You would like to register your child for kindergarten in Austria. In our kindergarten guide, you will learn everything about kindergarten in Austria. We will explain when and how to register your child for public or private kindergarten, how much kindergarten costs and we will answer other questions related to kindergarten in Austria.
In Austria, your child must attend compulsory kindergarten at least for one year and at least 20 hours per week within this year before beginning with compulsory elementary school.
As a parent, you are probably thinking about what should you do to secure a spot for your child in the kindergarten in Austria. You are also thinking at which age should I register my child for kindergarten in Austria?
When do children have to start with compulsory kindergarten in Austria and how do I register my child?
The children in Austria have to start with compulsory kindergarten at the age of five. To be more precise kindergarten is compulsory for all children who have reached the age of five by the 31st of August since they have to start with compulsory elementary school at the age of six.
There are public and private kindergartens in Austria. They are different in terms of the registration and how they allocate their free places to children.
Here is the application form for both public and private kindergartens in Vienna.
When does kindergarten begin in Austria?
As long as there is a space in the kindergarten, your child can start with the kindergarten year. However, September is usually the month when kindergarten is starting in Austria. The reason is that the school year begins in September, so many places in kindergartens become free.
Public kindergartens in Austria
You can register your child for public kindergarten only once your child is born.
Your child needs a so-called customer number for registration for public kindergarten. The requirement to apply for this customer number is the child’s social security number.
The customer number is automatically assigned when registering for public kindergartens. It is important to register your child at best during the main registration period (November and December) – because that is where you have the greatest chance of getting a free place for the next year of kindergarten.
In Vienna, in the case of public kindergartens, it is possible to specify two preferred kindergartens by registration. The MA10 is responsible for registration in Vienna – if the magistrate does not find a free place for the child, it is advised by private providers or childcare providers (Source: Stadt-Wien).
Private kindergartens in Austria
There are a lot of private kindergartens in Austria which are co-existing together with public kindergartens. Private kindergartens also require a customer number for registration, as described above. However, in comparison to public kindergartens, many families already registered their child for kindergarten during the pregnancy. Usually, there is a fee of 100 EUR for registering a child at a private kindergarten. To apply for a customer number at a private kindergarten you can go in person or submit a request via email, mail, fax, or post.
Here is the application form for both private and public kindergartens in Vienna.
What does it mean part-time or full-time at public kindergartens in Austria?
There are several models of visiting in municipal kindergartens, and you may select the time of day that works best for you.
All-day: from 6.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (if necessary also from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 p.m.)
Part-time – morning: from 6.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. (if required from 6.00 a.m.)
Part-time – afternoon: from 12 noon to 5.30 p.m. (if necessary until 6 p.m. or 8 p.m.)
Half-day – morning: from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Half-day – afternoon: from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m
What are the differences between public and private kindergartens in Austria?
The main reason why most parents choose public kindergartens is low costs. The public usually has a teacher and an assistant taking care of the same number of children as in the private kindergartens. The opening times of all public kindergartens are the same, and 50 percent of the food must be organic. The main difference is that private kindergartens offer additional education and training for children such as English lessons, cooking, and similar.
What are the criteria to get a place at public kindergarten in Austria?
These are the criteria that are considered for getting a place in public kindergarten:
- Employed parents have priority
- If your child has one sibling who is already attending the preferred kindergarten your child will have a priority
- How long are parents employed at the moment of application for kindergarten
- How close is your place of residence to kindergarten
- If your child is between 4 and 6 years old and didn’t attend a public kindergarten before, your child will have a priority
- Social aspects and special situations of your family could be considered
How much does kindergarten costs in Austria and Vienna?
Costs of public kindergartens in Austria
Kindergartens are differently regulated by every federal state in Austria. Only one thing must be provided everywhere: Kindergarten attendance in the year preceding schooling is mandatory and free.
Kindergarten attendance is free of charge if at least one parent has registered their primary residence in Vienna and the child is under 6 years old. However, you have to pay for additional services such as extended opening times or other special educational offers.
You may want to apply to the Vienna Children and Youth Welfare Service MA11 for a subsidy towards the food that is served at kindergartens, as it is approximately 70 euros per month.
In other Austrian federal states, parents have to contribute usually with 50 EUR to 200 EUR, whereas the costs are higher in Salzburg and Vorarlberg and it could be up to 500 EUR for the whole daycare.
Costs of private kindergartens in Austria
It is difficult to give a cost estimate for a private kindergarten in Austria since there are many different types. The cost of a private kindergarten in Vienna is around 130 euros per month minus a subsidy.
How to find free kindergarten places in Vienna?
There is a kindergarten finder that is showing free kindergarten places in Vienna.
If you need more information you can contact the responsible institution in
Vienna at 01-2775555.
Vienna kindergarten map shows all public and private kindergartens in Vienna.
What if I can’t find a place for my child in kindergartens in Austria?
Don’t worry, you can still find a place in kindergarten after September in case you couldn’t find any place by that date. An additional option could be a special form of childcare so-called group of children (Kindergruppe). The difference between children groups and kindergartens is that children groups are smaller, usually 14 to 16 children.
There are two groups of children groups: self-managed and parent-managed groups. Self-managed groups are groups managed by the teachers and parents who are not active. On the other hand, within parent-managed groups parents play an active role such as cooking or cleaning.
If you are living in Vienna you can ask the responsible institution whether there are any free places by calling the following phone number 01-2775555.
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