You can find a flyer containing information on advice and help for families in Hamburg in German, English, Farsi/Dari, Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Polnish and French here: https://www.hamburg.de/contentblob/3055314/4c0c0242eeb72eb7f4af5e53cef49fd0/data/beratung-familien-mehrsprachig.pdf.

Children under 6 years: day care

In Germany, children who are not yet in school receive childcare in daycare centres (Kindertageseinrichtungen; Kitas) and from childcare providers (Kindertagespflege). At the daycare centre (Kita) or while childcare providers are looking after them (Kindertagespflege), children can play and learn German.

Daycare centre (Kita)

In the Ankunftszentrum (arrival centre), there is no childcare. When you move into another initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung), childcare in the initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung) or in a daycare centre (Kita) will be offered for children who are at least 1 year old.

All children who are no longer living in an initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung) and are at least 1 year old have a legal right to a place in a day care centre (Kita).

The place is free and comprises 5 hours of childcare a day (including lunch). The care period can be extended to up to 12 hours per day if the parents are working, participating in further education or training, taking part in a German course for migrants or an integration course. It is possible that you have to pay a small sum for the extended care period.

If you are living in an initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung) or a secondary accommodation (Folgeunterkunft) and are looking for a place in a daycare centre (Kita), please ask the Sozialmanagement (social management) of your accommodation for help. You can find information in simple German as well as several languages (Turkish, Polish, Russian, English, French, Arabic and Farsi/Dari) about the benefits of a daycare centre (Kita), there: https://www.hamburg.de/kitaplatz/.

In any case, your child’s stay at the day care centre is only free if you have a voucher for daycare centres (Kita-Gutschein). You can apply for such a voucher (Kita-Gutschein) here: www.hamburg.de/antraege/#anker_2.

Even if you are not staying in a public accommodation and do not have any residence documents, your child can visit a daycare centre (Kita).

The Clearingstelle in the Flüchtlingszentrum helps finding a place in a daycare centre for children aged 1 – 6.  Adenauerallee 10, please make an appointment: +49 40 284079133, ayasse@fz-hh.de. Your child will then be looked after for 5 hours a day and receive lunch.

Day care (Kindertagespflege; supervision by trained childminders)

Additionally, to the care provided by a daycare centre (Kita) it is also possible to consider day care (Kindertagespflege).

It is particularly popular among parents of children under the age of 3 because of the family atmosphere. You can choose the childminder. Any childminder can care for up to 5 different children simultaneously.

From birth until enrolment in school, day care is free for up to 25 hours per week. If you have a job, do an apprenticeship or attend a German course, your child can receive free day care for 25 hours per week even until they are 14 years old.

You can get advice here: https://www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/hamburg/11267302/, (search term: “Kinderpflegebörse”) then type your address.

The Verein Hamburger Tagesmütter und -väter gives advice as well and helps to find places at daycare centres: info@tagesmuetter-hamburg.de, +49 40 2003377.

Parent-Child-Centres

Parent-Child-Centres are meeting places for families with children under the age of three. You may also visit these centres with older children who are not yet attending school.

You can use the help on offer without complications, registration or a voucher for a daycare centre (Kita-Gutschein) as well as receiving advice on educational matters. No additional fees will be charged other than for lunch (cost contribution of 2 € per serving).

Parent-Child-Centres provide, among other things:

  • an inclusive parent-child-club,
  • play and learning sessions for children,
  • parent-child courses and offers, for example exercise and musical offers,
  • Parental education, information and guidance.

You can find locations and further information here: www.hamburg.de/eltern-kind-zentren/.

Due to the corona pandemic, you may need to follow special rules within the centres. For example, it could be necessary to make an appointment. Please call beforehand and ask about this.

Disabilities and medical check-ups

If your child has a disability or is in danger of becoming disabled, it might need special assistance and support. Then, your child for example has the right to medical care and can visit a daycare centre (Kita) that is tailored to children with a disability and ensures their inclusion and support.

You should go the medical check-ups (Vorsorgeuntersuchungen) with your child. There are 10 important check-ups that your child should do at different dates until it is 6 years old. For this, you can contact your Kinderarzt (paediatrician) shortly after the birth of your child. You can find a doctor here: www.kvhh.net/de/physicianfinder.html. With the check-ups, it is possible to detect and treat health issues early on.

There are various institutions that offer advice and support:

Children over the age of 6: school

Every child in Germany has the right to education and is obliged to attend school. This also applies to children of refugees and children without documentation. School registration only requires an address in Hamburg. Attendance at school is free of charge.

You can find help with the school registration process and enrolment here:

  • Schulinformationszentrum (school information centre) for children from 6 to 16 years old.
    Hamburger Straße 125a,, please make an appointment: zuschulung@bsb.hamburg.de, +49 40 428992211 (Wednesday and Thursday: 10 am – 12 pm (noon), Tuesday: 2 pm – 4 pm), https://www.hamburg.de/bsb/siz/.
  • Informationszentrum des Hamburger Instituts für Berufliche Bildung (Hamburg Institute for Vocational Training Information Centre) (or young people aged 16 and over. Hamburger Straße 125a, please make an appointment: informationszentrum@hibb.hamburg.de, + 49 40 428634236 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9 am – 1 pm, Thursday 10 am – 6 pm), https://hibb.hamburg.de/englisch/,

Make an appointment at the Schulinformationszentrum and visit there together with your child to enrol your child in school. The school system comprises two parts; first, 4 years of primary school (Grundschule) followed by a secondary school (Stadtteilschule or Gymnasium). The Abitur (final secondary school examinations in Germany, required for entry to university) can be obtained both at a Stadtteilschule and a Gymnasium.

The children attend preparatory courses and learning groups to prepare for lessons at German schools.

If you are living in an initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung), your children might attend school within the accommodation.

You can find more information on the topic of education here: https://we-inform.de/portal/en/education/.

It is possible to receive a lump sum in the amount of 150 € per school year to buy school supplies for your child. Ask at your competent Jobcenter (Jobcenter team.arbeit.hamburg, job centre) or Grundsicherungsamt (Fachamt für Grundsicherung und Soziales, Office for needs-based pension supplement in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity and for social affairs) about this:

Jobcenter: www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/ (search term: „Arbeitslosengeld II, für Personen über 25 Jahre“, then type your address, or „Arbeitslosengeld II, für Personen unter 25 Jahre“), then type your address.

Grundsicherungsamt: https://www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/hamburg/11253346/ (search term: “Sozialhilfe, Leistungen für Asylbewerber” or “Sozialhilfe, Grundsicherung im Alter und bei dauerhafter Erwerbsminderung”), then type your address and then your last name.

You can also receive financial support to pay for additional tutors, lunch, bus and train tickets for your child. Ask about this at your child’s school.

Zeit für Zukunft – Mentoren für Kinder (time for future – mentors for children) finds mentors for children between 6 and 16 to help them developing their potential at school and generally in life. Boys get a male mentor, girls get a female mentor. The child and the mentor meet 2-4 times a month. You child should speak some German or English.

Mitmachen@zeitfuerzukunft.org, +49 40 41623120, https://www.zeitfuerzukunft.org/.

Child benefits (Kindergeld) and other financial support
  • You can apply for child benefits (Kindergeld) and a supplementary child allowance (Kinderzuschlag) at the Familienkasse (office for family benefits) of the Bundesarbeitsagentur (federal employment agency). Unaccompanied minors can apply for the child benefits (Kindergeld) themselves. You can find more information and application forms here: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en/en/download-center. If you have any questions, call +49 8004555530.
  • You can apply for parents money (Elterngeld) if you earn less money because you are looking after your child. You can apply at the Elterngeldstelle (office for parents money). You can find the competent office, which also offers advice, here: https://www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/hamburg/11256284/ (Search term: “Elterngeld, Zuständigkeit”), type in your child’s address and then only the day of the month on which your child has been born.
  • Children younger than 18: if your child wants to take part in activities outside of school, you can receive 15 € to finance them. You have to prove that your child participates in an activity. You can use the money to pay for the activity itself or to pay for equipment (for example sports wear). This includes for example
    • Culture: theatre workshops
    • Music: music lessons
    • Sports
    • Camps

You can find providers of activities here: https://www.hamburg.de/sozialbehoerde/but/. You can find more information in German here: https://www.hamburg.de/bildungspaket-kultur-musik-sport/. You can find an overview about financial support for your child in your language here: https://www.hamburg.de/bildungspaket/4125952/faltblatt-bildungspaket/.

Ask any questions here: +49 40 115 or bildungspaket@eimsbuettel.hamburg.de.

Advice centres

The Jugendmigrationsdienst (Youth Migration Service) is an advice centre for young people with a migrant background between the ages of 12 and 27. They provide support for young people with their educational, vocational and social integration process in Germany. For example:

  • Your search for German courses
  • Issues at school
  • Your search for tutoring services
  • Career orientation (apprenticeship (Ausbildung), vocational school, university)

At the same time, they are also able to answer parents’ questions regarding their children’s education and schooling.

They also offer group projects and  promote volunteer work.

Jugendmigrationsdienst (Youth Migration Service) Hamburg
Glockengießerwall 3, please make an appointment: ute.gruetter@cjd.de, +49 40 211118113.

You can find other Jugendmigrationsdienste here: https://www.jugendmigrationsdienste.de/suche?L=0&id=11&tx_solr%5Bq%5D=jmd+hamburg&tx_solr%5Bfilter%5D%5B%5D=.

You can ask for advice online here: www.jmd4you.de.

Advice and support for families living in Hamburg can also be found online here: http://t.hh.de/3055314.

Pregnancy and mothers

Pregnant women are entitled to special protection in Germany. This protection also applies if you decide that you do not want to have the child. You are entitled to special medical care and advice. You should go to a gynaecologist (Frauenarzt or Frauenärztin).

Your doctor will give you a pregnancy record booklet (Muterpass) if you are pregnant. The pregnancy record booklet (Mutterpass) is a small booklet in which doctors document your pregnancy. In case of an emergency, doctors can find in the booklet the information they need to best take care of you and your child. Therefore, you should always carry the pregnancy record booklet (Mutterpass) with you.

Advice for pregnant women and parents (even without papers or registration):

There are information centres for mothers where children and especially infants can receive a medical check-up free of charge. Have someone accompany you who is able to translate if necessary. You can find information centres for mothers here: https://www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/hamburg/11262466/ (search term: “Mütterberatung Hamburg”), then enter your address.

Further services for new or expectant mothers are available at the IN VIA Association:

  • Mother-child-group in Bergedorf: For mothers with children up to the age of 3. Interpreters for Dari/Farsi and Arabic are available on-site: Edith-Stein-Platz 1, Thursdays 10 am to 12 pm (noon).
  • Breakfast meeting in Bergedorf: For families who have been displaced. Topics rotate between midwife question and answer sessions, legal advice and pregnancy counselling. Interpreters for Dari/Farsi and Arabic are available on-site: Edith-Stein-Platz 1, Tuesday (starting 9:30 am).

If you have any questions about these offers you can find out more information here: http://invia-hamburg.de/migration/. +49 40 73508411, jmd.bergedorf@invia-hamburg.de.

You can use the app “HanseBaby”. Here, you can find information about paediatric practices, gynaecologist offices, consulting and help services as well as financial support options. The app offers an overview about important steps during a pregnancy (for example when to make an appointment at a maternity clinic): https://www.hamburg.de/hansebaby/13577142/app/.

You can find information about healthy food for pregnant women, mothers and babies in different languages here: https://www.hamburg.de/altona/gesunde-ernaehrung-muetter-und-babys-broschueren/.

Search for family members

If you want to get into contact with family members who are already in Germany or have been separated from your family while fleeing, there are several ways to find your family.

  • The search service of the German Red Cross helps people who have been separated from one another through wars or migration to get back into contact and search for their family members. auskunft@drk-suchdienst.de, +49 40 432020.
Family conflict resolution

Every family has conflicts. In Germany, there are various counselling centres to help you resolve these conflicts in a productive manner.

  • Der Begleiter e.V. offers conflict counselling for adult refugees that are taking a German language course or integration course in Germany.  Herzog-Carl-Friedrich-Platz 1.
    Open consultations: Tuesday 3 pm – 5 pm; Thursday 10 am – 12 pm (noon).
    You may make an appointment. Otherwise, you may have to wait for a while. +49 40 27867877 (Monday to Thursday 9 am – 5 pm, Friday 9 am – 3 am).

Last Updated: 12.01.2022

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