In Germany, children between the ages of 3 and 6 are able to attend a kindergarten on an hourly basis both mornings and afternoons.
© ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.comAttendance is voluntary and a fee is charged. Terms of payment vary from town to town and are usually based on the parents' income. The local youth welfare department of your nearest town or other local authority can provide information on the availability of pre-school and other facilities for small children.
All children aged between 6 and 15 (or in some federal states 16) must go to school. The child's school life begins with four years in a primary school, after which there is a choice between three types of school: a "Hauptschule" (secondary or junior high school [U.S.]), a "Realschule" (secondary or high school [U.S.]) or a "Gymnasium" (grammar school or high school [U.S.]). The latter leads to the Abitur qualification which enables students to carry on into higher education.
School education in Germany normally takes place in the mornings only, although all-day schooling is expanding. Attendance at state schools is free. There are very few fee-paying private schools or international schools, and some of these are extremely expensive.
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