Help with enrolling kids in Kindergarten

21 posts in this topic

Hi there,

 

I was wondering if anyone could share some advice on enrolling kids in a German Kindergarten in the Stuttgart area. I'm particularly interested in advice around the following questions:

  • We are an American/British family, my kids speak German and we've received military orders to move to Stuttgart next June 2019. I have read that waitlists are LONG for local Kitas, is this true currently? My kids will be 2 and 4. 
  • Can I waitlist my kids without having a local address?
  • Are private Kindergartens easier to get into? Any recommendations?
  • My husband will work on Kelley, which areas would be a decent commute but with a lot of Kita options? I've researched Waldenbuch, Esslingen, Holzgerlingen, Degerloch and Vaihingen. Any families have experience living in these areas? I'm looking for a quiet area but with amenities within walking distance.

 

If anyone has been through this process recently, I'd greatly appreciate hearing your story!

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3 hours ago, peachpot said:

We are an American/British family, my kids speak German and we've received military orders to move to Stuttgart next June 2019. I have read that waitlists are LONG for local Kitas, is this true currently? My kids will be 2 and 4. 

 

The kid that will be 2 in June 2019 speaks German already? Wow. ;) 

 

I have no recent experiences of my own but most of your questions are easy to answer because things don't change much and/or are common knowledge. Yes, it's true - waiting lists are LONG. The Kindergarten year 2019 will start in September 2019 and places will not be allocated before april/may 2019.

 

3 hours ago, peachpot said:
  • Can I waitlist my kids without having a local address?

 

Next to impossible. Waiting lists are long already, adding kids that are not even in the country would make them explode. 

 

3 hours ago, peachpot said:
  • Are private Kindergartens easier to get into? Any recommendations?

 

Not easier to get in, long waiting lists too. No recommendations therefore.

 

3 hours ago, peachpot said:
  • My husband will work on Kelley, which areas would be a decent commute but with a lot of Kita options? I've researched Waldenbuch, Esslingen, Holzgerlingen, Degerloch and Vaihingen. Any families have experience living in these areas? I'm looking for a quiet area but with amenities within walking distance.

 

Be aware that Waldenbuch, Esslingen, Holzgerlingen are not parts of Stuttgart. Waldenbuch and Holzgerlingen are parts of Böblingen district, Esslingen is another district. There are a couple of threads about favorite areas to live for mil personal, please use the search function in the upper right corner first. Be aware of a massive lack of flats to rent in Stuttgart.

 

For Stuttgart there is an online tool to search for places (only search!) – go there and click on "Kindertagesstättenfinder".

As said before, now is the Kindergarten year 2018 and you'll only find free places for this year (I found only 3 at the moment, btw). 

 

To make things worse: Your 2 year old will need a special place with "Kleinkinderbetreuung", Kindergarten starts at 3 years usually. I found zero for this year. 

 

Good luck.

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Maybe it would be worth looking at Tagesmutter as well. Then the kids would be in a German speaking environment at least, if that is what you are hoping for.

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On 25/04/2018, 01:51:30, kiplette said:

Maybe it would be worth looking at Tagesmutter as well. Then the kids would be in a German speaking environment at least, if that is what you are hoping for.

 

Yes that really is. Thank you for the suggestion, I haven't researched that option!

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On 25/04/2018, 01:32:44, someonesdaughter said:

 

The kid that will be 2 in June 2019 speaks German already? Wow. ;) 

 

I have no recent experiences of my own but most of your questions are easy to answer because things don't change much and/or are common knowledge. Yes, it's true - waiting lists are LONG. The Kindergarten year 2019 will start in September 2019 and places will not be allocated before april/may 2019.

 

 

Next to impossible. Waiting lists are long already, adding kids that are not even in the country would make them explode. 

 

 

Not easier to get in, long waiting lists too. No recommendations therefore.

 

 

Be aware that Waldenbuch, Esslingen, Holzgerlingen are not parts of Stuttgart. Waldenbuch and Holzgerlingen are parts of Böblingen district, Esslingen is another district. There are a couple of threads about favorite areas to live for mil personal, please use the search function in the upper right corner first. Be aware of a massive lack of flats to rent in Stuttgart.

 

For Stuttgart there is an online tool to search for places (only search!) – go there and click on "Kindertagesstättenfinder".

As said before, now is the Kindergarten year 2018 and you'll only find free places for this year (I found only 3 at the moment, btw). 

 

To make things worse: Your 2 year old will need a special place with "Kleinkinderbetreuung", Kindergarten starts at 3 years usually. I found zero for this year. 

 

Good luck.

 

Thank you so much for sharing so much information. And my daughter isn't speaking German yet! She's just with an Austrian nanny while I work and my son is in a German preschool :)

 

It seems he'll be out of a Kita for a full year then, which is not ideal.. and I wasn't aware that there aren't any options for under 3, I thought there would be, private ones at least.

 

And THANK you for the place finder link! That's really helpful.. I'll see what's available but as you've said, I won't be able to do anything until next year. Ugh.

 

Thanks again for your advice

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5 minutes ago, peachpot said:

It seems he'll be out of a Kita for a full year then, which is not ideal.. and I wasn't aware that there aren't any options for under 3, I thought there would be, private ones at least.

 

Oh, I didn't say that there aren't any options – I said your 2 year old will need a special place with "Kleinkinderbetreuung". Not each and every Kindergarten offers that. 

 

 

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My youngest, who was on the cusp of three, spent several months with a Tagesmutter.  With her he picked up enough German that when he started at Kindergarten several months later, he wasn't daunted by all the other children speaking German.

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59 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

Oh, I didn't say that there aren't any options – I said your 2 year old will need a special place with "Kleinkinderbetreuung". Not each and every Kindergarten offers that. 

 

 

 

Got it, thanks for sharing the terminology!

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56 minutes ago, katheliz said:

My youngest, who was on the cusp of three, spent several months with a Tagesmutter.  With her he picked up enough German that when he started at Kindergarten several months later, he wasn't daunted by all the other children speaking German.

 

May I ask how you went about finding a Tagesmutter? 

 

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Gosh - my husband found her, probably an ad in the paper, or he may just have asked around.  This was almost 40 years ago; nowadays you'd probably find internet ads.  My daughter's children stayed with Tagesmuetter from infancy until they were old enough for Kindergarten/Kita.  Networking helps, too.  A friend found my youngest his place in a Catholic Kindergarten, a lovely place.  It didn't proselytize - when he was 3 1/2 we went to Venice and went to Sta. Lucia's shrine, I asked him to say a little prayer for Granny.  He put his hands together and repeated verbatim, 'A little prayer for Granny.'
Good luck in your search - sometimes it takes just that, a little luck.

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30 minutes ago, peachpot said:

 

May I ask how you went about finding a Tagesmutter? 

 

 

There are websites where you can search for a Tagesmutter. For example: www.betreut.de

 

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20 hours ago, katheliz said:

Gosh - my husband found her, probably an ad in the paper, or he may just have asked around.  This was almost 40 years ago; nowadays you'd probably find internet ads.  My daughter's children stayed with Tagesmuetter from infancy until they were old enough for Kindergarten/Kita.  Networking helps, too.  A friend found my youngest his place in a Catholic Kindergarten, a lovely place.  It didn't proselytize - when he was 3 1/2 we went to Venice and went to Sta. Lucia's shrine, I asked him to say a little prayer for Granny.  He put his hands together and repeated verbatim, 'A little prayer for Granny.'
Good luck in your search - sometimes it takes just that, a little luck.

Thank you for your best wishes, I think we may need a little luck!

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Try calling the city halls of the towns you listed and asking what their capacity situation is. We live in Rutesheim and were lucky enough to get two kids into kindergarten as soon as we moved. Does the military provide you with housing even if it's off base? Otherwise it can also be difficult to find housing, and then to pair it with a kindergarten that has space can be nearly impossible.

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14 minutes ago, AlexCLE said:

Try calling the city halls of the towns you listed and asking what their capacity situation is. We live in Rutesheim and were lucky enough to get two kids into kindergarten as soon as we moved. Does the military provide you with housing even if it's off base? Otherwise it can also be difficult to find housing, and then to pair it with a kindergarten that has space can be nearly impossible.

 

Thank you. That’s my fear.. that finding the right house/school combo will be impossible. Do you like Rutesheim? 

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I love it. It's a smaller, quiet, town but has all the amenities for daily life (grocery stores, large hardware, library, repair shops, bakeries, restaurants, bike paths, playgrounds, schools), has an Autobahn exit, bus service, and even an S-Bahn station. Leonberg is a short drive away and has all the "big city" stuff we need sometimes like a huge grocery store, mall, nice Old Town, indoor and outdoor swimming/spa, movie theater, restaurants, festivals, etc.

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