Legal entitlement to childcare: When parents can sue for a day care center

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Legal entitlement to childcare: When parents can sue for a day care center

But he is only responsible for this if a federal law "to create equivalent living conditions in the federal territory" is necessary. Court Vice President Ferdinand Kirchhof emphasized this fact.

However, the federal government struggled to prove this during the negotiation. There is a difference in living conditions "in fact not that easy to prove" admitted the government agent Michael Sachs. He stressed that the concept of care needs to be taken much broader. In addition, the childcare allowance is part of one, together with the right to a state-funded day-care center created by the federal government "Overall concept".

Constitutional judge Johannes Masing then asked whether actually "problematic developments" would be feared if the care allowance were not paid.

"Generous" Legal interpretation of the federal government

With their questions, some of them sharply formulated, the constitutional guardians made it clear that they apparently had doubts about the legal position of the federal government. The Senate's rapporteur, Judge Gabriele Britz, spoke of one with regard to the provisions of the Basic Law on competing legislation "generous view of the federal government".

The difference in living conditions must be there "considerable" be. For example, the expansion of daycare places in the old and new federal states would have to have made different progress.

Wealthy families in the west benefit

While up to two thirds of the children in East Germany are still cared for in a daycare center despite the bonus offer, according to a study, well-to-do families in West Germany in particular enjoy the bonuses of around 900 million euros.

According to a study by sociologist Stefan Sell, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" quoted, is the care allowance "especially taken by the classic middle class family" wealthy families and academics also benefited. However, the premium does not have a steering effect.

Criticism: Childcare allowance keeps women away from working life

The former SPD government in Hamburg had called the care allowance decided by the black-yellow coalition at the instigation of the CSU as illegal because it solidified traditional role models. Mothers would therefore be kept away from working life. This violates the principle of equality.

Care allowance: The " Herd Premium " comes before the Federal Constitutional Court Education allowance of the federal states: Bavarian family allowance – Young families are entitled to this Care money debate in 2012 with Günther Jauch: " Lord, throw money from heaven! " Legal entitlement to childcare: When parents can sue for a day care center

The tax relief for single parents has stagnated for eleven years, now the tax advantage for mothers and fathers who live alone with their children is finally being increased – by 600 euros per year. Reason to cheer? Not really. That is only one "little consolation" for the 1.6 million people affected in Germany, says the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers (VAMV). There can be no question of a significant relief of the often tight budget of single parents in the long term.

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Since 2004, the tax exemption for single parents – currently 90 percent of them are women – in tax class II has been 1308 euros per year. In July, the Federal Council then agreed to an increase of around 46 percent to 1908 euros, with retroactive effect from January 2015. This amount increases by 240 euros for each additional child. The state plans to provide 80 million euros a year for this.

And this is how it works: The relief amount is deducted from the annual income of a single mother or single father. Then income tax is levied on the resulting earnings. So it is a tax exemption.

Only parents with taxable income who live alone with their children benefit from this. If the situation changes – for example because a new partner contributes to the household – the tax privilege is immediately canceled.

But the increased relief amount does not mean that single parents will have 600 euros more in their pockets in the future. The simple reason: You are only relieved of the taxes that you would have had to pay on the added amount.

Examples: The bottom line is that this is how much the tax allowance remains

For example, a single mother with two children would not have to pay tax on income of EUR 2,148; for a single parent with three children, EUR 2,388 would remain tax-free.

In general, as with other tax exemptions, the following applies: Those who pay the highest taxes also benefit the most. A tax expert from Frankfurt has calculated for how much the tax savings will now increase. Of course, the specialist did not take individual tax cases into account. The following table shows rounded amounts:

Annual income additional tax savings with a child with two children with three children
15,000 euros 100 euros 145 euros 180 euros
20,000 euros 136 euros 204 euros 260 euros
40,000 euros 194 euros 264 euros 340 euros
60,000 euros 225 euros 300 Euro 370 euros

Single parents usually earn little

Economist Frank Hechtner from the Free University of Berlin has for the "Southgerman newspaper" However, it was found that single parents earn significantly less on average – around 27,000 euros a year. The tax relief has a correspondingly moderate effect.

The VAMV federal chairwoman Solveig Schuster is anything but satisfied with the increase. The state missed the chance of long-term funding through dynamization – such as with the basic tax allowance, criticizes Schuster. And this will lead to a creeping tax increase for single parents again.

Also tax justice is "far from being reached". Would be appropriate "the arrangement with a second basic allowance as a counterpart to spouse splitting" explains Schuster in a press release.

Not to forget: the scheme only benefits those who earn enough in a job to have to pay income tax. Around 40 percent of all single parents – 625,000 mothers and fathers – are excluded from this because they are dependent on social benefits. That was the result of an investigation by the Bertelsmann Foundation in 2014. And these Hartz IV recipients have nothing at all from the relief amount.

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Grandma is the best – that was probably the case thousands of years ago. It relieves the parents by looking after and looking after the grandchildren. US researchers now claim that it is thanks to the grandmothers that men and women live together as couples at all.

"It looks like the grandmother's commitment was crucial in creating the couple bond" explains US anthropologist Kristen Hawkes from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Through the use of grandmas, human life expectancy has increased over time. As a result, the number of women of fertile age contrasted with more and more fertile men. A fixed pair bond gave men significantly better prospects of having many offspring than changing one-night stands, the researchers write in the "Proceedings" the US Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Grandmother effect strengthens couple relationships

Hawkes, along with statisticians and mathematicians, had simulated the development of a community with and without the use of grandparents. In longer-lived communities, therefore, over time more and more fertile men competed for the significantly smaller number of child-bearing women.

The simulations showed: Over 30,000 to 300,000 years, the surplus of men increased due to the "Grandmother effect" from 77 to 156 men per 100 women. "This male overhang in the gender ratio made partner bonding a better strategy for men than finding additional female partners – there were simply too many competitors" so Hawkes.

Other anthropologists, however, advocate the so-called hunter thesis: According to this, the couple bond developed mainly because hunting men were able to reliably care for the woman and their offspring. Hawkes argues against this: "The key to why moms can have more babies faster is not daddy bringing the ham home, but grandma helping feed the weaned children."

If the woman has no more children, she remains useful as a grandma

With the new analysis, Hawkes supports her hypothesis, which has been discussed for years. It provides an explanation for why women live so long after their fertile period has ended – which initially makes no sense from a biological point of view. Accordingly, the support of grandmothers in looking after small children was immensely important and increased their chances of survival massively. As a result, the genes of families in which the grandmas lived particularly long prevailed during evolution.

Hawkes and her colleagues developed their thesis after conducting field research almost 20 years ago with the Hazda people in northern Tanzania. With the Hazda, who lived as hunters and gatherers, the grandmothers actively helped to feed the already weaned toddlers with dug up roots and tubers. The children were not yet able to dig for food themselves, but their mothers often had a new baby on their breasts.

In another 2012 study, Hawkes extrapolated the Hazdas' grandmother effect with the life spans of great apes. Even if one factored out the brain size or hunting behavior, the effect became visible: If the grandmothers do not provide important help, the female members of the group usually die a few years after their reproductive capacity has ceased.

Grandpa is not that important

The human lifespan, on the other hand, has increased by 25 to 49 years over the course of only 24,000 to 60,000 years, according to the researcher. The reason for them is obvious: "Grandmothers who live longer are more helpful." A grandfather effect has not yet been found.

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After 68 years, the twin brothers George and Lucjan have hugged each other again. They came to a Polish children's home in 1947 at the age of one. Both were adopted by different families and lost sight of each other. Now the Red Cross could bring them together again.

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The happy end of a decades-long search came about with the help of the Polish and American Red Cross. As the Polish aid organization reported on its website, the twin brothers were born in 1946 in Germany as children of a former Polish slave laborer.