State extends entitlement to emergency care

Now more families can request emergency care for their children. Children who are at risk at home should also be able to go back to daycare and after-school care.

Elementary school children in a day care center
Elementary school children in a day care center. (PHOTO: UWE ANSPACH / DPA)

More families in Brandenburg can now claim emergency care for their children. This emerges from a letter that the Brandenburg Ministry of Health sent on Friday to the mayors and district administrators by email and is available to the PNN.

In it, the independent cities and counties are instructed to provide emergency childcare as of Saturday if only one parent in the family works in the following systemically relevant occupational fields:

  • in the health sector
  • in health and pharmaceutical fields
  • in the medical and nursing sector
  • in inpatient and semi-inpatient educational aids, in boarding schools according to ยง45 SGB VIII of the educational aids
  • in the integration aid
  • in the care of mentally ill people
  • in emergency care for children up to primary school age.

According to the letter from the ministry, the condition for the provision of emergency care is that the parents have no other childcare options. So there is no entitlement if the other parent works in the home office.


So far, only families could take advantage of emergency care for children up to twelve years of age, in which both parents or a single parent work in the so-called systemically relevant occupational fields. This also applies to all professional groups that are not mentioned in the new regulation – for example, police officers or bus drivers.

The Ministry of Health under Minister Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens), however, has expanded the professional groups, which are generally classified as systemically important. As stated in the letter by crisis chief Michael Ranft, the following professional fields are now included:

  • media
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Personnel required to maintain payments
  • Cleaning companies, provided they operate in critical infrastructures

However, as before, both parents have to work in one of the systemically relevant professions in order to be able to apply for emergency care in their town or municipality.

Emergency care to protect children

Emergency care is also being expanded for reasons of child protection: if the child’s well-being requires it, children up to the age of twelve should be included in emergency care – regardless of the jobs in which the parents work, it is said. Anyone who decides on this leaves the letter from the Ministry open. Child protection officers were very concerned that the ban on contact due to the coronavirus pandemic and the exit restrictions would no longer be able to provide comprehensive care.

In addition, the Ministry of Health gives the independent cities and counties the scope to specify the so-called application requirements of the country – both in terms of the professional groups and the procedure.

The extension of the claim to emergency care was agreed with the Ministry of Education under the leadership of Minister Britta Ernst (SPD), it is said. According to the Ministry of Education, the previous form of emergency care had proven itself; small groups should be kept in the daycare centers and hoarding to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

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