Childcare and Schooling

General information

We are happy to welcome you and your family to Dresden! To apply for a place in a daycare or with a childminder or to register your child(ren) for a public school, your child(ren)’s local registration is required first. That means an application can only be made after their arrival. Nonetheless, it cannot hurt to make yourself familiar with the hows and whens of the local childcare and school system in advance.

To that end, this page aims to give you a brief overview of the different childcare and schooling options available (as relevant for the German state of Saxony), by age group. For detailed information about the various types of childcare and schooling as well as application/registration procedures, please consult our Welcome Guide and do not hesitate to contact us with a specific question.

Children 0 to 12 months old

Childcare is not generally available under the age of 12 months, nor are children under 12 months entitled to a place in childcare. Only very few childminders (nannies) already accept children from 10 or 11 months of age. Please consult us as early as possible in advance of your stay, should you anticipate a need for childcare for a child who has not yet reached one year of age. Alternatively, if possible, consider asking a relative or friend to help care for your child for the transitional period until the child has reached the age of 12 months and is generally eligible for various forms of daycare.

Children 1 to 3 years old

…are entitled by law to a place in crèche (Krippe) or with a childminder/nanny (official term: Kindertagespflege, also known as Tageseltern/Tagesmutter/Tagesvater). Places are allocated upon application for your preferred crèches/child minders to the City of Dresden’s childcare branch. Note that Dresden is popular with families and despite a large number of childcare options and lawful entitlement, waiting periods are not at all uncommon.

Children 3 to 6 years old

…can attend kindergarten (Kindergarten) or be minded by a childminder (official term: Kindertagespflege, also known as Tageseltern/Tagesmutter/Tagesvater). Often, a crèche and kindergarten are operated in the same building to facilitate the transition and childcare for siblings. There is no separate institutionalised pre-school (Vorschule).

School children 6 or 7 to 10 years old

Children start elementary school (Grundschule) at the age of 6 or 7, depending on their precise date of birth and maturity. Elementary school runs from grade 1 to grade 4. In the last year of elementary school each child receives an official recommendation to continue on to either Oberschule (formerly Mittelschule, subdivided into Realschule and Hauptschule) or grammar school (Gymnasium).

School children 10 to 15 / 10 to 16 / 10 to 18 years old

Full-time schooling is mandatory for 9 years. After completion of elementary school, children continue their mandatory schooling at Oberschule (formerly Mittelschule, also known as its subdivisions leading to different leaving certificates: Realschule for grades 5 to 10 and Hauptschule for grades 5 to 9) or at grammar school (Gymnasium, for grades 5 to 12, leading to Abitur).

Vocational schooling and training from 15 years old

After Oberschule, depending on the certificate attained, children may either continue their schooling by changing to a grammar school (Gymnasium) as mentioned above or by continuing on to a specialised grammar school (Fachoberschule) or to a vocational grammar school (Berufliches Gymnasium). Alternatively or afterwards (or after Gymnasium) they may start a vocational training either comprised of part schooling and part hands-on training in a company (duale Berufsausbildung) or comprised solely of vocational schooling (schulische Berufsausbildung), depending on their interests, chosen vocation and their ability to secure a training place with a company. If you have questions about this period of your children’s education, do not hesitate to contact us.

Studying at University or University of Applied Sciences

Anyone with an Abitur graduation from a Gymnasium may start a course of study at a university. For Fachoberschule graduates it depends on their type of graduation whether they have access either to courses with majors in their specialisation only or to Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) only or to all Universities.

Whom to contact

Childcare: City of Dresden Childcare Services (Eigenbetrieb Kindertageseinrichtungen Dresden)

For general information about childcare options in Dresden, to apply for childcare and enquire about the status of your application, contact the responsible office at the City of Dresden.

Schooling: Saxon Education Agency (Sächsische Bildungsagentur)

For general information about schooling in Dresden, to register your child(ren) for school and questions pertaining to a specific registration, contact the Saxon Education Agency (Sächsische Bildungsagentur)