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Childcare in Bonn: New rules reduce the burden on low-income families

Childcare in Bonn : New rules reduce the burden on low-income families

With the new parental contribution statutes for childcare in Bonn, parents with a good income have been paying a higher contribution since 1 August. In return, more children from low-income families can be looked after.

Since 1 August, a new parental contribution system for childcare in kindergartens, day care and afternoon care in open all-day schools has come into force in Bonn. High earners now have to dig deeper into their pockets than before, but at the same time, more Bonn families with low incomes are being relieved of financial burdens.

Following a decision in March, the city has introduced two new income levels for families earning more than 125,000 euros or more than 150,000 euros a year. Until now, households with such incomes have been comparatively less financially burdened than parents with low to medium salaries. “They will therefore have to pay higher contributions in the sense of social compensation in future”, the city administration explained.

Previously, ten income levels existed, now there are twelve. For example: families earning between 125,000 and 150,000 euros will pay 560 euros a month from now on, for the most comprehensive childcare for children under three years of age, for 45 hours per week. If their income is higher, they will have to pay 610 euros. According to the old rules, the maximum rate was 512 euros per month for this care category. In principle, care becomes cheaper when girls or boys have reached the age of three or are in open all-day schools.

For most households with an average income, the new rules do not change anything. The city has refrained from adjusting the other contribution levels.

Instead, the number of families who can have their children looked after free of charge has been increased. To date, families who have received benefits to secure their livelihood or who have received benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act have not paid anything. In future, the exemption from contributions will also apply to families who are dependent on housing benefit or who receive child benefit. This decision is based on the so-called Gute-KiTa law. Parents whose income is less than 24,542 euros per year also do not have to pay anything. “I am pleased that 1,300 additional families, and a total of about 4,300 families in Bonn, will be financially unburdened”, said Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan about the new rules.

As far as open all-day school care is concerned, parents with an annual income of more than 85,897 euros will now have to pay 191 euros instead of the previous 180 euros according to the new rules. This is the maximum amount permitted by a decree of the Ministry of Education. Households with incomes of more than 49,084 and less than 73,626 euros, on the other hand, will pay less. They will pay 130 euros instead of 150 euros, as this income level 5 group has been financially burdened until now more than others.

From the school year 2020/21, the City of Bonn will also introduce an annual increase of three per cent for all contribution levels in open all-day school care. The maximum amount will then be 203 euros from August next year.

(Original text: Philipp Königs, translation John Chandler)