No Kita? How to get money back for your private childcare

20 February 2022 | By Lisa H

Unfortunately, this program has been discontinued as of summer 2021 😪 We will update this article if and when it gets re-instated.

Did you know that you can apply to get your private childcare costs reimbursed?

From September 1, parents that haven’t been able to secure a Kita spot for their child can find a private caretaker and apply to have (some of) the costs covered by the Jugendamt.

The keyword is selbstbeschaffte Kindertagesbetreuung and here’s everything you need to know about it.

What is the “selbstbeschaffte Kindertagesbetreuung”?

The term loosely translates to “self-organized child daycare”. It means that parents who have not been able to secure a Kita spot for their child can hire a private caretaker and apply to have the costs reimbursed by the Jugendamt while they wait for a Kita spot.

Who can apply for it?

There’s a few criteria you need to fulfill to be eligible:

  • Your child needs to be at least 12 months old

  • You need to have a valid Kita-Gutschein (the voucher you need to sign a Kita contract)

  • You need to prove that you have unsuccessfully applied for a certain number of Kitas (the exact requirements seem to vary by district, so check with yours what is needed)

  • You need to officially register with your local Jugendamt as a parent that hasn’t been able to secure a spot yet

Tip: You can also apply if you’re bridging the time period before you start a confirmed spot (up to 3 months, according to the above requirements).

How can I apply?

You have to apply for the program with your local Jugendamt office. Unfortunately, not all the districts have information readily available but I did find documents (in German) for both Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Pankow, which are linked below.

A couple of other offices also provided information and I have summarized everything in a handy table – see below. I will update the table as and when we receive more information from other districts.

If we don’t have information for your district yet, call or visit your local Jugendamt to find out more. (And please email us (📩 [email protected]) so we can update this page with your findings!)

District What to do?
Friedrichshain- Kreuzberg
Link to PDF
See Fr. Dressel in person during their Sprechzeit (Tuesdays 9:00-12:00 or Thursdays 15:00-18:00) at the Jugendamt, Frankfurter Allee 35-37, 10247 Berlin, room 4116. Contact: 030-90298 4327, [email protected]
Lichtenberg Contact person: Fr. Grieb (030 90296-5142)
Mitte Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line: "Antrag auf Selbstbeschaffte Betreuung"
Link to PDF
Mail your application (see required information in document on the right) to Jugendamt Pankow, Fachdienst 5 – Kindertagesbetreuung, Postfach 730113 13062 Berlin or [email protected]
Reinickendorf Visit or call the Bezirksamt Reinickendorf (Jugendamt Tagesbetreuung, Nimrodstr. 4-14, 13469 Berlin) on Tuesdays 09:00-13:00 or Thursdays 15:00–18:00, or contact at (030)90294 – 6676 or [email protected]
Spandau Contact the Kita-Koordination: Tuesdays between 9:00 and 12:00 (030-90 279 - 2444) or in-person on Thursdays between 15:00 and 18:00 (Rathaus Spandau, 1st floor, room 161)
Tempelhof-Schöneberg Reimbursement is not available. But you can apply for help with your search; email [email protected]
How many hours will be covered and what are the financial details?

The number of hours that will be covered are based on what’s been approved on the Gutschein (for example, with a full-time voucher, you can get up to 7-9 hours covered a day).

However, the maximum amount that will be reimbursed is based on what the district would normally pay the Kita. Pankow lists this as up to €1.349,63 a month for an “outside caretaker” or up to €504,00 if a family member takes care of your child (both minus the €23 you would normally pay the Kita for lunch).

I’ve been approved, now where can you find a suitable caretaker for your child?

It is important to note that you have to find a caretaker yourself. This can be a babysitter, nanny, a co-working space with childcare or even a family member (but note that you will not get as much money back if a relative takes care of your child – see above point).

The caretaker has to be able to send you monthly invoices detailing the days and times they took care of your child (and is responsible for paying taxes, social security, etc.). You will need to submit the invoices to the Jugendamt to get your money back.

This leads me to another important point: You have to pay the caretaker first and then pass the invoice on to the Jugendamt, so this may be a substantial financial burden to consider!

(I was approved for this program in 2018 when the re-opening of our Kita was delayed and it took a few months for me to get all the money back.)

Anything else I should know?

Check what date the agreement (and reimbursement) will kick in - the Jugendamt may only start paying from the date your request was approved from their end (not the date you applied).

Last but not least, here’s some information about my personal experience with juggleHUB Co-Working in Prenzlauer Berg, where I worked while my daughter attended their childcare. With our son, I used Work'n'Kid in Friedrichshain, which was also great.


(Both offer discounts for Kietzee Club members)– start your free trial today!

Good luck!

Lisa & the Kietzee team

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