Symbolic picture: Daycare Voucher, Hamburg, Germany

Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Hamburg Welcome Portal Daycare Voucher

Children living in Hamburg are entitled to 5 hours of free care in a daycare facility per day. Find out how to apply for a daycare voucher.

Daycare Voucher - Hamburg Welcome Portal

Did you know that children living in Hamburg are entitled to 5 hours of free care per day, from age 1 until they go to school? Whatever your needs, Hamburg offers a wide range of childcare services at more than 1,000 daycare facilities. It's recommended that you look into potential daycare facilities about one year before your child should start daycare.

For instance by:

  • Asking friends and relatives about their experiences with daycare centres and childminders
  • Contacting and visiting a daycare centre of your choice
  • Browsing the internet: (site in German language)

Finding a daycare facility

Use the Kita Database (Kita-Datenbank – site in German language) or Kita Map (Kita-Stadtplan – site in German language), where you can thoroughly study the services on offer and find contact details of all Hamburg childcare centres and preschool classes. User guides for the Kita Database and Kita Map are available as PDF files below.  

Once you have selected a suitable daycare facility, inquire about future vacancies and, if necessary, enrol your child onto the waiting list. Check if the spot is indeed available at least six weeks before the preferred enrolement date, so that you still have time to organise a different solution in case of a cancellation.  

If you cannot find any vacancies for your child, the employees of the children’s daycare department at your relevant local district office will help you out. There you can get assistance with searching for a Kita place and open the proof of place procedure (Platznachweisverfahren). The procedure works as follows:

  • You give the district office a current list of five daycare centres where you have already asked for help and been rejected. Please use this form to provide proof of the search for a Kita place. 
  • Make sure that the district office has your current contact details (telephone number, e-mail, address). 
  • The district office starts the search and has three months to do so. If the district office is unable to find a free daycare place, the Department of Labor, Social Affairs, Family and Integration (BASFI) will be involved. The district office will continue to be your contact point throughout the entire process and will forward the contact details of a daycare center to you, if necessary. 
  • The proof of place procedure will end when a free day care place has been arranged and a care contract has been concluded or if you have been offered two free day care places. 
  • If you are able to find a place for yourself, please inform the Child Day Care Department at the District Office immediately. The proof of place procedure will then be terminated.

Applying for a daycare voucher (Kita-Gutschein)

Parents should apply for a daycare voucher at their local district office. To find the relevant local district office, please enter your child's registered address in the authority finder (Behördenfinder). 

There is also the possibility to apply online (only in German) for care of up to 25 hours per week.

You will receive the daycare voucher by mail and can redeem it in every daycare centre that takes part in the daycare voucher (Kita-Gutschein) scheme.

Please note that you have to send in your application to your district's daycare department three to six months prior to the starting date of your child's daycare. Without a daycare voucher you have to pay for daycare yourself. The daycare voucher is valid for a maximum of one year and prolongation must be applied for at least three months prior to expiry.