measures are examined in terms of occupational medicine and the extent to which the occupational safety and hygiene measures are effective for the protection of employees and children.

Family Minister Stamp: “We keep a close eye on the concerns of our employees. This is very important to me. That is why we have not only chosen a sufficient lead time for preparation, but will also support the work of the daycare centers on site. "

Also includes:

  • Delivery of 2 million FFP-2 masks and 3 million surgical masks to the youth welfare offices as start-up aid as part of the occupational safety measures,
  • Financial subsidy to the providers to compensate for the extraordinary additional burdens caused by the occupational health and safety measures,
  • Telephone advice center for all day-care center managers to provide competent answers to questions about hygiene and occupational safety. This advice will be available from May 26, 2020.
  • Personnel recruitment program, with which assistants are to be recruited for the daycare centers, who relieve the pedagogical staff on site (e.g. washing hands, putting on and taking off shoes, etc.)

Family Minister Stamp: “The step we are taking now is a great challenge for everyone involved. We go about it systematically, responsibly and under scientific supervision. ”The phase of restricted regular operation is initially planned until August 31, 2020. The next steps will be decided in mid-August on the basis of the scientific findings.

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