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Childcare

Childcare in Germany is provided in either a Krippe or a Kindergarten, depending on the age of the child. A Krippe is a nursery or daycare facility for small children from 0-3 years of age. Whereas a Kindergarten is meant for children from 3-6 and is largely seen as a fundamental step in preparing a child to start school. Though it is not a formal part of the compulsory school system, over 80% of all children in Germany attend kindergarten.

There are three major possibilities to consider when deciding on how to begin your search: LMU childcare facilities, state childcare facilities and private childcare facilities. LMU Gateway is prepared to assist you in evaluating the facilities under the authority of the university, though be aware that space is very limited. Pertaining to the public and state facilities, you may seek council from Family Services at the LMU. Please take note: places in childcare facilities, especially in nurseries, are very limited with waiting lists of up to one year. It would be in your best interest to start searching as soon as possible.

Please find below a list of commonly asked questions:

  1. What should I consider when selecting a Kindergarten?
  2. What should I consider when selecting a Krippe?
  3. What alternatives do I have if I do not find a place for my child?
  4. Where can I seek further information?
  5. Is financial support available for families with children?

1. What should I consider when selecting a Kindergarten?

Kindergarten is not part of the compulsory school system and is completely voluntary; however, most children in Germany do attend between the ages of three and six. Kindergartens and nurseries are usually run by a local administrative body: the city, town or village council; private initiatives; non-profit organizations and religious groups. There are even Elterninitiativenkindergartens (and nurseries) which are privately run with reduced rates, because they are founded upon the principle that parents of the children should be involved and take on certain duties such as washing linens or substituting for an ill caregiver. No matter the administrative body, all kindergartens must meet government standards to remain operative.

In contrast to nurseries, most kindergartens do not have all-day care programs. Instead, they are open for two or three hours in the morning and another three in the afternoon. There are of course exceptions, which tend to be pricier. Privately run bilingual kindergartens are also available in the Munich area. Your respective consulate or embassy will often be able to provide you with lists of facilities offering services in your language if available or in English.

2. What should I consider when selecting a Krippe?

Nurseries are run by the same administrative bodies as kindergartens and are designed for children under the age of three years old. Age regulations differ from nursery to nursery, so it is important to verify at what age children are allowed to begin attending. Places in a nursery are even more limited than in kindergartens; therefore, it is necessary to begin your search as soon as possible, even during pregnancy.top

3. What alternatives do I have if I do not find a place for my child?

If you cannot find a suitable place for your child at a Kindergarten or Krippe, parents often resort to one of the following alternatives:

  • Tagesmutter
  • LeihOma
  • Au pair (live-in nanny usually between the ages of 17-27)
  • Babysitter

A Tagesmutter is a person (usually a woman) who looks after children in his/her own home during normal working hours. Any nanny offering services for more than 15 hours a week for three or more months in a row must be licensed by the youth welfare office (Jugendamt).

A LeihOma is a woman usually over the age of fifty who comes to your home during the day to support the parents in taking care of the children and with other household duties.

4. Where can I seek further information?

  • LMU Dual Career Service - advice on LMU childcare facilities (DE) and alternatives, as well as support in registering with LMU Family Services
  • LMU Family Service - advice on state and private childcare facilities and their alternatives
  • Jugendamt (DE) - advice for families living in  Munich
  • City of Munich - general information on the childcare system and alternatives, as well as links to search for nurseries and kindergartens in your area
  • Bildungsberatung International (DE) - links to documents listing bilingual and international childcare facilities. You may also make an appointment to meet with advisors with competencies in various languages. Refer to their downloadable flyer for contact details and times
  • Make-it-in-Germany - general information and advice on immigrating to Germany, including childcare

5. Is financial support available for families with children?

In Germany, there are two forms of financial aid available to all tax-paying residents with children: Kindergeld and Elterngeld. An additional benefit for families is the opportunity to take parental leave. More detailed information of the application process is available from LMU Dual Career Service upon request.

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