Daycare (Crèche or Krippe), Kindergarten and School

In German, children from the age of one can legally claim a place in a childcare facility.

Dresden is a very child-friendly city which offers a wide variety of child-care possibilities.

Children under the age of 3
Usually children at the age of one to three years are cared for at a crèche (Kinderkrippe/Kita). In some daycare centers, there are children of different ages mixed in one group, i.e. a mixture of crèche and kindergarten. Also, different kindergartens also have different pedagogical concepts and it is advisable to have a look at the daycare centres beforehand.

Another popular choice for German parents of young children is private childcare/nannies (Tagesmütter). These generally take care of groups of 4 – 5 children in their homes (usually aged between 8 weeks and 3 years). The nannies must go through training and be certified by Child Care Services to run private childcare.

Children aged 3-6
Over 80% of all children between three and six years attend a kindergarten in Germany. Very often the Kinderkrippe and the Kindergarten are in the same building so that children can change at the age of 3 very easily to the Kindergarten group. The Kindergartens and Kinderkrippe are run by local authorities, religious organisations (generally protestant or Catholic churches) or by private associations.

The MPI-CBG has got a cooperation with three public kindergartens nearby. To find out more please get in touch with the International Office.

There is also a private Kindergarten near the Institute at the Dresden International School where the language of instruction is English (

To find out more about kindergarten and daycare please have a look here.

School system
In Germany, school is compulsory for all children. School regulations vary in Germany’s 16 states. In Saxony children normally start to attend school in the summer of the year they turn 6. The school system is made up of primary schools, secondary schools and grammar schools. Most schools are half-day but all-day schools are becoming more common, in Dresden as well.

Primary school (Grundschule) 1st-4th grade
Primary school covers first to fourth grade in Saxony. Primary schools are attended by all children and teach the basic knowledge and skills that prepare the pupils for their move to the various types of secondary school. Subjects taught usually include German, math, general science/local studies, art, music and sport.

Parents can choose between state or private German primary schools, however, only around 5% of students in the country attend private schools. State primary schools are free to attend in Germany and offer high-quality education. There are also state-subsidized private schools.

Depending on the children’s achievements during elementary school, they get introduced either to a type of secondary school called “Mittelschule”, or to an academic high school called “Gymnasium”. A Gymnasium graduation is the most common way that qualifies for university.

Before/ after-school care (Hort)
Most primary schools in Dresden offer a before/after-school program called Hort. Pupils will be supervised from the end of school until 6 pm and usually during holidays. Parents’ fees for this service depend on the hours of supervision. The adult employees are trained in pedagogy. Children take part in leisure activities and finish a large part of their homework here.

The School Administration Office (Schulverwaltungsamt) informs parents of the registration dates about 9-19 month before enrolment at school. School registration has to be done in the responsible public Primary school. Additionally parents can register their child at any private school.

For more information on registration please ask the International Office.

Children with a different native language than German
Parents with children with a different native language than German get special assistance in preparation classes until they speak German that allows the to take part in normal classes.

There is an International School in Dresden with Pre-School, Primary School and Secondary School ( in Dresden. It is the sole international all-day school in Dresden, providing all lessons in English. Students graduating from the International School may receive an International Baccaleaurate Diploma and may attend universities in the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and other specified universities.

Parents who enter Germany within the running school year usually need to register at the Saxon Education Agency (Schulamt) – unless they register at a certain private schools. For more information please contact the International Office of the CBG.

Secondary school (Oberschule) 5th- 9th/10th grade
Secondary schools convey both general knowledge and information to prepare the pupils for their future jobs. Fifth and sixth grades have an orientation function, i.e. the curriculum during these two years is the same in secondary and grammar schools. After successful completion of secondary school at the end of year 10 it is possible to continue the secondary education and eventually acquire the Abitur.

Grammar school (Gymnasium) 5th – 12th grade
The Gymnasium takes on especially well-performing pupils and prepares them for demanding careers or university studies. Pupils attend Gymnasium for eight years to acquire a final qualification called the Abitur. The Abitur is regarded as a certificate of aptitude for higher education in Germany. The International Baccaleaurate Diploma from the Dresden International School is also eligible as a certificate for higher education and students graduating from this school may attend universities in the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and other specified universities (

For further information on school system in Saxony please visit the city’s website.