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Day care

Berlin offers a diverse array of day care facilities. The city is a leader in this area when compared to the West German states.

Day care centers and child day care are free for all children in Berlin. There is only a catering charge for lunch. In Berlin, children under the age of three also have access to day care outside the home if their parents can demonstrate a need for it.

The expansion of day care centers is an important issue for the Berlin State government. In March 2021 there were approx. 4,680 childcare facilities in Berlin and Brandenburg with over 397,000 approved places for childcare. The number of places increased by 2.2 percent comparted to the previous year in Berlin. Berlin's day care facilities also keep more convenient hours; the city has substantially more full-day day care facilities than other regions of (West) Germany. 

  • over 174,000 children attended publicly funded child day care in Berlin
  • of those over 168,000 children (excluding after-school children) attended public and free facilities 
  • about two thirds of Berlin’s children were cared for all day
  • approx. 98% of the children took part in the lunch service

(Source: Office of Statistics Berlin Brandenburg, (as of March 1, 2021); Senate Department of Education, Youth and Family)

Daycare facilities for children

Berlin is home to a large number of day care centers for children. Use our overview map to find out about the locations and infrastructural conditions – in 2-D and 3-D.

Open the map

Over 90 percent of all day care offerings include the lunch hour. Parents who work outside the opening hours of day care and after-school facilities can apply for supplemental child care. In addition, Berlin has made the transition to all-day schools across the board. During school vacations, parents can apply for child care during core hours if necessary.

Different forms of day care

Preschool care

Day care facilities (Kitas)
Kitas include nurseries (for children between 8 weeks and 3 years of age) and kindergardens (for children over the age of three until they enter school). Many facilities offer both services. There are also cooperative daycare facilities (Eltern-Initiativ-Kindertagesstätte - EKT), which are operated by an association of parents. At both Kitas and EKTs, parents contribute financially based on their income. Day care centers will offer free places for all from 01.08.2018; parents only have to pay for meals.

Small-group day care
In small-group day care, child care specialists care for a small group of children, typically in their home, but sometimes in joint facilities shared with other child care specialists. This form of child care is primarily intended for children under three, but there are also small-group day care facilities that accept children until they begin school as well as child care specialists who provide additional care for school-age children outside of school hours.

Company day care centers

Employers can operate regular or emergency day care facilities by themselves or in cooperation with other companies. Emergency day care facilities offer child care tailored to parents' needs when regular day care arrangements fall through. Employer-operated facilities are usually on or near company premises.

Child care in all-day schools

Parents in Berlin have a choice of three different school concepts and schedules: the reliable half-day school (Verlässliche Halbtagsgrundschule) and the open or compulsory all-day schools. All of Berlin's primary schools are reliable half-day schools.

1. Reliable half-day school
Reliable half-day schools guarantee instruction and care between the hours of 7:30 am to 1:30 pm at no cost.

2. Open all-day school
Open all-day schools supplement the care provided by the reliable half-day schools with additional hours of child care: early care from 6:00 am - 7:30 am, afternoon care from 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm, late afternoon care from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm and vacation care. Parents must demonstrate a need for child care in order for their child to attend an open all-day school and pay a fee depending on their income. Parents can register their children for after-school care in the school.

3. Compulsory all-day school
Compulsory all-day schools offer no-cost instruction and care between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, which all students are required to attend. Parents who demonstrate a need for additional care can register for before- and after-school care, subject to a fee depending on their income.

Information center for flexible Kita day care

Provides information to employers and parents regarding child care outside the hours covered by day care facilities and after-school programs.

Berlin-wide, flexible child-care
Rudolf-Schwarz-Straße 29/31
10407 Berlin
+49 30 42511-86