© Uni MS - Angelika Klauser

Childcare services

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 childcare 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.

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.

  • Important Information on (childcare) application procedures

    • Parents should register their children at the Kita-Navigator.
    • Employees of the University of Münster are invited to send an email to the Family Service Office, if they need advice concerning the childcare programm of the WWU.
    • The Kita-Navigator is the central application tool from the city of Münster for places in child day-care. Furthermore the Kindertagespflege-Navigator is a tool for in-home childcare (Kindertagespflege).
    • Both enable you to find a suitable day-care facility for the needs of your child. All children whose parents are searching for a place are registered here and the respective nurseries or in-home childcarers receive the information about the inquiries. Please note that a registration on this platform is mandatory in order to place your child in day-care! The deadline is 31 January for the coming school year starting in summer.
    • If you select the option "Kindertagesstätte" in the Kita-Navigator, you can search either in your area or within a certain distance of your home. Please choose only ONE of those options! This search gives you a list of all nurseries within your search area. You can then click on each of them for more specific details on the kind of day-care they offer. If you would like to be put on the waiting list for a specific institution, please click on “Betreuung auswählen”.
      When you have selected all nurseries (up to 12 per child), go to the “Merkliste” (top of the page). You can now review all your chosen options. If you’re happy with your choice, click on “Kind(er) vormerken”. You are now asked for the personal information of the legal guardian(s) of the child. For this, you need the full names, birthdate and birthplace, nationality and confession. The latter can also be left as “no confession”, if you prefer this for privacy reasons. After that, the system asks you for the information of your child. Subsequently you can register siblings.
      After entering all details, the system asks you to check the registration before finalising.
    • Some Childcare facilities (KiTa's) of Münster ask parents to fill in a form for employers in order to identify the specific need of child care. In this case contacts from the Personalderzernat (Personnel Department, Dez. 3) provide support.

Counselling Service at WWU

  • Welcome Centre

    The Welcome Center in the International Office is the central contact point for onboarding and advice for internationally mobile postdoc researchers and their hosting institutes. In this context, the Welcome Center provides support to non-employed researchers with families on matters of childcare, schooling, child benefits etc. International researchers who are employed at the University of Münster can obtain more information through the Family Service Office, while non-employed doctoral candidates with families can contact the Graduate Center.

  • Family Service Office

    The Family Service Office offers general advice and information on childcare, as well as support with arranging holiday programmes for school children, providing contacts to babysitters, finding a suitable daycare center and much more.

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.