FAMILY ALLOWANCES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL GERMAN RESIDENTS

 

The value of family is held high in Germany.  A lot of regulations, as well as financial support, should encourage you to build a family. Easy access to financial support is one of the main pillars flanked by many legal regulations protecting the family members.

 

“Kindergeld”

Child Allowance is a fixed non-income related cash allowance

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“Elterngeld”

Parental Allowance is granted to every parent staying home in the first year after a child is born

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“Kita-Gutschein”

Granted for children going to kindergarten or equivalent

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CHILD ALLOWANCE "KINDERGELD"

 

Background Information

Child allowance is granted to every family with children and shall help to bear the financial burden of children’s education. It is paid without reference to the family income. To apply for it, you and your child must be registered in Germany. You can apply for it at a later date, however, the longer you wait, the more questions you will need to answer. The maximum backdating is 4 years. 2015 the amounts paid are as follows.

  • For the first and second child: 188 EUR per month
  • For the third child: 194 EUR per month
  • For the fourth and all further child: 215 EUR per month

The amounts have been slightly raised since 2015.

Child allowance is granted for all children

  • Below an age of 18 years
  • Below an age of 25 years, if they are doing an apprenticeship
  • Below an age of 21 years, if they are unemployed.

Application Procedure

The application form needs to be handed into the Familienkasse of the state where you are located - see postal address below.

You can send the application form by post. An email will usually not be accepted.

Two forms need to be completed which can both be downloaded in your mother tongue at the website of Federal Employment Office

The proceeding and assessment of the application take between 1-3 months. Often applications require proof of your stay in Germany being long-term and that you are not receiving similar allowances in the country where your children were born or raised before your moved to Germany. When they did not accept your application, you need to provide within a certain period (stated on your rejection letter) more documents or official papers to prove.

The Familienkasse is the responsible authority to handle the applications. For further information please check here in English:

Our Children Allowance Service

We help you filling out your application and if any additional papers are required.


 

PARENTAL ALLOWANCE "ELTERNGELD"

 

Background Information

Parents in Germany can take a leave from work while being guaranteed their workplace for up to three years. This period can be shared between both parents, and you can even take it at the same time. Within this period you cannot be laid off from your company. Further, the law says that you have a right to work part-time. However, this is with a big question mark, as the company has to grant if it is possible to share your work with a colleague. And there are lots of ways to argue about this. Unfortunately, still, many companies are not prepared to be more flexible about working hours.

In addition to this extended layoff protection, some financial support is granted to encourage future parents to actually raise children without suffering too much on the financial side. There is no income cap on Parental Leave Allowance. Therefore every mother and every father can enjoy its benefits. Generally, 67 percent of the net income is granted as Parental Leave Allowance and minimum 300 EUR per month.

Any income you have during this time is alloted against your share of Elterngeld, including but not limited to, any similar aids from your home country's government.

The public website www.familien-wegweiser.de provides a lot of further helpful information. Amongst others, a parental allowance calculator is offered, helping to get a feeling of the amounts you will be granted.

Application Procedure

  • Completed Application form
  • Completed form A (statement of your health insurance regarding maternal leave allowance)
  • Completed form B (statement of your employer with regard to your employment contract)
  • A copy of your passport with residence permit
  • Your registration card
  • the original birth certificate of the child
  • acknowledgment of the paternity certificate where applicable,
  • proof of income: payroll details for the last 14 months before childbirth, tax declaration of both parents of the year preceding the year of birth (your income in Germany as well as in any other country you have lived in in the year preceding the birth) 
  • copies of current confirmation of household members where there are children up to six years of age.

Some of the documents are only available once the baby is born and the hospitals will provide you with everything. Some documents, like your last months' income or information about siblings, can be prepared upfront. If you had no income in the last months, the application procedure is manageable, but with income to be considered it is a complex procedure.

You can apply for Elterngeld at your Bezirksamt. Check the address here. You will also find all the necessary forms there which you have to complete.

Our Parental Allowance Service

We select the right application forms for you, support you to collect the necessary documents, fill out the papers and communicate with the local authorities in case of any further questions.


KINDERGARTEN VOUCHER "KITA-GUTSCHEIN"

 

Background Information

Education of children is a public task taken very seriously in Germany. There are extensive legal rights for childcare and education, and also obligations (e.g., schooling of your children is compulsory). If you send your children to kindergarten,  that usually costs a monthly fee. This fee is financially partly supported, sometimes fully supported under specific circumstances.

  • First, it is highly encouraged that children from 3 years onwards regularly go into a kindergarten to learn social skills and increase their language capabilities.
  • Second, mothers (or fathers likewise) shall be supported in re-entering their jobs as soon and as convenient as possible after their Elternzeit, which they can only do if their children are being taken care of sufficiently and at bearable costs.

Thus, every child is granted a place in a kindergarten. Depending on where you live, there are still some prerequisites to this benefit: Both parents are either

  • working, studying or going through a professional education
  • participating in a governmental measurement for integration into the employment market
  • participating in a language or integration course for migrants
  • Your child is registered as a citizen of the state where you are applying

The amount granted also depends on the number of hours you want childcare.

The care is granted for a number of hours the parents cannot care for their children because of the above-mentioned occupations.

Documents required

Although it may slightly vary, you need to be prepared to hand in the following documentation
  • A copy of your child's birth certificate
  • A copy of your residence certificate (which will indicate your child's place of residence)

In some states, a certain number of hours is granted without reference to your income or work situation or the age of the child. If you need more hours, or you are otherwise requested to prove your financial situation, the following documents are regularly required to calculate your individual voucher amount:

Employees:

  • Copies of one or more payroll reports, indicating the monthly family income after taxes (not older than 7 months). In case of volatile income, an average will be calculated on the basis of all payroll reports handed in. Usually, 3 payrolls shall be sufficient
  • A copy of your Employment contract, alternatively
  • Confirmation from your future employer on start and duration of your future employment
  • A copy of the certificate of matriculation at a university
  • Evidence that you are taking part in a Hartz IV plan
  • A confirmation that you are conducting a language or integration course for migrants
  • Alternatively, and if applicable, a copy of the advice on unemployment support II (Arbeitslosengeld II)
  • Copy of the advice on social insurances
  • Copy of alimony payments

Entrepreneurs:

  • A copy of the last annual tax assessment notice, or, if not available or not representative, an estimation of future income
  • A copy of the advice on monthly tax advance payments
  • Copies of the payments for health, accident, and life insurances

Students

  • A copy of the advice on received BAföG payments
  • Copies of the payments for health and nursing care insurance

If you wish to use the service of a daycare nurse, you have to provide her / his name, address, birth date and bank details as well as a confirmation of the possible acceptance of your child.

Our Kita-Voucher Service

We explain the available details, complete the relevant documents and follow-up with the local authority.