Nursery School
© WWU - Angelika Klauser

Child Care

High-quality childcare is essential for ensuring that you can devote your full attention to your job. If you are expecting a child, you should already start thinking about childcare possibilities. In addition to numerous family-oriented services, employees and staff of the University of Münster can choose from several types of childcare depending on their specific needs

The Child Education Act (Kinderbildungsgesetz (KiBiz)) is one of several laws which provide the legal framework for childcare in Germany. Provisions regarding the expansion of child care and legal entitlement remain current issues of debate. At present, there are three categories of childcare: for children under three, for children over three and school-age children.

The Family Service Office offers University staff general advice and information on various forms of childcare, as well as concrete support, such as arranging holiday programmes for school children, providing contacts to babysitters, helping parents obtain a place at a daycare centre or finding a childminder.

The Welcome Centre at the International Office of the University of Münster provides information and assistance to foreign academics with children who wish to teach and/or conduct research in Münster, and to their hosting institutes. Good child care is essential for parents to be able to concentrate fully on their jobs. If you are expecting a child, it is advisable to start thinking about child care early. There are different kinds of child care for different needs, and many options for families.

Please note:
Parents should register their children at the Kita-Navigator.

Glossary childcare models

There are generally two types of childcare in Germany – childcare facilities and daycare. The latter offers more flexible supervision times and a family-like environment. In the following, you will find more information about these two childcare models and other supplementary forms of childcare.

  • Kindergarten groups

    Kindergartens have been the classical form of childcare in Germany for years. However, the term "kindergarten" is used less and less nowadays as childcare facilities have expanded their services to include various kindergarten groups and supervision times.

  • Childcare facilities

    Most of the children in childcare facilities (or "KiTas") are between two and six years of age and are assigned to individual groups. There are groups for children between two years and enrolment in primary school, and groups for children age three until enrolment in primary school. Some facilities offer spaces for toddlers (Kleinkindgruppen) between one and three-and-a-half years. Apart from the varying sizes of the groups, childcare facilities offer varying supervision times as well. These can range between 25, 35 and 45 hours per week.

  • Day care

    At day care centres, young children are minded by female and male caregivers at flexible times, in small groups and in a familial atmosphere. This type of supervision is equivalent to that offered at childcare facilities because the caregivers are officially certified by the Youth Welfare Office. In addition to childminding, they are also obliged to offer educational activities. To register your child for day care, you should contact the Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs of the City of Münster three months before you require childminding services.

  • Parent-organised groups (mixed ages)

    Children between the ages of four months to six years are supervised in smaller groups (usually no more than 15 children). The supervision times usually correspond to those offered by childcare facilities.

  • Parent-child groups

    These groups are organised by family education centres and church congregations. Parents and children participate together, and the groups are led by course instructors. This is a recreational activity and not so much a childminding service, as provided by childcare facilities, day care and parent-organised groups.

  • Play groups

    These are established groups where children can be supervised for several hours at a time in the mornings or afternoons. Play groups are usually offered two to three times a week with no parents present. Parental cooperation, however, is vitally important. Ranging in size between six and ten children, play groups are open to all children between the ages of two and four (or until they receive a place at a childcare facility).

  • Babysitters

    Babysitting is a private and temporary childminding service. There are no defined supervision times. Parents have to arrange appointments and their frequency directly with the babysitter. The best way to find a good, reliable babysitter is to ask around for recommendations from friends, neighbours or work colleagues.

  • Au-pair

    Another option is to host an au-pair girl or boy at your home. The terms and conditions for this type of childminding service are prescribed by the Federal Employment Agency. These stipulate, for example, that au-pair girls or boys should learn German and are only allowed to perform light household chores.

Further information
Childcare services for children in Münster [de]
Information by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)