Welcome to Germany

Kinder unterschiedlicher Herkunft bei gemeinsamen Spiel

We welcome you to Berlin and hope that you will quickly find your way around and feel at home in your new surroundings. Berlin supports you and your children with numerous offers:

Welcome to Berlin!

Berlin supports you and your children with numerous offers:

  • Your young children can, if you wish, be looked after in a day care centre. Here they can play and learn together with other children. They will make new friends at the Kita and quickly learn the German language. This prepares the children well for attending school later on.
  • If your child is at least 6 years old, he or she must attend school. We will support you in finding a suitable school place. As long as your child does not speak German yet, he or she will first attend a welcome class to acquire the language skills. Afterwards, he or she will transfer to a regular class and take part in normal lessons and everyday school life.
  • There are extensive counselling services at Berlin’s universities. There you will receive information about the degree programmes and the requirements for taking up or continuing a degree programme.
  • For daycare centres and schools, we have published a guide that provides legal, organisational and pedagogical information to support the integration of immigrant children and young people.
  • Available are:
    • VHS language courses
    • Qualification of the pedagogical staff
    • Strengthening of the school psychology service
    • School social work
    • Holiday schools
    • Cultural and sporting activities

Day care centre

Applying for a day care (“Kita”) voucher

Your child has the opportunity to attend a day care centre. To ensure that your child is well prepared to attend school later, you should take advantage of this opportunity.

The first step is to apply for a Kita voucher. You can get the form at your residential facility; you can also fill it out online. After you have received the Kita voucher from the Youth Welfare Office, you can use it to find a free place for your child.

Hand mit Computermaus

Day care ("Kita") voucher

The first step to finding a place in a day care centre is to apply for a day care ("Kita") voucher at the youth welfare office in your residential district. You can create a short one-page online application, which you then sign and send to your youth welfare office. Weitere Informationen

Mädchen malen im Kindergarten

Early Education in Daycare Centres

Learning in the first years of its life is of great importance for your child's future life. Child education, parenting and care of your child in your family is supplemented and supported in daycare centres and day care. Girls and boys are encouraged in their social, emotional, physical and mental development right from the start. Weitere Informationen

Hände halten Scherenschnitt einer Familie

Parenting and Family Counselling

Parenting and family counselling is a free programme for parents, guardians and couples as well as children and young people. The counselling can be taken advantage of directly and can also be conducted anonymously on request. Weitere Informationen

Downloads for parents of young children

  • Welcome to Berlin for families with small children


    PDF-Dokument (285.6 kB)

Information on the education package for day-care centre children

  • BuT - Information for parents of children cared for at day-care centres or by childminders


    PDF-Dokument (578.3 kB)


When your child is at least 6 years old, he or she is of compulsory school age and should get a school place as soon as possible. To do this, you must first register your child at the coordination office of the school authority in your district of residence.

The school authority decides which school and which class your child will be enrolled in. This takes into account your child’s age, a language test and a school medical examination. You then register your child in person at the school you have been informed of.

School offers

Lehrerin mit Schüler

School integration

Every year, families with children come to Berlin, for the most part without any knowledge of German. The school support and integration of these children and young people represents a special opportunity and challenge. Weitere Informationen

Hand auf einer Tafel mit dem deutschen Worte Ich Lerne Deutsch

Das Deutsche Sprachdiplom

The Deutsches Sprachdiplom Inland - Stufe I (DSD I and DSD I PRO) is aimed at newly immigrated and refugee pupils. Weitere Informationen

Drei Jugendliche

START scholarship

START scholarships for talented young people with a migration background is a programme that accompanies young people with a migration background for three years in their personal development and encourages them to play an active role in shaping our society. Weitere Informationen

  • New in Germany?

    This brochure offers families with school-age children who have recently arrived in Germany valuable tips and information about school in Berlin. It provides information about the responsibilities and rights of parents and pupils, admission to a welcome class, the offers of the education package or all-day school.

    PDF-Dokument (3.5 MB)

Downloads for parents of school children

  • Information for refugees with schoolchildren


    PDF-Dokument (75.6 kB)

Information on the education package for schoolchildren

At school you can apply for a berlinpass-BuT for your child. With this berlinpass, your child can receive benefits from the education package. This includes your child’s personal school supplies and free participation in excursions and school trips.

A-levels (Abitur) for refugees

Colleges and evening grammar schools offer the Abitur for refugees from the age of 18.

If you want to obtain the German Abitur, are 18 years old and already have a command of the German language at level B-1, you can turn to a college or evening high school. In a preparatory course you can improve your German language skills to level B-2. If you have reached level B-2, you will first attend a so-called preliminary course.

If you have successfully passed the preliminary course, you can attend a college or an evening grammar school for a period of three years in order to take the Abitur.

Attendance at colleges and evening grammar schools is free of charge and is subsidised by BAföG from the 11th grade onwards. Further information is available on the websites of the colleges and evening grammar schools:

Vocational training and guidance

You are between 15 and 25 years old and have questions about your professional future? No problem. We’ll help you find the answers. Call us or send us an email to arrange a counselling appointment.

Please bring your ID and preferably your most recent school reports and, if available, your application portfolio to your first counselling appointment.

Englisch "16+ Deine Chancen in Berlin" Junge Mädchen tüffteln an technischen Geräten

Opportunities for you in Berlin

There are lots of questions about what to do next after leaving school. In Germany, there is another option for getting started in your professional life in addition to studying at a university – vocational training. Weitere Informationen

Information for unaccompanied minor refugees

Sponsorships for refugee children and their families

Sponsorships for refugee children and their families

Sponsorship projects with refugee children, young people and their families receive financial support from the state of Berlin. The support of a volunteer sponsor strengthens the participation of refugee children and their families in social and cultural life in Germany.

Through a variety of leisure activities, the children experience their new environment and social coexistence, and German language skills are acquired and improved in a playful way.

Sponsors also benefit from the insight into a culture that is new to them as well as the shared experiences with their sponsored children and become mediators in the social environment of the families.

Notes on the promotion of sponsorships

More information