Children under 6 years: day care

In Germany, children who are not yet in school receive childcare in Kindertageseinrichtungen (Kitas) (day care centres) and from child minders (Kindertagespflege) (day care). At the Kita and during Kindertagespflege children can play and learn German.


All children who are no longer living in a Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung (EA) (Initial Reception Centre) and are at least one year old have a legal right to a free place in a Kita for 5 hours 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 / training, taking part in a German course for migrants or an integration course.

If you are looking for a place in a Kita (day care centre), please ask the management of your accommodation for help. The informational materials contained in “Ein Kita-Platz für unser Kind (A day care place for our child)” consist of a brochure and a short video. They inform parents in simple German as well as several foreign languages (Turkish, Polish, Russian, English, French, Arabic and Persian) about the benefits of a Kita (day care centre), the general conditions and the right way to get a Kita placement:

Children without Aufenthaltsstatus (resident status) aged 1 – 6 years may receive a placement into the care of a Hamburg Kita (day care centre) from the “Zentralen Information und Beratung für Flüchtlinge GmbH (Central Information and Advice for Refugees)“ (Flüchtlingszentrum Hamburg). The care period amounts to five hours per day from Monday through Friday. This includes lunch for the children.

Applications and forms for applying for grants to aid with day care can be found here:
Further information can be found online:

Kindertagespflege (supervision by trained child minders)

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

It is particularly popular among parents of children under the age of three because of the family atmosphere. Any childminder can care for up to five different children simultaneously. From birth until enrolment in school, day care is free for up to 30 hours per week.

You can find further information here:


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 do not yet attending school.

You can use the help on offer without complications, registration or a Kita-Gutschein (day care centre voucher) 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,
  • Parental education, information and guidance.

Further information can be found here:

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 as well children without documentation. School registration only requires an address in Hamburg. Attendance at school is free of charge.

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

  • Schulinformationszentrum (school information centre) for children from 6 to 16 years old
    Hamburger Straße 125a, 22083 Hamburg,, +49 40 428992211 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10 am – 12 pm (noon), Tuesday: 2 pm – 4 pm).
  • Informationszentrum des Hamburger Instituts für Berufliche Bildung (Hamburg Institute for Vocational Training Information Centre) (for young people aged 16 and over) Hamburger Straße 125a, 22083 Hamburg, 49 40 428634236,,

It is not possible to register for a school until you have moved from the ZEA to different accommodation. If you are still living in a ZEA, your child can go to school at the ZEA. 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 from both Stadtteilschule and Gymnasium schools.

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

Counseling centers

The Jugendmigrationsdienst (Youth Migration Service) is a counselling 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. At the same time, they are also able to answer parent’s questions regarding their children’s education and vocational training.

The main services and benefits offered by the counselling centre revolve around the individual promotion of the integration young people which is also supported by group projects. They also promote volunteer work and enable people to connect through extended networks.

Young refugees are also offered a mentoring service as part of the Jugendmigrationsdienstes (Youth Migration Service). Your mentor can help you with

  • your search for German courses for young people
  • problems at school
  • your search for tutoring services
  • career guidance (apprenticeship, vocational school, higher education)

Jugendmigrationsdienst (Youth Migration Service) Hamburg
Glockengießerwall 3, 20095 Hamburg,, +49 40 211118113.

You can ask for advice online here:

Advice and support for families living in Hamburg can also be found online here:

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 Frauenarzt (gynaecologist).

If you are already entitled to live and work in Germany then you can also apply for maternity/paternity pay and child benefits. To do this, it is very important that you keep hold of your child’s birth certificate. 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. An online overview of information centres for mothers can be found here:

Further services for fresh 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, tuesdays (starting 9:30 am).

If you have any questions about these offers you can find out more information here:, +49 40 73508411,

Search for family members

If you are looking for 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.


Family conflict resolution

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


  • Conflict counseling for adult refugees that are taking a German language course or integration course in Germany. Der Begleiter e.V. Herzog-Carl-Friedrich-Platz 1
    21031 Hamburg.
    Open consultations: Tuesday 3 pm to 5 pm; Thursday 10 am to 12 pm (noon).
    You may make an appointment (+49 40 27867877). Otherwise you may have to wait for a while.

Last Updated: 02.03.2020

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