Child care

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Children aged one year and older are entitled to child care.

Your children will also be taken care of: from the age of one, they are entitled to a place in a nursery (kindergarten) or with a childminder.

Besides nursery schools run by local municipalities and towns, there are also many private and church-run facilities.

Nursery schools may offer morning sessions only or may also be open in the afternoon. Company and university nurseries tend to offer longer child care times that are tailored to staff working hours.

The fees for child care at nursery schools are set by the local authority or organisation that runs them, and can vary considerably. Non-private nurseries are free for three- to six-year-olds in some of Germany’s states, or offer at least the last year of child care free of charge.

Childminders are an alternative to nursery schools. Normally they look after several children in their own homes and offer flexible hours; they may also provide some meals. As a rule, the addresses of registered childminders can be obtained from the local authority or youth welfare office (in many cases online).

Good to know:

  • Each child over the age of one is entitled to child care.
  • Full-day and creche places for very young children are in high demand. You should apply for a place as early as possible – ideally before arriving in Germany.
  • Quite a few universities and many student organisations run their own child care centres that can also be used by university staff. You can find your university’s student organisation (Studentenwerk) at www.studentenwerke.de > Studentenwerke.
  • The international offices and welcome centres at universities can also help you find a child care place.

More information

"Nursery school place checklist" in the online family guide:

www.familienhandbuch.de > Kita (only in German)

Contact details of the international offices and welcome centres at universities:

www.higher-education-compass.de