At a glance

If your children accompany you during your research stay in Tübingen and you need childcare, you will find important information on childcare options here.

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German childcare system - general information

In Germany, every child is legally entitled to a childcare spot. There are childcare options for children under 1 year of age. However, there is no legal entitlement to a childcare place for this age, so only some facilities accept children of this age. Children over three years of age have an unrestricted entitlement to childcare until they enter school.

Types of childcare facilities:

Nurseries (Krippe/ Kindertagesstätte “Kita”)

  • age: 0 to 3 years
  • half-day or full-day
  • small groups with qualified educators
  • run by cities, churches, specially founded associations and other private entities

Preschool (Kindergarten)

  • age: 3 to 6/7 years
  • half-day or full-day
  • run by cities, churches, specially founded associations and other private entities


(Kindertagespflege/ „Tageseltern“)

  • age: 0 to 13 years
  • flexible, family-oriented and individual care by a designated caregiver
  • depending on the agreement, children will be looked after in the caregiver's household, in your home or at other premises
  • more information here (Tageselterverein)

After-school care (Schulhort)

  • age: 6-13 years
  • children attending primary school 
  • childcare before and after school for non-full-day schools
Childcare facilities for children resident IN Tübingen

The childcare situation in Tübingen is quite tense. Unfortunately, the city cannot provide enough places for all families because there are currently not enough educators. This is especially true for children under the age of 1 year. Furthermore, there is no legal entitlement for a childcare place for families who stay for less than one year. Nevertheless, you can of course apply for a place.

Overview map

You can find an overview of all childcare facilities in Tübingen on this map. In addition, with this search mask you can limit the selection based on certain criteria (age, care hours per week, district).

Opening hours

Due to a shortage of qualified staff at the facilities there are temporarily changed opening hours. You can have an overview of the existing time slots here. If you choose a nanny (“Kindertagespflege”), time slots can vary according to individual needs.

Full day places

Full day places are only available for families where both parents are employed more than 35 hours per week or are permanently prevented from caring for the child due to illness. The employment of both parents counts. Single parents are treated equally.

Half day places

Depending on the facility, you can also choose half day places (“Grundangebot”) with up to 35 care hours per week.


In the facilities with full-day opening hours (“Erweitertes Angebot”), your child will be served three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack). Many facilities with half day offer (“Grundangebot”) also offer meals. Otherwise, parents are asked to provide a snack which children bring from home. The cost of the meals varies, depending on the meal services provided.

Pedagogical approach

Childcare facilities differ in their pedagogical approach. Please check with the individual childcare facility for more information.

Note for new arrivals during summer

Please be aware that childcare may not be available at all during the first one or two weeks of September because all childcare facilities close for three weeks during the summer break. The acclimatization period for new children does not begin until after the facility reopens. Because not all new children start acclimatization at the same time, it may take until October before your child can actually start attending.

How to apply

1. In Tübingen, there is a uniform, central registration procedure for all facilities calledZentrale Anmeldestelle Kinderbetreuung(ZAK).

2. The official deadline for applications is 6 months prior to the beginning of the childcare placement. Even if you can’t meet this deadline, please apply anyway, and the city’s childcare office will check if there are any remaining spots available. The most important thing is to start the application process as soon as possible.

3. Identify 3 favorite facilities and apply with the online form here and an upload the necessary supporting documents (Formulare für Nachweise) which you can find here.

4. Supporting documents ("Formulare für Nachweise"):
The signed documents have to be uploaded together with the online application form.

  • Employment Situation („Formular Bescheinigung Beschäftigungssituation“):
    In the case of two parents, the period of employment of the partner with the lowest employment is taken into account. This document has to be signed by your contact person at the HR department (if you have a working contract) or by your host institute (if you’re here with a scholarship).

  • Support Needs/Language Support Needs („Formular Bescheinigung Förderbedarf/Sprachförderbedarf“):
    The child has special needs as determined by an expert (physician).
    Language support needs: The child needs support in learning the German language.

5. Four months before the desired admission date, you will receive a letter/e-mail which either confirms or denies a place for the facilities you selected. In case of rejection, you will also receive a form you can fill in to request being assigned a place at a different facility.

  • Unfortunately, even if you apply in time there’s no guarantee that you will get a childcare place for your child. In this case you will be put on a waiting list. If no place is available at the desired facilities, parents can contact the ZAK and they will look for an alternative place.
  • Some facilities accept children under one year. If such a place is needed, parents must prove their need. With a medical certificate of pregnancy, registrations for childcare are possible even before birth of the child.
Childcare facilities for children resident OUTSIDE Tübingen

If you’re living in the surrounding of Tübingen, you will have to look for a childcare facility in the municipality where you have registered. You can find an overview of current childcare facilities in your town or municipality in the district of Tübingen at the website from “Landratsamt” (see further information "Weiterführende Informationen" and open "Kinderbetreuungen/Kindertageseinrichtungen".

Childcare places for children of researchers

Some research institutes have their own childcare support facilities; please consult your personal contact for further information. If you are a researcher at the University of Tübingen, please contact the family bureau of Tübingen University.

Fees and discounts
  • Monthly fees depend on the number of care hours per week. And they will vary considerably because they depend on the parents' income. This online fee  calculator provides a preliminary calculation of childcare fees. Just enter the following data in the fields marked in red:
  • number of children entitled to child benefit in your family
  • your annual net income
  • amount of care hours per week
  • If you have at least two children who are being cared for at the same time in Tübingen's childcare facilities, select yes ("Ja") in the last red box. You will then receive the reduced fee according to the sibling reduction.

The final fee amount may differ from this preliminary calculation because the specific childcare fee will be determined after verification of the submitted evidence, regarding income.

  • Families residing in Tübingen can apply for a fee reduction. The fees are reduced on a sliding scale according to the family's annual income, the chosen childcare hours and the number of children for whom child benefit is granted. The application must be made in writing. Forms are available at the facilities directly or here. Please always enclose the required proof of income.

If you need babysitting or private care for only a couple of hours you can contact:

University of Tübingen – support childcare cost

As a family-friendly university, the University of Tübingen offers employees and scholarship holders support in financing childcare costs that they incur in connection with an academic or official activity. 

Please find all information on the website of the University Family Office:

Intercultural Network Parent Education Tübingen (INET)

The Intercultural Network Parent Education Tübingen (INET) supports and informs parents with questions about education, daycare and school in over 20 languages. You can find more information and their contact details here: inet_fragen_kita_englisch.pdf (

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