Stay with family
Are you coming to Bremen with your family? The following pages contain information related to school enrollment for children, arranging day care, as well as information about family support services.
For admission for the regular academic year starting in August, school and kindergarten enrollment deadline is end of January of the same year. In case you cannot plan that far ahead or are not sure where you will be living in Germany, enrollment at mid-semester is also possible.
Kindergartens, Daycare Centers, Nurseries
If you travel to Germany with young children, we recommend that you register your child for child care as early as possible, as spots may be limited.
Children aged 3 to 6 can be enrolled in a kindergarten. Most kindergartens begin at 8:00am and go up until 5:00pm at the latest.
Children under 3 years of age attend a nursery. Nurseries normally have the option of full-day care with lunch included. Just like the kindergartens, the spots at the nurseries are very limited in Bremen, and we strongly recommend that you plan ahead.
Depending on options and services offered, costs for child care can vary greatly. In public institutions prices are based on the parents' income. You can find further information here.
Child Care Options at the University / on Campus
University of Bremen has a number of child care facilities:
- The kindergarten Entdecker-Kids and the Entdeckerhaus offer care for children aged 6 months up to school age. These spots are thought to be for the children of University employees and the Entdecker-Kids also offer a bilingual group. The Entdeckerturm is another facility which is located at the Fallturm and offers care for children aged 1 year and older.
- The Uni-Kindertagesstätte e.V. is a good option for full-day child care. This facility caters to the children of University students and employees between 1-3 years of age. In total, they care for 48 children in 6 groups.
Other Offers in Bremen
In Bremen, most child care facilities are organized and overseen by KiTa Bremen. It is the largest organization with 66 kindergartens and family centers in all city districts. With 1500 employees, they have around 8000 children in their care.
Additionally, catholic and protestant church associations in Bremen run kindergarten programs. This is the second largest organization for child care.
There is also the option to look for child care via so called 'Elternvereine'. These parents' associations provide child care supported by a group of parents. You can find these, among others, on the websites of the 'Verbund Bremer Kindergruppen' and the 'AWO Bremen'.
For parents looking for a bilingual kindergarten atmosphere:
- The German-French Kindergarten has a playgroup and a kindergarten. It is run by the Interkulturelle Schule e.V..
- In 1991 the English-German playgroup „Punch and Judy“ was founded.
- In the area German/Spanish there is both the group "Las Mariquitas" for children in the age from 1 to 3, and the KiTa "Arche Kunterbunt".
- There is also a German-Italian day-care center for children in Bremen: "Girotondo".
Tagesmütter / Nannies
Another option for child care are also nannies, called 'Tagesmütter', who take care of children in their own homes. 'Tagesmütter' normally work at their own homes and have multiple children in their care. Although the child care is located in their private homes, all nannies must be certified. You can find in-home child care services through the newspaper or Child Care Services of Bremen. There is also a good overview provided by the PiB.
If you need a babysitter for an evening or for a few hours, word-of-mouth referrals are common. However, there are also websites like betreut.de, babysits.de and yoopies.de which might be helpful. Additional Care- and Household Services also include, among others, Vacances .
There is compulsory school education in Germany for children aged 6 to 15. Public schools are free of charge.
In Bremen, children attend primary school (Grundschule, grades 1-4). After that, parents can choose between a high school ('Oberschule') and a Gymnasium. Private schools are also an option.
At a high school ('Oberschule') children are taught together and all diplomas can be achieved. The 'Abitur', which grants the right to go to a University, can be obtained after 13 years of school. The 'Mittlere Schulabschluss' (10 year diploma) can be obtained after 10 years of school and grants the right to attend vocational training or apprenticeship.
At a 'Gymnasium' children are taught from grade 5 to 12 with the goal to achieve the 'Abitur' after 8 years (G8).
Schools in Bremen
Bremen currently has 70 elementary schools, 9 Gymnasiums and about 30 high schools in the public system.
The International School of Bremen is located on the University campus. It is a certified private school with tuition fees, and classes are taught in English. The highest diploma that can be obtained is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma which grants the right to study at any university in the world.
The sports club Bremen 1860 is exactly right for you, if you weren’t able to find child care in time or if you want your child to enjoy some active time in the afternoon. They offer a variety of facilities and sport courses, which take place on a daily or weekly basis. These courses are suitable for children aged 6 months and up to 10 years. There are also two big halls, a unique playground with a huge climbing landscape in one and big swings hanging from the ceiling in the other. There, your children can let off some steam while you have the chance to connect with other parents.
During the holidays there are a few organizations who offer special holiday care for your children. If you are working at the University of Bremen, you can find an overview of some offers from the Campus-KiTa's via this link.
Furthermore, there are a few other organizations offering holiday child care. Among these is the Sports Club Bremen 1860, who offer a wide range of care in the form of sport activities.
You can also find some other options on the website of the Bremer Ferienkompass.
The German government provides financial assistance to children. In some cases, this also applies to international guests depending on the length of their stay. A general requirement is that one parent must pay income taxes.
Ask the Welcome Center for more information.
The Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth is in charge for the distribution of this financial aid.
Child allowance, called 'Kindergeld', is paid until the child is 18 years of age, or 25 years of age if he/she is enrolled in any kind of a state-certified eduational or training program.
To receive the child allowance, Germany must be the applicant's habitual residence. If the habitual residence of the applicant is elsewhere in the EU, he/she can still apply for child allowance given that the person is subject to unlimited income tax liability in Germany.
For the first and second child the allowance is ca. 194 euros per month; for the third child it is ca. 200 euros and for any additional children it is ca. 225 euros.
Applications must be filed in written form with the local Family Office ('Familienkasse'). You can download the official document here, as well as the necessary additional document regarding the information of your child/children. For further information please visit the official "Kindergeld-Website". On the bottom of the page, you can also find the documents in various other languages.
In addition to child allowance, you might want to inform yourself about the so called “child supplement”. This is an additional financial support offered by the government for families with children under 25 and who already receive “kindergeld”. You can find out whether you are eligible for child supplement by using the online calculator KiZ-Lotse. Generally, all families who need the Kinderzuschlag in order to (comfortably) afford a living are eligible. For further information, please have a look at the website of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit and the Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund.
If you are a citizen of a Member State of the EU, the EEA States or Switzerland, you may be eligible for parental allowance if you live in Germany.
Non-EU citizens are eligible for parental allowance if their residence in Germany is deemed permanent according to the type of residence title they possess and their access to the employment market. You fulfil this requirement if you hold a settlement permit. You also fulfil this requirement if you hold a residence permit and are entitiled to work/have already worked legally in Germany. Non-German parents are not eligible for parental allowance if they hold a residence permit for study purpose or in conjunction with a work permit for a specified maximum period.