When Moving to Germany with kids: the challenges and benefits
Fortunately, Germany is generally considered to be a great place to raise children. In fact, a 2020 study by Asher & Lyric ranked Germany as the seventh-best country in the world to raise a family. This was based on six key factors, including Safety, Happiness, Cost, Health, Education, and Time.
After getting through the initial difficulties of relocating to Germany with children, ex-pats can look forward to enjoying a wide variety of advantages in their new home country.
Moving to a new country with children is a significant life choice that comes with a wide range of opportunities as well as potential obstacles. There are a few significant obstacles that should be brought to the attention of ex-pats who are moving to Germany with their children.
They will be better prepared for the change as a result of this. However, once they have conquered these challenges, they will be able to reap the many excellent benefits of raising children in Germany.
The initial step is to apply for a residence visa.
When moving to Germany with children, one of the most natural things to think about right away is making arrangements for residence visas for family members, provided that your nation of origin mandates such documentation. For example, if you or your partner have the legal right to live in Germany, then your children also have the legal right to apply for a temporary or permanent residence visa. Your children do not require a visa to enter Germany if they are citizens of a country that is a part of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). They are also free to live and work in Germany without any restrictions.
If, on the other hand, your children are citizens of a nation that is not a member of the EU or the EEA, they will typically be required to have a residence visa to enter Germany. To be eligible for one, a person must be under 18 and unable to prove that they have been married, divorced, or widowed. You can apply for a visa for your children even if you are a single parent. You will, however, need the permission of the other parent to continue with the custody arrangement.
After entering Germany without a visa, citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, and other countries can apply for a residence permit. EU citizens are also eligible.
If you are living in Germany and have a baby while you are there, your child will automatically be granted German citizenship if either of the child's parents is a citizen of Germany. However, if you are not a German citizen but held a valid right of residence when your child was born, you will also be granted a residence permit. The Residence Act contains additional information on this topic, which can be found here.
The upbeat German parenting style
After parents have arranged for residence visas for themselves and their children, they can focus on settling into family life in Germany and taking advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer. To everyone's relief, Germany has a reputation for being an excellent country to bring up a family. According to research conducted in 2020 by Asher & Lyric, Germany was ranked as the seventh best country in the world to bring up a family. This conclusion was reached after taking into account six primary aspects, namely safety, happiness, cost, health, education, and time.
Expat parents find the German parenting style, in which children are encouraged to be self-reliant throughout childhood, to be one of the most appealing aspects of life in Germany. The majority of German parents place a strong emphasis on teaching their offspring the skills necessary to function successfully as self-sufficient adults. They believe that the home should be a place where a child's unique identity and goals can be fostered, but that this should be done without "smothering" the child or "wrapping them in cotton wool."
In all practical respects, children in Germany are dealt with more akin to adults. Because of this, both men and women will respectfully address them when they greet and speak to them. It is interesting to note that the majority of young people leave their parent's homes when they go off to college or when they achieve financial independence. This is terrific news for parents looking forward to the time when they finally have some of the freedom they have worked so hard to earn.
A diverse selection of schools from around the world
The education system in Germany is yet another significant advantage of relocating to Germany with children. The education system in Germany is considered to be among the best in the world. Reading and mathematics were ranked 20th in the world by the OECD/PISA standards survey among 15-year-olds in 2018, while science was ranked 16th. The United States ranked 20th overall. In addition, the study's findings demonstrated that German students have a robust sense of belonging at school and report low anxiety about their schoolwork.
The education system in Germany comprises many high-quality public schools, as well as a sizeable number of private and international schools that serve the needs of the children of ex-pats. Although local schools in Germany are open to all students and are free of charge, many ex-pat parents choose to enroll their children in international schools to make a move abroad easier for them. After all, these enable students to continue their education while utilizing a curriculum and language already familiar to them.
The vast majority of Germany's international schools also feature excellent facilities, high educational standards, and class sizes that are manageable. All of these things play a role in drawing in prospective ex-pat parents. There are a few international schools in Germany that are a part of the public system, even though the majority of international schools in Germany are run by private organizations. In our guide to international schools in Germany, we go into more detail on this topic for your perusal.
The challenges of childcare
If you are moving to Germany with young children, you must prepare yourself for the reality that it may not always be easy to find a suitable placement for your child. Moving to Germany with young children, you must prepare for this reality. Although it may be getting simpler to pay for child care, getting a child into kindergarten can be challenging.
Even though there is a central enrollment system that can be accessed through the city council, there will not be any open spots until the beginning of the new academic year. It is possible that as a result of this, you will be required to wait for a confirmation that your child can even have a place for several months, right up until the very last minute before the start of the term.
This can be a very trying experience for many ex-pat parents living in Germany, particularly for those mothers who are employed there. After all, there is no institutional childcare system that can provide high-quality care for children during the hours that a working parent is required to be present for their job. However, many people who have lived abroad report that kindergartens in Germany are significantly better and more affordable than those in their home countries. Additionally, they have a solid reputation for being well-staffed and well-organized.
Check with the Youth Welfare Office in your community for information on available daycare centers (Jugendamt). Inquire for recommendations from people you know, such as your friends, neighbors, and coworkers. When deciding where to submit your application, you should consider the location, the ratio of children to caregivers, and whether or not the staff speaks English. It is also essential to verify the business's operating hours and determine whether or not it offers food. You can learn more by reading our comprehensive guide to the various preschool and daycare options in Germany.
A vast selection of activities that are suitable for families.
When moving to Germany with children, one of the primary concerns that parents have is whether or not they will be able to find ways to keep their children happy and entertained. In Germany, there are, thankfully, a lot of activities and destinations that are explicitly geared toward families and children. You have an overwhelming number of options.
To begin, Germany is the location of several enormous and well-known amusement parks, such as Euro-Park, LEGOLAND, Movie Park, and Phantasialand. These provide many rides, attractions, and shows that can be experienced in a single day or over two days. The vast majority of the rides are split up into different age groups, allowing you to select the attractions that will be the most enjoyable for your children.
In addition, Germany is home to many museums, many of which are geared toward family audiences. The Chocolate Museum in Cologne, the Haribo Factory Outlet, and Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg are three destinations that are particularly well-liked by families. In addition to its museums, Germany is home to several magnificent castles that are straight from a fairy tale. The most well-known of these is the Neuschwanstein Castle, which served as the model for the "Sleeping Beauty Castle" at Disneyland. An excursion with the kids along the Marchenstraße, also known as the Fairy Tale Road, is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable days of your life.
An abundance of establishments that are suitable for children
Even though many foreign parents have complaints and issues with the way things are done in Germany, Germany is a nation that places a strong emphasis on family values and traditions. As a direct consequence of this, there is a fantastic infrastructure for children and a wide variety of facilities that are suitable for children.
Having children in Germany is much simpler for ex-pats from the United Kingdom than in the United Kingdom because more facilities are generally set up for them. For instance, unlike in the United Kingdom, where many restaurants do not have much to offer children and pubs frequently make it clear that they are not welcome, establishments in Germany are very welcoming to families with young children. Numerous pubs and restaurants have large play areas and kid-oriented menus specifically designed for children.
Kindercafes, also known as children's cafés, and MutterZentrums, can be found in some German cities (mother centers). These are drop-in areas that feature play spaces and other amenities that make it possible for parents and children to engage in conversation with people from other communities.
Additionally, there is a well-developed and easily navigable network of child specialists, such as child massage therapists, in Germany. In addition, there is a large number of second-hand shops that sell clothing and toys for infants, allowing parents to make financial savings on essential items. Performing a speedy search on Google will produce some exciting results.
The fact that Germany was designed with families in mind extended even to the country's extensive public transportation network. The bus, tram, and train networks have received praise from several ex-pat mothers for their high level of quality. They claim that compared to other countries, this one is much more accommodating to children. Getting out and about with children is made a lot easier by having something like this, which is obvious.
Generous welfare payments
Finally, the generous financial support that parents in Germany receive from the government is one of the primary factors contributing to the country's high birthrate. This is because the government of Germany is worried about the declining birthrate in the country and how this will affect the demographic future of the country. After all, the birth rate in Germany is lower than the average for the European Union, with 9.4 births per 1,000 people compared to the average of 9.5.
There were approximately 778,100 babies born in Germany in 2019, a decrease of 9,400 compared to the previous year's total. These statistics were disclosed by the Federal Statistical Office, also known as Statis. During the same period, Germany's total fertility rate (TFR) decreased from 1.57 to 1.54 births per woman.
Because of these concerns, the social security system in Germany provides generous welfare payments to parents. This is especially true when compared to the majority of countries in which English is the primary language. Numerous tax breaks, deductions, and allowances, as well as benefits, are available to families as well as single parents.
For instance, parents are eligible for a monthly payment of €204 in Kindergeld for their first two children (child benefit). The cost of having a third child is increased to €210, and the cost of having additional children is increased to €235. The child benefit is paid out every month, and the amount given to each family is the same, even though the parent's income may vary.
Under certain circumstances, parents may be eligible to receive a child allowance exempt from taxation. In addition, parents can reduce their taxable income even further by deducting the costs of childcare and school fees, which can be as much as €4,000 and €5,000 annually, respectively.
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Because the German government continues to be concerned about the country's falling birthrate, the state's support for parents will likely continue to get better. It's safe to say that Germany is a desirable place to bring up a family, with all of the financial and cultural benefits that come along with living there. I sincerely hope that this article was of some assistance...If you have anything to say, please make your voice heard by leaving a comment in the below box. Thank you!