How Much Does Daycare in Germany Cost?

Daycare Costs & the KiTa Gutschein

Part of our Expat “How To” Guides for Germany

By Erin “ebe” Porter

Not every state in Germany offers a KiTa Gutschein (daycare subsidy), but it is one of the benefits of living in former East Germany. This supplement is based on your income (refer to page 8 of this PDF for the current rates in Berlin), but usually covers a large portion of daycare costs. For example, we pay around 128 euros per month for 7-9 hours of care. Yes, we are poor and yes, this system is amazing. In addition, once the child is around three (technically three years prior to starting school), the state pays the full cost of daycare.

Daycare in Germany

Baby and dad enroll in daycare in a Berlin Kita. PHOTO: Erin Porter

Parents may apply for the KiTa Gutschein up to 9 months before the child starts KiTa (but not before the baby is born), and a minimum of 2 months before.

Parents must apply for a 4-5 hours, 5-7 hours, 7-9 hours or 9+ hour Gutschein. As mentioned before, you may have less trouble finding a space with at least a 7-9 hour Gutschein.  You are not obligated to leave your child there for the full amount of time. To receive the most hours, you need to supply a reason why you need childcare. This could be a full-time job (supply a letter from your employer or tax documents) or your desire for your child to learn German. Once the child turns three, they have a legal right to seven hours of childcare per day without explanation.

How to Apply for a KiTa Gutschein
Applications should be made to your local Jugendamt. To apply, supply copies of:

  • Completed Kita Gutschein application (usually available on the Jugendamt’s website, such as Berlin’s applications.)
  • Passport / ID Card of parent(s)/guardian(s)
  • Meldebescheinigung (Registration)
  • Birth certificate of the child (Geburtsurkunde)
  • Proof of work / studies (Reason for daycare if applying before the child is three)
  • Proof of income of both parents / guardians
  • Proof of a position in a KiTa (if applicable)

The KiTa Gutschein is good for 16 weeks (part of the tricky part of whether you should get the Gutschein or the spot first).

If you are still wondering how to get your child into daycare, refer to our page on How to Enroll Your Child in Daycare in Germany.

More | Expat How To Guides for Germany

Related Pages


  • is a helpful resource to find daycare near you.

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