Child care varies depending on the age of the child as well as the special needs of the parents and children. The most important institutions are kindergartens, a pre-school institution for children between 3 and 6 years. For younger children there are so called Kinderkrippen. Children who already go to school, but need care in the afternoon can go to a institution called "Hort".
Kindergarden or Child Care Institutions
Registration for a place in a kindergarten usually takes place in spring. If the kindergarten, the parents (and the child) agree, the child can stay either in the morning from 8am till noon and/or in the afternoon from 2pm to 5pm. Kindergarten costs vary: state-run nursery schools cost between 70 and 120 Euro a month; private ones between 150 and 200 Euro. For those parents who need all-day childcare, there are some all-day kindergartens where your child can stay from about 7am to 5pm. But it’s difficult to find a spot at these places, simply because they are few in numbers.
For very young children, between the ages of one and three, all-day care is possible at day nurseries (Kinderkrippen). But as with all-day kindergartens, it’s hard to find free places here. As an alternative you might want to look for so-called “Day Mothers” (Tagesmütter). They often provide daycare in their own homes. Babysitters, who charge an hourly fee to look after children, often advertise their services on notice boards found in supermarkets or kindergartens
All-day schools and nursery schools are still an exception in Germany, although that is going to change in the next few years. In the meantime, additional afternoon Childcare is offered for the children of working mums and dads by so-called "Horte". They stay open all afternoon, and social workers provide lunch, help with the homework and organise games and excursions.
Click here to find Child Care Institutions like Horte and others (german)