All children must attend school in Germany. This ensures compulsory education - and that's why public schools cost nothing. So everyone has the chance to go their own way, regardless of their origin. Home schooling is therefore neither necessary nor permitted. But even without an entrance fee, there are always bills for school children.
Lunches, satchels, pens - but also books or private lessons need to be paid for. That is why the state provides support for all those who, despite their small financial means, want to enable their children to attend school without any restrictions.
What financial aid is available from the state if I have children?
For each of your children you receive a monthly amount from the state: the child benefit. For the 1st and 2nd child this is 204 Euro per month. You apply for the child benefit at the family fund of the employment agency. In any case, it is paid for all children up to the age of 18.
Are there subsidies for my expenses during my school years?
The education and participation package helps if you receive unemployment benefit II (ALG II), the child allowance, housing benefit or asylum seeker benefits. There is a subsidy for school supplies (150 Euro), and lunch and transport for pupils are free of charge. The participation fee (15 Euro per month) is for example for the sports club or for extra tuition.
How do I finance distance learning?
Because of the Corona pandemic, it is now common for children to have distance learning in addition to schooling. From home they work on their schoolwork with a notebook or tablet. Such equipment is either provided directly by the school or the money from the education package can be used for this. An application can also be made to the job centre for a tablet if unemployment benefit is received and the tablet is essential for the lessons.
Can I get BAföG?
If you have children and run your own household, but are a student, then it might be a good idea to apply for BAföG. You get a cheap grant from the state. The money is always paid out monthly.
If the children have a long way to school because there is no suitable school closer to their place of residence, i.e. they have to go there and back three times a week for two hours, you can apply for BAföG for them.
For BAföG matters, you can go directly to the Office for Education Promotion in your city. There you apply for your grant.
What if my children are already in vocational school?
The vocational training allowance helps if a child is already in training and the wage is not enough to cover his or her own living costs. However, this is only available if the child no longer lives at home with you. The school and the company are then so far away that a child cannot go there and back every day. You can apply for the federal training allowance directly at the Agentur für Arbeit.
As parents you are constantly dealing with technical terms and forms. You have to talk to different authorities, have your documents ready and fill in forms. We at the Parents' Hotline therefore present many important terms and applications for you and the children. Our Glossary is available in 14 languages. So that you always know what you're talking about.
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