Cham, 13.10.2021

New day care offer for school children

From this summer on, children up to the 4th grade can be cared for in a crèche for older children. The Kita Schnäggehuus and Städtli association has expanded its offer.

What looks like a conventional crèche from the outside on the Zugerstrasse in Cham is actually a innovation – definitely for Cham, but also for the entire canton of Zug: The Amix. Although the childcare offer actually belongs to the Städtli and Schnäggehuus day care centres, it is intended above all for children who are no longer of crib age. Children up to the 4th grade can now be cared for in the same building as the Kita Städtli – as an alternative to lunch and afternoon care of the municipal schools.

‘Amix‘ stands for the Swiss-German words ‘amix’ or ‘amis’, i.e. ‘sometimes’ – as can be read on the homepage of the day care centre. It's "a mix" of home, school and Amix. But even when this Amix is located under the same roof as the Kita Städtli: the main rooms are separate. "They have separate entrances and separate toilet facilities and lounges," explains director Luzia Baumgartner. The same applies to the supervisors, although the groups and the supervision can also be mixed at off-peak times or for different activities. So there is also a large shared room and garden.

A total of 18 such places have been available from this summer, with currently around a third being occupied. The opening hours correspond to those of the Kita Städtli – from 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. – and all school holidays are covered, with the exception of the Christmas holidays,.

The need for other care options
Creating these framework conditions for older children was crucial for her in order to be able to create such an offer, says Luzia Baumgartner.

"I am a mother myself and constantly come into contact with parents who have trouble accommodating their children during the holidays." The change-over when entering the kindergarten, when the care becomes cheaper, but no longer offers the same thing, is great for many mothers and fathers. In addition, there are parents who can only pick up their children after 6 pm.

Luzia Baumgartner (right) heads the Amix in Cham.
Photo: Maria Schmid

The fact that there is now an alternative to the offer of the municipality in Cham has been positively received by the municipality. Mirjam Wallimann heads the Modular Day School department, and says: "Private childcare services are not a competition, but a supplement to the municipal services." These provide parents with additional options. And: "They can help to cover the demand on peak days or where there are special needs."

The question of subsidies is still open
The Amix has so far been registered as a day care centre, however, and should remain so, although this currently has an impact on the financial support from the municipality. In contrast to regular supplementary school care, it is currently still uncertain whether there will be subsidies for older children in the Amix. This applies in particular to children from the 1st grade onwards.

According to Thomas Bonati, Head of the Department of Social Affairs and Health of the Municipality of Cham, it is already stipulated in the corresponding regulations that private care services in the school sector can also be approved in Cham. "These offers can also be integrated into the existing system of care vouchers." Any application for a subsidy would have to be decided on by the municipal council.

So far, however, no application has been submitted to the municipality, says the responsible municipal councillor Christine Blättler-Müller, although the Amix is considered to be a day care centre. She adda that they will now get together with those responsible for Amix to discuss the situation.

"And if an application is submitted, we will, of course, look at it."

For children up to the second kindergarten, however, the question of childcare vouchers has already been solved. The regulations stipulate that under certain circumstances – if a child has already been cared for in the kindergarten before entering the kindergarten, if he or she has siblings there, or if the opening hours of the school offer are not compatible with the profession – the municipality can issue vouchers for these children in a kindergarten.

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