Germany supports a balance between work and family life. You are parents who both want to work full-time, and need quality, reliable childcare for your children? The childcare centre offer is constantly growing. Parents can choose from various models.
You can find a variety of types of childcare in Rhineland-Palatinate. The choice of facility depends on various factors: location, size, hours of operation, age accepted, approach to care, facility operator (church, private, state or corporate facilities), cost, etc.
Small children can attend daycare (Kinderkrippe) until the age of three. The accepted age range varies depending on the facility. Some centres already accept children as young as three months, others at six months or one year of age. Their hours of operation also vary.
Starting from age two, children in Rhineland-Palatinate can attend preschool daycare centres (Kindertagesstätte, also called Kindergarten) until they start school. Parents register their children for preschool centres on a voluntary basis. There are small groups in so that children learn to interact with other children at an early age. Although every child has the right to a preschool spot, the number of spots available is not always enough for all children. You should therefore register your child early.
Preschool centres exist in various models and instructional approaches. Some preschools offer half-day care, others (known as KITAs for short) are full day.
Integrative preschools are becoming more common. Here, children with disabilities and children who require special care are taught together with children without disabilities.
A nanny or child minder cares for small groups of children up to the age of three. These groups are smaller than in daycare. This provides for more intensive and personalised attention. Nannies generally care for children in their home or in a leased space. Parents can also arrange for a nanny to care for their children in their own home.
The German school system starts with primary school (Grundschule), which all children attend from 1st through 4th grade. The basics of reading, writing and arithmetic are taught there.
Starting in 5th grade, the system separates into different types of schools:
• vocational secondary school (Realschule plus)
• integrated comprehensive school (integrierte Gesamtschule)
• academic secondary school (Gymnasium)
• special instructional assistance.
Realschule plus runs through 10th grade and prepares students for an occupation. Graduates can continue in vocational training and transfer to a vocational school. However, students can also attend Realschule plus until 12th grade and earn a technical certificate. This certificate gives access to study at a technical university (Fachhochschule). However, not all vocational secondary schools offer the upper two classes.
A general secondary school certificate (Hochschulreife) can be earned at the integrated comprehensive and academic secondary schools. This certificate is required to study at university.
- Compulsory education
School attendance is compulsory in Germany. Children and youths between the ages of six and 18 are required to go to school. In Rhineland-Palatinate, children who celebrate their sixth birthday before 31 August must be registered to enter a primary school. It is also possible to request an earlier school start. The school checks whether the child has reached a level of development that would allow him or her to enter first grade without problems. School start can also be delayed, if parents believe that their child needs a little more time to be ready for the school day. The school supervisory authority verifies whether this is the case. The schools where parents can register their children depend on their place of residence.
- After-school care
In many primary schools, the lessons end already at lunchtime. This is often a problem for parents who work full time. After-school care (Schulhort) can help by offering care in the afternoons and sometimes also before school starts in the morning. However, not every primary school offers after-school care.
- Bilingual schools
In Rhineland-Palatinate there are 48 academic secondary schools with a bilingual approach. The focus is on German-English or German-French instruction. These schools can be found at the following link: