Support for families

Young family with one child are having a  counselling appointment with a counsellor

Families need support, which is why all kinds of legal and financial help are available to make life a little easier for parents.

Child benefit

The most important assistance provided is child benefit (Kindergeld). All families receive child benefit, regardless of income. If you live and work in Germany, you will receive child benefit for each of your children, usually up to the age of 18. Currently, it is around 250 euros per month per child.

Parental leave

After the birth of a child, parents can spend up to three years on parental leave (Elternzeit). During this time, your job will be safe until you return. Your employer cannot terminate your contract. However, if your work contract is limited and ends during your parental leave, your contract might not be prolonged. 

Parental allowance

If you or your partner wish to look after your child yourself and want to reduce your working hours or stay at home full-time, you are entitled to parental allowance (Elterngeld) for a period of twelve months after the birth of your child. This amounts to roughly two thirds of your monthly net income – at least 300 euros and 1,800 euros at the most.

You can receive ElterngeldPlus (parental allowance plus) for twice as long as the basic parental allowance: one month of basic parental allowance equates to two months of ElterngeldPlus, which is why the latter is only half as much.

Good to know

You can combine the different variants of parental allowance (basic and plus). Parents who share childcare responsibilities can get a partnership bonus and receive more months of parental allowance.

You can opt to take parental leave until your child’s third birthday. You can also take part of the parental leave between the child’s third and eighth birthday.

Pregnant people in Germany are protected by the Mutterschutz (maternity protection). For example, they no longer have to work starting six weeks before their due date, and they are not allowed to work for at least eight weeks after giving birth.