Studies and children – these are two tasks that are both challenging and time-consuming. So that they can still be reconciled, Berlin universities have opted for childcare concepts that students are allowed to use for their children. How good these offers are and how the need has changed in recent years is now shown by a response from the Senate Departments for Science, Health, Care and Equal Opportunities to the request of the CDU MP Adrian Grasse.
All universities have corresponding concepts, which, however, are very different. A distinction is made between childcare offers and childcare options. While the offers are daycare centers that are supported by the Studierendenwerk Berlin, the childcare options fall below, for example, emergency care or cooperation with other daycare centers in the area.
The Free University of Berlin (FU), the Humboldt University of Berlin (HU), the Berlin University of the Arts and the Technical University of Berlin (TU) each have their own daycare centers. And students at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (HTW) and the School of Economics and Law (HWR) and the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (BHT) also have access to day-care centers run by the Studierendenwerk.
The Alice Salomon University (ASH), on the other hand, only offers emergency care for students’ children. This does not replace a day care center and the care times are based on the capacities of the caregivers. It is said that care is possible for a maximum of four hours a day. However, this does not apply to the 2022 summer semester, which is still underway. After the relaxation of the corona measures, children have been allowed to enter the university again since May, accompanied by adults. However, support was not possible due to “risk assessment and lack of staff”, as the press spokeswoman for the ASH explains. And this despite the fact that normal everyday university life returned for the students in the spring – including face-to-face events.
At the Charité, the care situation looks a little different again. Although it does not have a daycare center run by the Studierendenwerk, it currently has seven cooperation daycare centers near the campus. As can be seen from the response from the Senate Administration, the students at the Charité also share the approximately 320 places in the cooperation daycare centers with the employees. According to the Senate response, the places will be reassigned “when they become available (direction to the school) in consultation with the day-care center management for the new day-care year. Seat occupancy is 100 percent.
The response from the Senate Department also shows that the occupancy rates and the places offered at the daycare centers of the universities differ. For the FU, the utilization as of May 2022 is given as 104 percent. The number of places has been 180 since 2018. A question from the Tagesspiegel as to why the capacities have not been expanded since then despite overcrowding has remained unanswered to this day.
The HU with 98 percent at 88 places and the TU with 96 percent at 113 places are almost fully occupied. However, the day care center of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (BHT) still has room for 130 childcare places. Only 70 percent of the places are occupied after almost trebling in the past four years, in contrast to the other university day-care centers.
For many students, the summer holidays for their children are currently a multiple burden. To ensure that this can be absorbed as best as possible, many universities also offer childcare during the semester breaks, such as holiday camps or childcare on campus.