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Bringing the family to Germany - a big step. Family-friendliness is very important to us and creates quality of life. The balance between work, family and health and the compatibility of career and family are becoming increasingly important for many employees.

This is what we are committed to! The Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion (TRK) offers your children excellent schools and childcare facilities, child-friendly leisure activities, many educational opportunities and exciting career prospects for parents. 

Find out more about family reunification and what you can expect in family life at TRK . 

On this page:


Would you like to have your children looked after by other people or in a daycare center? In the following section you will find everything you need to know about the various options as well as a list of bilingual childcare options at TRK.

From the age of one until the age of three, a child is entitled to early childhood support in a child day care facility (crèche or mixed-age group with places for children of this age group) or in a child day care facility. The amount of daily support depends on individual needs.
A child who has reached the age of three is entitled to support in a daycare facility (nursery or in a mixed-age group) until they start school.

In Germany, a distinction is made between state and private kindergartens or daycare centers. The choice of state kindergarten depends on your place of residence. This means that you can only send your child to a kindergarten or daycare center in your place of residence. Kindergarten places are often allocated as early as March and many kindergartens already have long waiting lists. It is therefore very important to think about childcare in good time.

As an alternative to kindergartens, there are childminders who usually offer childcare in their own homes. Childminders are certified and authorized to care for children. Another alternative is parent-child groups. Here, private care is organized by parents, usually with the support of educational staff.

Vacancies in kindergartens, childminders and parent-child groups are often advertised in regional parenting magazines such as Karlsruher Kind . There isalso, for example, the offer of native-speaking childminders.


In the district of Karlsruhe and the city of Karlsruhe, you have the option of sending your child to a bilingual daycare center. Below you will find an overview of the German-French and German-English childcare centers. It is always important to look at the offers in the respective place of residence.

German-French daycare centers

D - 76187 Karlsruhe
Tel. +49 (0) 721 476 7802
Fax: + 49 (0) 721 484 7824
E-Mail: [email protected]
To the website

Types of provision and occupancy: 45 children aged between 1 and 6 years are cared for in three mixed-age all-day groups.

Opening hours:
All-day groups from 7.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Nursery at the European School Karlsruhe
Albert-Schweitzerstr. 1a
D - 76139 Karlsruhe
Tel. +49 (0) 721 680 69 2510
Fax: +49 (0) 721 680 69 2525
E-mail: [email protected]
Go to website

Types of services and occupancy: Four crèches look after 40 children aged between 2 months and 3.5 years.

Opening hours:
Krippen from 7.00 am to 5.30 pm.

An der RaumFabrik 8
D - 76227 Karlsruhe
Tel. + 49 (0) 721 464 710710
Fax: +49 (0) 721 464 710719
E-mail: [email protected]
Go to website

Types of services and occupancy: 88 children aged between 2 months and 6 years are cared for in five mixed-age early years and all-day groups as well as a crèche.

Opening hours:
All-day groups: 7.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

D - 76137 Karlsruhe
Phone +49 (0) 721 819 89315
Fax: +49 (0) 721 819 89316
E-mail: [email protected]
Go to website

Types of provision and occupancy: 45 children between the ages of 1 and 6 are cared for in three mixed-age all-day groups.

Opening hours:
All-day groups from 7.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

G.-Braun-Str. 16
D - 76187 Karlsruhe
Tel. +49 (0) 721 531 69797
Fax: +49 (0) 721 531 69798
E-mail: [email protected]
Go to website

Types of services and occupancy: 83 children aged between 1 and 6 years are cared for in four mixed-age early years and day groups as well as two crèches.

Opening hours:
All-day groups and crèche: 7.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.,
Early years group: 7.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

D - 76131 Karlsruhe
Phone: +49 (0) 721 476 9674
Fax: +49 (0) 721 476 9746
E-mail: [email protected]
Go to website

Types of provision and occupancy: 55 children aged between 1 and 6 years are looked after in two mixed-age all-day groups, a mixed-age early years group and a crèche.


Opening hours:
All-day groups and crèche: 7.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.,
Early years group: 7.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

German-French Kindergarten Le petit prince AWO KV Baden-Baden e.V.

Black Forest Road 101

76532 Baden-Baden

German-English day care centers

Nursery at the European School Karlsruhe
Albert-Schweitzerstr. 1a
D - 76139 Karlsruhe
Tel. +49 (0) 721 680 69 2510
Fax: +49 (0) 721 680 69 2525
E-mail: [email protected]
Go to website

Types of services and occupancy: Four crèches look after 40 children aged between 2 months and 3.5 years.

Opening hours:
Krippen from 7.00 am to 5.30 pm.

D - 76135 Karlsruhe
Tel. +49 (0) 721 841020
Fax: + 49 (0) 721 8314889
E-Mail: [email protected]
To the website

Types of services and occupancy: 40 children aged between 3 and 6 years are cared for in two full-day groups.

Opening hours:
All-day groups from 6.30 am to 5.00 pm.

German school system

Compulsory schooling in Germany

School attendance is compulsory throughout Germany. All children and young people whose parents have their place of residence, habitual abode or place of work or training in Germany are required to attend school.

Compulsory schooling includes attendance at lessons and other compulsory school events as well as compliance with the school rules of the type of school attended. The vast majority of schools in Germany are run by the state. Your children can therefore attend these schools free of charge.

Starting school: elementary school

Children who have reached the age of six by September 30, i.e. have celebrated their sixth birthday, are required to attend school and are obliged to attend an elementary school.

Since the 2005/2006 school year, the deadline flexibility has been extended to the entire sixth year of life (from 1 October to 30 June). Children who turn six between October 1 and June 30 can also be registered for school by their parents without any further formalities. As before, the school management decides on enrollment.


As a rule, the respective elementary school sends out invitations to parents with the school enrollment dates. If this is not the case, parents must contact their local elementary school in person.

It is not possible to freely choose which elementary school the child should attend. As a rule, the child will attend the elementary school in whose district the parents have their residence or permanent address. In particularly justified exceptional cases, your child can apply to change the school district and be enrolled in a different elementary school. Elementary school attendance lasts four school years.

The child must be presented for school registration and the following documents must be submitted:

  • Identity card of the custody holder (usually mother or father)
  • Birth certificate or certificate of descent of the child
  • Registration confirmation from the school administration office

After elementary school, students must attend one of the secondary school types: Werkrealschule/Hauptschule, Realschule, Gemeinschaftsschule or general grammar school (secondary level I). Attendance is compulsory for five years.

Secondary schools in Germany

The central educational goal of the Werkrealschule and Hauptschule is to recognize and promote the talent potential of the pupils and thus contribute to successful educational biographies. The guiding pedagogical principle is the continuous individual support of pupils and increased career planning in all grades.

A central element of the Werkrealschule and Hauptschule are the compulsory elective subjects

  • Health and social affairs,
  • Business and Information Technology and
  • Nature and technology.

These are taught in grades 8, 9 and 10. They offer a sustainable concept for broad vocational orientation, which opens up scope for design according to the school's needs. The compulsory elective subjects are intended to provide orientation for the educational decision.

The principle of the Werkrealschule and Hauptschule is continuous individual support in all grades.

In six school years (years 5 to 10), the Realschule provides a self-contained, extended general education and in-depth basic knowledge. This lays the foundation for practically oriented professions in which tasks requiring a high level of independence, responsibility and leadership are to be mastered.

Pupils who pass the final examination after year 10 are awarded the intermediate school leaving certificate (mittlere Reife).

The Realschulabschluss entitles you to

  • to take up vocational training in a recognized training occupation and in a regulated training course
  • for the transition to one-year or multi-year vocational schools
  • for the transition to one-year or multi-year vocational colleges and
  • for the transition to a vocational or general secondary school.

Your children can also transfer here, for example from a Realschule to a Gymnasium. The prerequisite for this is good to very good academic performance.

The Gemeinschaftsschule is a high-performing, socially equitable school that is particularly committed to democratic values and offers all the educational standards of general education schools.

The Gemeinschaftsschule can comprise grades 5 to 10 (lower secondary level) and, if necessary, grades 1 to 4 (primary level) and 11 to 13 (upper secondary level). All graduation options remain open until the end of lower secondary level.

Possible degrees:

  • Secondary school leaving certificate after grade 9 or 10
  • Secondary school certificate after grade 10
  • Abitur after upper secondary level (three additional years after year 10) either at the Gemeinschaftsschule itself or at another general or vocational grammar school if there are sufficient pupils.

It is possible to transfer from a Gemeinschaftsschule to any general education school in Baden-Württemberg and Germany at any time. In Baden-Württemberg, it is also possible to transfer to a six-year vocational grammar school from year 8 onwards.

A community school can be chosen regardless of where the child lives; there are no ties to a particular school district.

The general grammar school provides a broad and in-depth general education that leads to the general ability to study.

At the beginning of the 2004/2005 school year, the eight-year Gymnasium was introduced in Baden-Württemberg for all pupils entering the fifth grade. Information on this can be found on the pages of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs in the chapter on the general grammar school.

As part of a school trial starting in the 2012/2013 school year, the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs is offering a total of 44 selected schools the option of an alternative nine-year route to the Abitur at a general grammar school. The locations of the pilot schools and further information can also be found in the chapter "G8/G9 pilot scheme" on the Ministry of Education website.

The general secondary school is offered as:

  • Grammar school with a language profile
  • Grammar school with a humanistic profile
  • Grammar school with a science profile
  • Grammar school with a fine arts profile
    Grammar school with a music profile
  • Grammar school with sports profile
  • Grammar school in advanced form (from year 7 or from the introductory year of the upper secondary school)

On completion of year 10 or year 11 in the G9 model schools (end of lower secondary level), students are awarded the intermediate school leaving certificate (Fachschulreife).

After passing the Abitur examination, the general higher education entrance qualification is awarded and thus the general ability to study is certified.

If attendance at the Gymnasium is completed after one year in the course system or the Abitur examination is not passed, the "Fachhochschulreife" certificate can be applied for from the Gymnasium at a later date. If the school part of the requirements has been met and proof of at least two years of vocational training or a one-year internship (including a voluntary social or ecological year or a corresponding activity as part of the Federal Voluntary Service) is available, the grammar school can issue the "Fachhochschulreife". The Fachhochschulreife entitles the holder to study at universities of applied sciences in all federal states with the exception of Bavaria and Saxony.

The vast majority of schools in Germany are run by the state. Private and international schools are of course also open to you, although they do charge fees.

Private schools can be run by private individuals as well as legal entities under private or public law (e.g. foundations, associations, churches, companies).

There are private schools in the general education sector and in the vocational school sector (e.g. vocational schools, vocational colleges, vocational grammar schools).

Private schools that have an equivalent in the public school system are alternative schools; Waldorf schools also fall under this category.

By attending a private school (alternative school), your child fulfills the legal obligation to attend school. As a parent, you can assume that the teaching objectives, facilities and academic training of the teaching staff at an alternative school are not inferior to those at state schools. Alternative schools without state recognition, so-called approved alternative schools, are not allowed to award state qualifications themselves; external examinations (external school examinations) take place. You should therefore find out whether the alternative school of your choice is state-recognized and therefore entitled to hold examinations and issue certificates.


European School Karlsruhe

The European School Karlsruhe (ESK), located in the Waldstadt district of Karlsruhe, is one of 14 European Schools at EU institution sites throughout Europe. The ESK is an intergovernmental EU institution that was originally founded in 1962 for the children of officials of the European institutions. Today, the school also offers places to pupils whose parents are not members of a European institution. Almost 900 pupils from more than 40 nationalities are taught at the European School Karlsruhe in almost all 24 official EU languages.
Anyone can apply for a place at the European School Karlsruhe!

You can find out more on this website.

Briefly summarized: The school system

  • School attendance is compulsory in Germany.
  • Compulsory schooling, i.e. the period of compulsory attendance (full-time compulsory schooling), is nine or at most ten years nationwide.
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for the fulfillment of compulsory school attendance.
  • Primary school lasts 4 years. The elementary school to be attended is determined on the basis of your home address, so there is no free choice of primary school.
  • After elementary school, there are secondary school options: Werkrealschule/Hauptschule, Realschule, Gemeinschaftsschule or the general grammar school.
  • Attendance of the Realschule ends with the 10th grade and the award of the Mittlere Reife, which is a prerequisite for most apprenticeships.
  • Attendance of the Gymnasium ends after the 12th or 13th grade (depending on the G8/G9 model) with the receipt of the Abitur certificate, which entitles the student to study at a university/college.

Leisure activities for families with children

Have you moved to the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion with your family and would like to take advantage of the wide range of offers that TRK has in store for you and your family? In this section, we show you various ways to spend your free time together as a family.

Germany is a country of playgrounds. There is a playground in every residential area, most of which are maintained by the local authorities. Playgrounds provide fun and exercise, so we recommend that you visit the playgrounds with your children. Your little ones can then play in sandpits or spend their time on climbing towers, slides, seesaws and swings.

A day trip to one of the many amusement parks in Germany is also sure to strike a chord with your children. In addition to outdoor adventure parks, you can choose from nature and animal parks such as the zoo in Karlsruhe or aquariums with every imaginable sea creature. Your children can find out what life is like in the countryside, surrounded by pigs, cows and cereal crops, at one of the many adventure farms throughout Germany. And if the weather is bad, a visit to a museum might save the day. After all, modern museums now inspire with films and interactive offers.

Further information


The parent cafés offer you an opportunity to meet like-minded people. As a meeting place for parents and families, you can get in touch with other parents in these cafés.

Parents with children can attend parent cafés:

  • Make contacts
  • Exchange information
  • Ask questions
  • have a coffee
  • Find play partners for your children
  • attend a STÄRKE parenting course
  • ... and much more.

Reunification of family members

In this section, we explain how family reunification works for EU citizens and third-country nationals.

Official requirements for family reunification

Children and spouses of foreign nationals living in Germany can obtain a residence permit for family reasons. With this you may:

  • move to Germany and
  • pursue gainful employment or occupation to the same extent as the family member living in Germany is permitted to do.

The same applies to the following same-sex civil partnerships:

  • registered civil partnerships within the meaning of the German Civil Partnership Act (Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz)
  • Civil partnerships recognized under foreign law that essentially correspond to a German registered civil partnership.

The residence permit is limited in time. You can apply to have it extended. The duration of your residence permit depends on the length of stay of your family member already living in Germany.

The requirements for the residence permit are

  • You fulfill the passport and visa requirements.
  • Your livelihood is secured without you having to draw on public funds.
  • There are no grounds for deportation against you.
  • Their stay does not jeopardize or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Your family member already living in Germany has a residence permit in Germany.
    • Settlement permit,
    • Permit for permanent residence-EG or
    • Residence permit and
    • sufficient living space.
  • additionally in the case of spousal reunification:
    • Minimum age of both spouses: 18 years

Of course, you can also bring your children with you to Germany. Because: If you and your spouse have a residence permit for Germany or you have custody as a single parent, your children up to the age of 16 will also receive a residence permit.


Prerequisites for a residence permit for children are

  • additionally for children between the ages of 16 and 18:
    • The child must not be married, divorced or widowed;
    • The child must not have reached the age of 18.

Special rules apply to children over the age of 16. The best place to find out about these is the German embassy in your home country or a foreigners authority in Germany. 

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Further topics
Business Location
A place for new beginnings: The Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion (TRK) is one of the strongest economic and innovative regions in Europe. Do you want to arrive here as an international specialist and take your career to the next level? Then you have made exactly the right decision!
Learn German
Would you like to learn German or improve your German? The Federal Government supports the integration and qualification of immigrants with financially subsidized courses.
The Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion (TRK) benefits from its central location in Europe and excellent transport connections. By road, rail, water and air, the routes lead in all directions and to the major cities.