What age is before kindergarten

Legal question of the day:

My daughter will soon be 3 years old. As a precaution, I registered her in a kindergarten. Actually, I would like to keep her at home for another year. Does my child have to go to daycare when I am 3?


Parents in Germany have had a legal right to a kindergarten place since 1996 as soon as their offspring is 3 years old. Since 2013 this right has been extended to children between one and three years of age. It is regularly reported in the press that too few childcare places available. Conversely, there are also parents who would prefer to send their child to kindergarten later or not at all.

In fact, it is up to the parents alone to decide whether the child should go to daycare or not. With us there is no compulsory kindergarten. From a legal point of view, there is nothing to prevent your daughter from going to kindergarten for a year or more. Something different applies to school. Depending on the federal state, compulsory schooling begins between the ages of 5 and 7.

In the neighboring country Austria for example, the legal situation looks a little different. There is one there Kindergarten compulsory for children from 5 years. If the parents violate this obligation, there is a risk of administrative proceedings and fines. However, an exemption can also be applied for.

Here, too, there is always a discussion about compulsory kindergarten. At the moment, however, you do not need to expect this. According to statistical data, the majority of parents should take advantage of the care services for their children anyway. And the sometimes long waiting lists also speak their own language.