Thank you Feierabend, my husband looked into the process and it is indeed central. We went to the Rathaus today and were basically told "you can forget about it". Even the waiting lists are full. There are simply no vacancies at all - let alone at a preferred kita... We were informed of one possible vacancy so went to visit the kita and to be honest, I wouldn't leave my dog there let alone my son! It was so shocking that I almost started to cry when I saw the conditions those poor kids had to endure during the day.
At this point, I am considering quitting my job before I even start - or at least looking at alternatives, perhaps a private Tagesmutter. If all kitas with free places in KW are like the one we saw today, then I will have no option than to stay home with him. My son's well being is my priority. Obviously all of the good ones are those where we have no chance.