A nursery school is a place where children under the age of three years can play with children of the same age, under the supervision of trained early childhood educators who help your children learn through play. Age-appropriate meals, naps and outdoor play are all part of these programs. Most of the facilities are flexible about drop-off and pick-up times. Nursery schools are run by private and public agencies as well as churches. A few offer support for non-German-speaking children. Hours vary from institution to institution. Opening at around 8am and closing in the afternoon is common, later hours are rare. Prices vary considerably – depending on the region, the facility and in part on the parents' income. Availability also differs greatly by region, even though there is a legal right to such a child care place.
Which types of child daycare service exist in Germany?
There are various options for child care in Germany. During the day, parents can send their children to facilities where they are well cared for. There, the children can find friends and participate in daily life in Germany.
Child care is available in different kind of forms, depending on age and region. You should know, that the names for child care can also differ. In some regions KiTa (Kindertagesstätte) is a general term used for Kindergarten and Krippe (nursery schools).
Normally, child care is provided by the government for children who are three years or older. But since 2013, children aged 12 months or older also have a legal right to a child care place, which is partly subsidised by the state. Also, there often exists child care for older children for the time before and after school. Prices for children's daycare (“Kindertagesbetreuung”) are comparatively affordable in Germany. Subsidies are often available for low-income families and families with a refugee background. This varies from region to region, and depends on the number of hours of care required and the total family income. The government is committed to providing preschool care for all three to six year-olds and nursery places for children one to three years old, but applying early is necessary. There are also special options for parents who take part in an integration course. Here we will explain to you the care options and facilities in Germany.
Nursery school (“Kinderkrippe”)
Home daycare (“Kindertagespflege”)
How to find a place for my child?
Before and after school care (“Hort”)
Child care for newcomers
In March 2017 BAMF and BMFSFJ announced that integration course providers should help parents find appropriate child care. This is to give parents and especially mothers more chances to take part in integration courses.
Parental allowance, parental leave & child allowance
Parents have the right of up to three years of parental leave (“Elternzeit”) after the birth of their child, so they could take care of their baby. During that time, they can work, but they don’t have to. Their jobs are protected by law during that time. Both parents can also claim parental benefits (“Elterngeld”) – if they are on leave during the first 12 months after the child's birth, along with two extra "partner months" of benefit. There also is a child allowance (“Kindergeld”) – for the refugees whose asylum procedure has been concluded. If you are under 18 you also can get “Kindergeld”. You can find the application form for "Kindergeld" on www.arbeitsagentur.de.