What is a kita voucher?
The kita voucher, which translates to Kita-Gutschein in German, is a programme to ensure that every family in Hamburg gets the right daycare for their children to fit their needs. The aim is not only to guarantee children basic supervision, but to provide them with high-quality care, education and support.
You can get and use your kita voucher in three easy steps:
- Apply for a kita voucher for your child or children online or at your local district office.
- You can then redeem the voucher within two months at any kita that participates in the kita voucher system. You can choose the kita placement yourself.
- The kita settles the fees directly with the municipality. Parents only pay a relatively small share of the costs, known as an Elternbeitrag or Familieneigenanteil (lit. ‘parental contribution’ or ‘family share’).
The kita voucher system in Hamburg
Parents or custodians receive a kita voucher for each child, which they can redeem at any kita that participates in the kita voucher programme. Since the municipality only covers the fees of children who are actually receiving care services, the kita vouchers must be flexible enough to meet the families’ needs and ensure the highest quality.
Currently, there are more than 1,100 day-care facilities for children in Hamburg that participate in the kita voucher programme.
How to apply for a kita voucher
Please submit your application to the Abteilung Kindertagesbetreuung (lit. ‘child day-care department’) at your local district office three to six months before you would like the kita care service to start. Depending on the services that you apply for, further documents may be required in addition to the application form. Please enclose copies of these as well. Please see here for more information on the documents that need to be submitted.
For half-day care service at the kita (five hours a day or 25 hours a week for children under three), you can also submit your application online.
The kita voucher, or the admission to a childrens’ day-care, indicates which kind of care is approved and how much your parental contribution will be. It is generally valid for one year. If you need a follow-up approval, please apply for it in good time (if possible, three months before the voucher expires).
Please note that public funding or cost reimbursement is only possible once an application has been submitted! If your child is cared for without a valid kita voucher or without a valid admission to a day-care facility, you will have to pay the entire cost yourself, including the parental contribution and other fees.