Day Care Centres, Kindergarten and Childcare in Hamburg

Information about the kindergarten and childcare options in Hamburg and the neighbouring towns and districts. How to find a day care centre or childminder, and the subsidies available...

Vouchers and Subsidies

The voucher system for childcare in Hamburg is unique in Germany, and the paperwork involved can be quite time consuming. Generally, the system provides reliable childcare facilities and there are usually sufficient places for the children of Hamburg residents, especially for working parents.

  • For more information about fees, grants and subsidies: Click here (in German)

Who can apply for a voucher?

Subsidised childcare in Hamburg is awarded by the City when a single parent or both parents are working, studying or in vocational training, participating in special training courses for the unemployed, or when participating in German lessons for immigrants or in integration courses.

Children aged two and older are entitled to childcare for up to 25 hours per week before school enrolment, independent of their parents' employment. These 25 hours of childcare are free.

To apply for the childcare voucher parents have to fill out a form at their local District Office (Bezirksamt). The childcare fee is earnings-related. It is advisable to apply for the voucher three to six months before childcare is needed.

Five-hour reduction

From 1 August 2014, five hours per day of childcare are free of charge in nursery schools and kindergartens. A weekly reduction of up to thirty hours is similarly credited for children below school starting age in the care of a childminder.

Enrolling in a Kindergarten

Most children under school age visit day care centres (Kindertagestätten, or Kita for short) or a traditional kindergarten. Kitas offer childcare for different age groups, and opening times vary. Many offer an early or late shift, some have mixed age groups, and others have separate crèche groups.

Finding a place in a kita can be difficult. Hamburg City provides a database search tool where parents can find local groups: Click here

They can also be found by searching on the map provided: Click here

It is advisable for parents to visit the kitas personally before they make their selection. Once the child has been registered with a kita, the childcare voucher from the Bezirksamt must be presented.

The childcare department of the local District Office can provide help and advice with all aspects of childcare in kitas, kindergarten and pre-school in Hamburg.

District Office childcare departments

  • Bezirk Hamburg-Mitte
    At: Klosterwall 4, Block B, 20095 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 54 5175 3099
    email
  • Bezirk Altona
    At: Platz der Republik 1, 22765 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 11 2127/1715
    email
  • Bezirk Hamburg-Nord
    At
    : Ku?mmellstraße 7, 20249 Hamburg
    Tel
    : 040 428 04 2536/2630
    email
  • Bezirk Eimsbu?ttel
    At: Grindelberg 66, 20144 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 01 2577
    email
  • Bezirk Wandsbek
    At: Wandsbeker Allee 62, 22041 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 81 2435
    email
  • Bezirk Bergedorf
    At: Weidenbaumsweg 21, Eingang C, 21029 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 912 603
    email
  • Bezirk Harburg
    At: Wilhelmstraße 33, 21073 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 713 455
    email

Childminders

Parents with smaller children, irregular working hours or children with special needs may decide to place their children into day care with a registered childminder (Tagesmutter or Tagesvater). Childminders can take care of up to five children in their homes. Consultants from the borough authorities interview each of the childminders and check their qualifications in order to assess their suitability.

The Association of Childminders in Hamburg offers advice and information about childminders and free places in the region:

  • Hamburger Tagesmütter und -väter e.V.
    At
    : Poßmoorweg 44, 22301 Hamburg
    Tel
    : 040 200 3377
    email

The local District Offices have day care exchanges (Tagespflegebörsen), where contact details for registered childminders in the area, including details of their professional childminding qualifications and number of places, are available.

  • For more information about finding a childminder from Hamburg City Council: Click here (in German)

District Office day care exchanges

  • Tagespflegebörse Hamburg-Mitte
    At
    : Klosterwall 4, 8th floor, 20095 Hamburg
    Tel
    : 040 428 542 457/2458
  • Tagespflegebörse Altona
    At
    : Rathaus, Platz der Republik 1, 22765 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 112 300
    email
  • Tagespflegebörse Eimsbüttel
    At
    : Grindelberg 62 - 66, 20149 Hamburg
    Tel
    : 040 428 012 952
  • Tagespflegebörse Hamburg-Nord
    At
    : Kümmelstraße 7, 20249 Hamburg
    Tel
    : 040 428 042 345
  • Tagespflegebörse Wandsbek
    At
    : Wandsbeker Allee 62, 22041 Hamburg
    Tel
    : 040 428 813 520
  • Tagespflegebörse Bergedorf
    At: Weidenbaumsweg 21, 21029 Hamburg
    Tel: 040 428 912 199
  • Tagespflegebörse Harburg
    At
    : Wilhelmstraße 33, 21073 Hamburg
    Tel
    : 040 428 712 624

Childcare in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony

The laws and regulations concerning childcare in Schleswig-Holstein or in Lower Saxony are different and places may be scarce. Further information can be found at the local District Offices.

  • For information from the Education Ministry of Schleswig-Holstein: Click here (in German)
  • For information about kitas, crèches and childcare in Lower Saxony: Click here (in German)