Before starting primary school, most Berlin boys and girls experience group dynamics at day care centers or kindergartens.
Since August 1, 2013, every Berlin child has the right to a place in a nursery or day care place from their first birthday.
Berlin was also Germany’s first state to drop childcare fees on August 1, 2018 (even for under 1-year-olds). Parents now only have to pay 23-euro monthly meal contribution for their children. Child care centers can ask for extra payments for additional services such as extra sports, organic food or language lessons. There is an upper limit of 90 euros per month. All childcare facilities offer a place to parents who don’t want extra services.
The allocation of places in Berlin is through a voucher system. The first step towards a day-care place is registration at the local youth office, which also issues the day-care vouchers. Online registration was recently made possible. The voucher can be used at any institution that participates in the voucher system. You can register at the earliest nine months ahead of the desired start date and you should register at least two months before. If you have recently moved to the area however, late registrations are accepted.