Legal entitlement to a childcare place, hessian ministry for social and integration


Since August 1, 2013, all children from the age of 1 to 3 have a legal right to a childcare place. With this in mind, the federal and state governments had already agreed in 2007 to provide childcare in daycare centers and daycare for children of up to 35% of children under the age of three by 2013.

Hessen has clearly exceeded this target rate. As of August 1, 2013, childcare places were available for 36.3% of children under the age of three. The expansion is progressing rapidly.

Since 2007, the State of Hesse has been funding the operating costs of the U3 facilities on the basis of the children looked after with considerable funds. After the entry into force of the Hessian Child Promotion Act (HessKiföG) on January 1, 2014, the state funding of operating costs takes place in accordance with the Hessian Child and Youth Welfare Code (HKJGB, there § 32)

In addition, the federal government and the state of Hesse have provided investment funds for the U3 expansion:

  • Investment program "Childcare financing" 2008 – 2013
    A total of EUR 165.2 million was made available for Hessen. All funds have been spent and the program has been completed.
  • Investment program 2013 to 2014 to create U3 places
    A total of around EUR 100 million was made available through this state program. This sum consists of federal funds of 44.1 million euros and state funds of 55.9 million euros. The investments within the framework of this investment program had to be completed by the end of 2015, the funds were almost completely spent. The funds are fully tied up with approvals and the measures must be completed by the end of 2018.
  • On the part of the federal government 3. U3 investment program hung up. From this U3 investment program “Childcare Financing” 2015 – 2018 Funds of over EUR 42 million were available for Hesse from 2016 to 2018. The funds are fully tied up with approvals and the measures must be completed by the end of 2018.
  • The federal government is currently 4. Investment program another around 86.1 million euros are available for Hessen. For the first time, this investment program “Childcare Financing” 2017-2020 can support childcare options until they start school. The funding modalities largely correspond to those of the previous programs. The competent licensing authority is also the Kassel regional council, from which the application forms are also provided.
  • With the Supplementary Guideline for the Promotion of Investments as part of the "Childcare Financing" investment program 2018 – 2020, the funding modalities in the 4th investment program as of January 1, 2019 were expanded and the maximum funding amounts increased in some cases.
  • The competent licensing authority is also the Kassel regional council, from which the application forms are also provided.

What is funded?

Both the creation of new as well as the maintenance of endangered childcare offers for children up to the start of school are promoted. However, there is no legal claim to the funding. The necessary investments for

  • Construction measures (new building, extension, replacement building, expansion, conversion, renovation) including the associated equipment projects in day care centers
  • as well as renovation measures and equipment measures for day care centers for children.

For measures starting from 1. January 2018 may also due to the Supplementary Directive. a. Measures for children with disabilities, the acquisition of construction vehicles or similar for day care centers for the forest as well as the conversion or expansion of an outdoor area belonging to the day care center are also promoted.

Funding is provided by means of maximum share funding with no more than 90% of the eligible costs per measure. The exact funding requirements are set out in the supplementary guideline dated February 11, 2019 (State Gazette of the State of Hesse No. 10 dated March 4, 2019, p. 226) and in the explanations for the investment programs, which are set out on the website of the Kassel regional council.

application process

1. for projects with which new childcare options are created for children up to the start of school in daycare facilities or childcare services that are endangered in the existing structure:

Free youth welfare organizations and other suitable organizations submit the application for their projects as follows:

  • In independent cities and towns belonging to a district with their own youth welfare office at the city magistrate (usually at the youth welfare office).
  • In cities and municipalities belonging to a district without their own youth welfare office at the city / municipality. This forwards the applications, supplemented by any own projects, to the responsible local agency for public youth welfare (youth welfare office).

2. Day care workers and employers of permanent day care workers submit their applications for funding to the local public youth welfare agency.
The regional council in Kassel approves the donations to the youth welfare offices, which they then pass on to the respective applicants.


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Christina Cherry
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