Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Kids & Family Types of Childcare

Hamburg offers parents a wide range of daycare. Here you get an overview of the different childcare types.

Types of Child Daycare - Hamburg Welcome Portal

It is important for children to attend a child daycare institution as early as possible, because it helps ensure that their development and their German language skills reach the highest level possible. The childcare personnel also advises parents on how to best promote their children’s abilities at home and offers further assistance, if necessary.

Children who have reached the age of one year are legally entitled to a place in a childcare facility in Hamburg – regardless of whether the parents are employed or not. The basic care for all children in Hamburg is free of charge from birth to school enrolment. This means that parents don’t have to pay for the five-hour child daycare including lunch. You only need to apply for a daycare voucher (Kita-Gutschein).

Crèche (Kinderkrippe)

Crèches are daycare centres for children up to the age of three, where they learn to live and interact with other children in an age-appropriate and well-equipped environment. Children under the age of three need a lot of care and attention, therefore the group sizes in crèches are generally rather small.

Child Daycare (Kindertagespflege / Großtagespflegestelle)

In this childcare option, a childminder looks after and educates the child for a fee.

If the daycare takes place in the home of the childminder, the child is cared for in the childminder’s family, often together with the children of the childminder. The childminder can look after up to five children in the childminder’s apartment, if the premises are suitable.

There is also the option of having the child looked after in a large daycare facility (Großtagespflegestelle). There, several childminders supervise more than five children together, e.g. in a rented room which is equipped appropriately for the children’s needs.

For more information about child daycare, visit the webpage (in German language).


Kindergartens are daycare centres for the education and care of children from the age of three until they enter school. They form the elementary level of Germany’s educational system. The group size here is 20 to 22 children.

Preschool (Vorschule)

Preschools prepare children for the demands in primary school. They usually are located at primary schools, but offer a different education than the first grade of primary school. School-aged children who are not yet ready for regular school attendance will be enroled in preschool.

After-school Facility (Hort)

After-school facilities (Kinderhorte) are available after the end of school lessons and are attended by the children until 4 p.m., in some cases longer. The supervisors help the children doing their homework and organise their recreational activities. During school holidays they usually offer full-day holiday activities.