How to get a Kitagutschein in Berlin

All you need to know to get a Kitagutschein for a Kita or a nanny in Berlin.

This post was last updated on March 28, 2024

In this guide

Berlin offers free day-care to young children up to 9 hours a day. You need a Kitagutschein in order to apply at a Kita (short for Kindertagesstätte). The Kitagutschein is a document issued by the Jugendamt.

You find a list of Berlins Jugendämter here.

It is recommended to start searching for Kitas as soon as possible. You can sign a contract with a Kita before you have this document but you need the Kitagutschein latest the day the contract starts. The Kitagutschein has an expiry date and a Kita can be hard to find in Berlin so in most cases you want to get a Kita first, then apply for the Kitagutschein.

There are Kitagutscheine for several types of children's day-care:

  • 4–5 hours daily: half day-care or Halbtagsförderung
  • more than 5–7 hours daily: part-time care or Teilzeitförderung
  • more than 7–9 hours daily: full day-care or Ganztagsförderung
  • more than 9 hours daily: extended full day-care or erweiterte Ganztagsförderung

A Kitagutschein is valid for any Kita or a nanny (Tagesmutter) registered with the Jugendamt.


  • All official guardians must give their consent.
  • You must be registered in Berlin.
  • The kid must be at least 8 weeks old and does not go to school yet.
  • You can apply for a Kitagutschein at least 9 months or the latest 2 months before the Kita starts.

Necessary documents

These are the most important documents you need source:

  • The application form.
  • The consent of both parents.
  • Copies of all passports.
  • Registration (Meldebescheinigung) – a paper stating your official address in Berlin and issued by the Bezirksamt.
  • A copy of the kid's birth certificate.

You need to provide proof that you are working or studying for kids under 1 year or for child care of more than 7 hours daily. In this case, add one or several of the following documents to the application:

  • A letter from your employer saying what times a day and how many hours total you are working.
  • For self-employed: add copies of any papers from the tax authorities or from the tax consultant, registration of your business, tax returns etc.
  • For students: certificate of study from your university or school.
  • The official district website wasn't up-to-date with the required documents when we applied for our kids. Ideally, calling the Jugendamt before collecting the documents might save you additional appointments. I recommend bringing a folder with all important family documents to the appointment to be on the safe side.
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