Crèches / Day Nurseries / „Kinderkrippen“
Day nurseries are for small children up to the age of three. Group sizes and the number of nursery school teachers are geared towards the needs of small children in that age group. Special emphasis is placed on making children feel safe and sheltered while catering to their need for physical activity.
Kindergartens / „Kindergärten“
For children aged three to six there are kindergartens to prepare them for life in the community in a holistic approach. Nursery school teachers make sure the day at kindergarten is full of incentives so that children can make plenty of experience and acquire knowledge at the same time. Included in the program are outings, cultural events and sports activities.
Day-Parents / „Tages-Eltern“
Day-parents are private adults who, very often in addition to watching their own children at home, also take care of other parents‘ kids, but always in their own homes, apartments etc. They receive a similar but shorter training than kindergarten-teacher, but are also educated in pedagogic, early-age teaching, first-aid, etc. This can be the most flexible solution for parents and has the advantage of a very familylike surrounding. Day parents may also take care of kids of all ages.
With the big majority of Upper Austrian schools only having classes from approx. 08:00 to approx. 12:00-14:00 (depending on the age of the children), many parents need facilities to take care of their kids until they come back from work in the late afternoon. This duty is overtaken either in the schools directly or the children go to a separate facility which is normally close to the school’s location, but is accepting children from a number of local schools („Hort“). In both types, care starts immediately after school finishes every day, the children are normally served a warm meal before they spend the afternoon with sessions of both supervised home-work time and studying as well as playing, tours to nearby parks etc…
The Austrian legal bodies see pre-school care in some form of group or institution as a major and important aspect of a child´s development, which all children have to be enrolled for a minimum of one year and for at least 5 hours per day and 4 days per week (except in cases of illness or during family holidays) in some form of Kindergarten or children´s group. The mandatory year starts at the latest on the first day of September following the child´s 5th birthday.
An information sheet in English by the responsible department can be found here: www.ooe-kindernet.at/xbcr/SID-1AB547CC-1556CBE5/Merkblatt_Englisch_Kindergartenpflicht.pdf
Together with the abovementioned mandatory childcare year, another law was introduced providing substantial financial funding to Upper Austrian childcare facilities, which enables them to offer costfree childcare in many cases (for children above 30 months) either in public or a private institution. The parents will only have to pay for the child´s daily meals and additional services such as extended opening hours or e.g. early-age foreign language education. Minimum fee for children younger than 30 months is 45 Euros, depending on parent’s income and the number of hours children spend in the kindergarten.
Since 01.01.2009, parents can mention childcare-costs as extraordinary financial burdens on their voluntary employee´s tax declaration („Arbeitnehmerveranlagung“) and through this reduce the calculation base of their taxable income to a certain extent.
When to register?
For crèches and day nurseries it is advisable to get in contact with suitable facilities as early as possible, either after a child was born or e.g. as soon as you know that you will move to Upper Austria, as capacities are currently quite limited. The headmasters or group leaders of the individual group will advise you on the timeframes for the next procedures then. The regular time for a child to start in Kindergarten is the beginning of September of each year, parallel to the school-year, this is when the facilities put together new groups and it is advisable to stick to this date if it suits your needs somehow. For registration please get in contact with your preferred kindergarten, the responsible body will advise you on the timeframes for the next procedures then.
Child care facilities in your neighbourhood
Under the following link you can look for crèches and kindergartens in your neighbourhood: www.ooe-kindernet.at/xchg/SID-4D3DB555-589D0E55/hs.xsl/einrichtungen_DEU_HTML.htm
Kindergarten = kindergarten
Krabbelstubbe = crèche
Hort = After School Care
Bezirk = district
Postleitzahl = postal code
Ort = location