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The Berlin childcare voucher system

For families to receive a spot at a childcare facility, the state of Berlin issues childcare vouchers. When the family applies for a voucher, the state decides how much care is needed (hours per day) and what the cost to the parents will be. This depends on factors such as the parents' employment situation, commute times, and income. The application is submitted to the youth welfare office (Jugendamt) in the district where the family lives. The voucher regarding the amount of care itself can be redeemed at any of the approximately 1,800 facilities financed by the state of Berlin provided that the desired facility has space available.

Like all other nursery schools in Berlin, the school year at the nursery school operated by the Studentenwerk Berlin student union starts in August, since children who have reached school age leave these facilities at the end of July. If childcare is needed starting in the winter or summer semester, families need to apply for a spot early on. Waitlists for the next school year at a nursery school are often quite long as much as six months beforehand. Depending on the child, it is also necessary to plan on a period of two to six weeks for the child to become accustomed to the new setting.

An event called "Students with Children" is held every winter semester to provide information on attendance obligations, organizing and financing a study program, childcare vouchers and allocation of childcare placements.