In Berlin, there are sufficient places for all children between the age of 8 weeks and 6 years. Child care facilities (in German called Kindertagesstätte, short Kita) are usually open non-stop from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (sometimes even 6:00 p.m.). The fees depend on the income of the parents and on how many hours per week your child is to receive child care. Child care is free of charge during the last year of kindergarten before your child is to attend school; only a contribution for the meals of approx. 23 € per month has to be paid.
In order to enroll your child in a kindergarten, you need a voucher (Betreuungsgutschein) which is issued by the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) of your local residents’ registration office. Then you contact the administration of the kindergarten of your choice and hand in the voucher. Please be aware that this has to be done within 2 months after having received the voucher.
Please note: Kindergarten places are allocated as early as spring of the respective kindergarten year (beginning in August or September). Many kindergartens also admit children during the year, if there are vacancies, so you may be able to enroll your child at a later date.
More information about children and education here.
Freie Universität Berlin has its own kindergarten which provides places for up to 165 children from the age of 8 weeks up to 6 years. Information can be found here.
There are a number of international and bilingual day care centers in Berlin.
Nannies usually look after several children in their own homes during the day. They care for young children (usually between 8 weeks and 3 years) on a flexible time-basis. Nannies can be found through newspaper ads or the local youth welfare office. If you contact a nanny through the youth welfare office the monthly fee will be estimated on the same basis as for kindergarten (i.e. income, number of children, hours per day). You also need to apply for a Kita-voucher if you want to place your child with a nanny via the youth welfare office.
Babysitters care for your child for a few hours during the day or in the evening. They can best be found by word of mouth or through ads on notice boards in supermarkets and kindergartens. You should also ask both your neighbours and colleagues for recommendations.
The Family Support Center (Familienbüro) provides short-term child care services such as KidsMobil (in case of an emergency, e.g. in case of illness of your babysitter or when a parent goes on a business trip).We recommend you to contact the Family Support Center in order to join the mailing list for current information about short and long-term child care facilities and services such as KidsMobil finding a child-care facilities in emergency situations and contacting and exchanging information with other parents with similar needs, etc.