Children at childcare
© WWU - Angelika Klauser

Childcare services

In addition to childcare for preschool children, many facilities provide early childcare for toddlers under the age of three. All children age four years and older are legally entitled to receive a place in a publicly subsidised childcare facility until they enter primary school. Because childcare services are in such high demand, we recommend obtaining information and registering your child at a childcare facility well in advance.

The Welcome Centre at the International Office of the University of Münster supports researchers and teaching staff, who wish to come to Münster, as well as their host institutes.

The Family Service Office [de] offers employees of the University general advice on their childcare options and concrete support, such as holiday programmes for school children, babysitter contacts, assistance with securing places at childcare facilities and finding suitable caregivers.

Please note:
Parents should register their children at a childcare facility no later than 1 March in order to reserve a place starting in the new school year (mid-August to beginning of September). Registration at a later date is possible, but could result in longer waiting times.

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)