Kita versus Tagesmutter – what’s better?

By Lisa H

Last updated on 10 January 2024

When looking for a daycare spot for your child, the first thing you’ll come across is most likely Kindertagesstätten (short: Kitas). But did you know that there’s also a second type of daycare for the little ones?

The second option has different names: Tagesmutter, Tageseltern or Kindertagespflege. Most commonly, it is referred to as Tagesmutter, which literally translates to “day mother” – a bit old fashioned but the idea is that it is a qualified person (often one or several women but also sometimes men or a couple) watch your kids during the day.

Some aspects are the same as for Kitas, namely: Tagesmütter hold an official certification or degree, which is checked by the Jugendamt. The same guidelines (the Berliner Bildungsprogramm / Berlin educational program) applies as at Kita. They also accept the Kita-Gutschein (Kita voucher).

But what are the differences between a Kita and a Tagesmutter?

The most important difference is that Kitas generally take kids aged 1-6 years old while Tagesmütter usually only takes kids aged 1-3 years old.

But there’s a few other differences:

  • Depending on their qualifications, they can take care of up to 5 kids. If they team up with another Tagesmutter/vater, they can jointly take care of 10 kids.

  • The environment is often more family like with fewer kids than at Kita – sometimes, the Tagesmutter users a room in their own apartment, or they rent a small apartment.

A few things to keep in mind when evaluating which option to go for:

  • At a Kita, especially the bigger ones, staff can fill in for each other when someone gets sick, which is not possible for a Tagesmutter.

  • However, due to the smaller group sizes, your kid may get sick less often and bring less bugs home, which is definitely an advantage!

  • Oftentimes, Tagesmütter have more limited opening hours, so check if this works for your family.

  • Also check about vacation times and any other closing days.

  • As mentioned above, most Tagesmütter only take kids up until 3 years old, so you will need to find a Kita to transfer to then (which is easier than finding a spot for a 1-year old though!)

  • Since the same person takes care of your child everyday, you might get better feedback on your child’s development than at a Kita

In the end, you may want to pursue both options to increase your chances of securing a spot.

How to find a spot with a Tagesmutter

Unlike Kitas, there is currently no online database of all Tagesmütter in Berlin. There’s two options

1. Contact your local Jugendamt to obtain a list, get help with your search and learn about open spots:

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2. We've compiled a list of links for each district:






Neukölln (scroll down on linked page for PDF list)

Pankow (scroll down on linked page to: "Liste aller Tagespflegestellen in Berlin Pankow")


Spandau (We were unable to find a list, so contact the persons listed to enquire)

Steglitz-Zehlendorf List Steglitz-Zehlendorf List of Free Spots

Tempelhof-Schöneberg (scroll down on linked page for PDF lists)

Treptow-Köpenick (scroll down on linked page for PDF list)

Last but not least, once a year (usually in May) select Tagesmütter open their doors to parents who want to learn more about the concept. Learn more on the "Guck an Kindertagespflege" website or Facebook page.

Good luck applying!

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