Kindergarten costs

Kindergarten costs vary from municipality to municipality. Depending on where you live, how high your income is and how many children you have, the fees can vary. You can find out how much the kindergarten costs and what discounts there are here.

Kindergarten costs vary in Germany

Kindergarten costs can vary greatly from city to city. The fees vary not only between the municipalities, but also among the individual providers of the facilities. It is also crucial whether the future kindergarten for your child is a private or municipal institution. As a rule, you pay more for a place in a private kindergarten than for a place in a municipal facility.

Costs for the municipal kindergarten depend on where you live

The costs for a place in the municipal kindergarten are different in each municipality. The reason for the inconsistent fees: The costs are financed 100 percent from public funds. These consist of proportional grants of different amounts from the federal government, the respective federal state and the responsible municipality.

In most municipalities, contributions are graded according to your income. However, this is not always the case, because not all federal states require the municipalities to stagger the contributions. Due to the so-called “sibling discount” you have to pay less for the kindergarten place for your second child in many cities. In addition, many municipal kindergartens waive the fees for the last year of kindergarten.

You can usually find out what fees the kindergarten of your choice charges on the internet on the website of your city. Or you can simply contact the kindergarten directly.

How the costs are made up

The costs for the municipal kindergarten are made up of the care and food costs.

Care costs : The accommodation costs consist of the basic care fee and the additional care fee. You pay the basic care costs for the care of your child during the normal opening hours of the kindergarten. You have to pay the additional childcare fee if your child needs to be cared for outside of normal opening hours, for example because you work early or late shifts.

Meal costs: You pay the meal share for your child if it takes part in a milk and drink meal as well as meals in the kindergarten .

You can simply ask the management of the facility for the exact breakdown of the childcare and meal costs for your kindergarten.

What income is calculated for the costs

The costs for the kindergarten are to be paid when your child enters the kindergarten. When you register, you have to tell the youth welfare office and prove how high your income is so that the amount of the parental contribution can be calculated. The costs for the kindergarten are calculated from the following income:

  • Income from non-self-employed work
  • Income from marginal employment
  • Income from self-employment, commercial operations, agriculture and forestry
  • Income from capital assets, renting and leasing
  • Other income: Maintenance payments to your child , pensions and pension payments, benefits under SGB III and SGB II as well as under the Employment Promotion Act or other benefits under the Social Security Act such as sick pay, benefits under SGB XII and housing allowance

In principle, the gross income of the past calendar year, plus all special allowances such as Christmas and holiday bonuses, is decisive for the calculation. If your income has permanently deteriorated or improved compared to the previous calendar year, twelve times the last monthly income will be charged. Child and education allowance is not taken into account when calculating the parental contribution.

Where are there no costs for kindergarten?

In 2018, the German Economic Institute published a report on the calculation of fees for daycare centers in various major German cities, which is currently valid. Kindergarten is free of charge in some cities and federal states. Among other things, Düsseldorf, Hanau, Heilbronn, Kaiserslautern, Koblenz, Ludwigshafen, Mainz, Salzgitter and Trier will not charge fees for the kindergarten. In the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, too, all three years of kindergarten are free of charge. With free kindergartens, however, you have to pay the monthly meal allowance if your child gets lunch. Read on FOCUS parents how much a place in kindergarten currently costs .

Additional costs for the kindergarten

The costs for the kindergarten can increase due to additional contributions such as food, handicrafts and material allowances. Some facilities also offer special offers such as music, dance or foreign language lessons for a fee.

Costs for the private kindergarten

The costs for a private kindergarten are usually higher than for a municipal kindergarten. The private institutions are maintained by independent sponsors. They finance themselves in part from public funds, donations, sponsors and membership fees. For this reason you have to expect a higher contribution here. Well-known sponsors are, for example, the “German Red Cross”, “Caritas” or parent initiatives. Many Waldorf kindergartens , for example, charge a fixed fee that is not related to income and is usually higher than in municipal kindergartens. You can find out how the exact costs are broken down and what parental contribution you have to pay directly from the management or the institution responsible for the facility.

Reductions and tax benefits

The fee jungle is difficult to understand. However, you should definitely have it checked whether you are entitled to a reduction in kindergarten fees, especially if your family has a low income. In economic emergencies, in the case of low earners and recipients of unemployment benefit II or social assistance, you can apply to the responsible youth welfare office for the assumption or reduction of the childcare costs if the costs for the kindergarten are not affordable.
You can deduct the childcare costs from your taxes . This means that you can claim up to two thirds of the childcare costs per year, but no more than EUR 4,000 per year, in your tax return.

Single parents: Claim the costs for the kindergarten as an additional requirement

Single parents can claim the costs for the kindergarten as an additional requirement under maintenance law. Thus, those obliged to pay maintenance must contribute to the parental contributions in addition to maintenance. Only the costs of meals in the facility are not included in the calculation.

The costs for the kindergarten are borne by both parents in proportion to their income. This means that the higher earning parent has to pay the larger share. If the parent providing care only has a very low income, then he does not have to make any contribution himself. For example, the single mother with a 400 euro job would not have to contribute to the kindergarten costs, as her own reasonable deductible of 1,000 euros would then no longer be guaranteed.

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