Selective focus of children folding educational play with teacher in the background

Your children from the age of one 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 that offer the service.

Opening hours

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


The fees for childcare at nursery schools are set by the local authority or organisation that runs them and can vary considerably. Non-private nurseries are (partly) free of charge in some German states.


Childminders (Tagesmütter or Tagesväter) 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. The addresses of registered childminders can be obtained from the local authority or youth welfare office.

From Moscow with love: one day with Alexey Gromov and his kids

Dr Alexey Gromov is a laboratory head at Bayer AG in Wuppertal. Find out what he thinks about bringing his kids to Germany with him.  

© DAAD/Fazit

If you want to learn more about Alexey’s life and work, have a look at our “Follow us through the day” page, which follows three researchers from all over the world through their daily lives in Germany.

Good to know

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 childcare centres that can also be used by university staff. You can find your university’s student organisation (Studentenwerk or Studierendenwerk) on the website of the Deutsches Studierendenwerk.


The international offices and welcome centres at universities can also help you find a childcare place.

Particularly in bigger cities you will sometimes find “Kinderläden” (literally “children shops”) or “Elterninitiativen” (parent initiatives) – day cares organised by a parent initiative or association. The name “Kinderläden” dates back to the late 1960s, when parents and educators opened alternative, non-state day cares, often in old shop premises.

In bigger cities, international and multilingual childcare is also becoming more common. The Berlin Interdisciplinary Network for Multilingualism (BIVEM) offers information on multilingualism to scientists, educators and parents.