Kitas, Kindergärten, Einrichtungen… there are lots of different terms for daycare centres in Germany! Here is a short explanation of what they mean.
Kita is a shortening of Kindertagesstätten and this is the name for daycare centres that look after children of all ages. Depending on their licence, Kitas can look after children aged between 0 and 12. Children under 3 are looked after in a Krippe (nursery) and then they move up to Kindergarten (preschool) until they are of school age. School children can be cared for after school in a Hort (after school care centre).
In Germany there are a wide variety of organisations that support daycare centres, known as Träger. This means daycare centres can be run by the municipal authorities, by a church, by private organisations, or even by parent initiatives, where parents are encouraged to work together.
Since childcare is regulated by local governments, the facilities on offer, the fees and the application process vary greatly across Germany. You can find more precise information about a specific location in our local search or by speaking to a member of our team.
If in any doubt, please get in touch with us!
We can help you with the search for a suitable nursery, kindergarten or after school care centre if you are struggling to find one. More specifically, we can put together lists of the day care centres in your locality for you. Additionally, we clarify with our co-operation partners and private day care centres whether there are places available or if there is a waiting list etc. For public day care centres funded by the municipal authority or a church community, the parents are usually required to contact them directly. We don’t have any influence here, nor can we influence the allocation of places. Our goal is to give you a comprehensive overview of what is available, encompassing different municipal authorities and funding organisations. It goes without saying, that if there are no free places available we will try to offer you alternatives and search for the best solution available.
Important: The majority of places in day care centres become available after the summer break when the older children go to school. The places for this time are allocated earlier in the year. If you want a place in a day-care centre for after the summer holidays you need to pay attention to the closing date for applications set by the municipal authority.