Family and Children

If your family is going to come with you for your period of stay in Greifswald, there are important points that will have to be sorted prior to arrival. 

For example, you must be able to finance the stay of your family. Other than usual living costs, this also includes the costs for a larger flat, health insurance and costs for childcare for young children.
In most cases accompanying spouses will be expected to have at least simple knowledge of German, already when they apply for a visa.

It is usual practice in Greifswald to rent unfurnished flats to families so that you will have to expect further costs for purchasing furniture. 

Permission for Family Members to Join International Academics and Doctoral Candidates From a Third Country
From a Third Country

Family members are only allowed to join foreign nationals if the foreign national has a residence or permanent residence permit and enough living space. Further requirements must be met, depending on the status of the foreign national already living in Germany.

More detailed information can be obtained from the relevant German embassy or from Greifswald’s Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde).

The age limit for children joining one of their parents is 16. Youths between the ages of 16 and 18 can receive a residence permit in cases of hardship or if their integration is expected to be trouble-free. A child under the age of 16 joining a parent with sole custody of the child is legally entitled to the required residence permit.  

From an EU/EEA State

Citizens of EU or EEA states or Switzerland have unlimited permission to live permanently in Germany, this also applies to family members joining at a later date.

As with all German citizens, you have to register in the Resident Registration Office within seven days after your move to Greifswald.

For citizens of EU countries, the registration certificate issued by the Resident Registration Office is sufficient proof for a legitimate stay in Germany.

Exceptions: Citizens of EEA states or Switzerland also have to register at the Immigration Office. 

Spouses of Foreign Academics and Doctoral Candidates

The same regulations apply to those of the working spouse, a difference is made between EU citizens, EEA citizens and citizens from third countries. Your spouse has to apply for his/her own visa.

It is very important if your spouse is coming with you and wants to work in Germany that s/he applies for a work permit BEFORE they arrive in Germany. It is not possible to obtain such a work permit after entry to Germany. 

Childcare for Children of International Academics and Doctoral Candidates

There are various childcare options for your children in Greifswald, depending on their age. The focal points and facilities of the different childcare providers vary according to the body running the institution. Some of the childcare options are very popular, so that you might not receive a place immediately and you might be put on a waiting list.

Childcare in day care centres is subject to fees, please contact the respective institutions directly to ask for the valid prices. The following generally applies: The younger the child and the longer the period in which childcare is needed, the higher the costs.
There are kindergartens run by the town (municipal) or independently (private), the corresponding conditions can be found on the websites.
Childcare differs according to the age of the child and the number of hours of daily supervision:

Full-time childcare up to 10 hours per day
Half-day childcare up to 6 hours per day
Part-time childcare up to 4 hours per day

The University and University Medicine provide their employees with an extensive selection of services. Find out more on the following pages: 

Familienservice der Universität
PFIFF - Project to Foster Family-Friendliness at University Medicine Greifswald [de]

general information on childcare in Greifswald
www.greifswald.de
further Links
Childcare facilities belonging to the town [de]

Childcare for Children under the Age of One (Day Care)

Day care for children up to the age of one is mainly provided by childminders.
However, as the demand for childminders is very high, but the supply very short, you should try to find a childminder for your child as soon as possible.
The Jugendamt (Youth Welfare, Social and Family Office) allocates the day care places for qualified childminders.
If you are interested in day care provided by a childminder, please contact either the childminder directly or the responsible Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office)
Jugendamt des Landkreises VG: Friedrich Löffler Straße 8, 03834/ 8760 2600 · diana.hadrathkreis-vgde

Childcare for Children from One to Three Years (Crèche)

Between the ages of one and three, childcare is provided for children in a crèche. There is a large number of crèches in Greifswald, but as their spaces are very sought after, it is likely that you will have to wait for longer periods.

Childcare for Children from Three to Six Years

When your child reaches the age of three, it can be supervised in a kindergarten. Greifswald also has a large number of kindergartens with various specialisations. 

Childcare for School Children

Up until year 4 (4th grade) there is also the possibility of supervising school children after teaching has finished in a Hort.
The Hort is usually connected to the school. Hort gives the children the opportunity to do their homework, to play or, depending on the facility, to concentrate on certain topics.
Supervision is usually provided for the period that covers the end of the school day until 5.00 p.m. 

Schools

In Germany, school is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15. As each individual federal state is responsible for the teaching in its own state, the systems vary, even within Germany.

In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the system is as follows:
Years 1 - 4 (1st - 4th grade): primary school
Years 5 - 6 (5th - 6th grade): Orientierungsstufe (orientation phase) at general secondary schools
followed by either:
Years 7 - 10 (7th - 10th grade): Regionalschule (secondary school) - ends with Mittlerer Schulabschluss (mid-level school leaving certificate after 10 years of school, roughly equivalent to British GCSEs)
or
Years 7 - 12 (7th - 12th grade): Gymnasium (grammar school) - ends with Abitur (German higher education entrance qualification)

In Greifswald, you can send your children either to a state or private school. The state schools are free of charge, pupils at private schools have to pay fees.

You generally have a free choice of schools; however, there are catchment areas that apply for the primary schools.

Primary Schools

All of Greifswald’s schools have their own Horte that can supervise your children in the afternoons.

State Schools 

Käthe-Kollwitz-Grundschule
Knopfstraße 25/26
17489 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 3255
www.kollwitz-gs.de [de]

Karl-Krull-Grundschule
Bleichstraße 36
17489 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 540590
www.karl-krull-grundschule.de [de]

Erich-Weinert-Grundschule
Makarenkostraße 53
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 812022
www.weinert-gs.de [de]

Grundschule Greif
Max-Planck-Straße 9
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 812063
www.grundschule-greif.de [de]

Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Grundschule
Warschauer Straße 16
17493 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 840189
www.nexoe-grundschule.de [de]

Private Schools

Montessori-Schule
Helsinkiring 5
17493 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 834511
www.montessori-schule-greifswald.de [de]

Freie Waldorfschule
Hans-Beimler-Straße 79-83
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 502612
www.waldorf-greifswald.de [de]

Evangelisches Schulzentrum "Martinschule"
Loissiner Wende 5
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 820366
www.martinschule-greifswald.de [de]

Ostseegymnasium
Pappelallee 1
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 872450
www.privatgymnasium-greifswald.de [de]

'Regionalschulen' (Secondary Schools)

Regionale Schule" Ernst Moritz Arndt "
Arndtstraße 37
17489 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 500062
www.arndtschule.de [de]

Integrierte Gesamtschule "Erwin Fischer "
Einsteinstraße 6
17491 Greifswald
Tel. : 03834 500775
www.fischerschule-hgw.de [de]

Regionale Schule "Caspar David Friedrich"
Usedomer Weg 1
17493 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 840196
www.caspar-david-friedrich-schule-greifswald.de [de]

'Gymnasien' (Grammar Schools)

State Gymnasien (Grammar Schools)

Alexander-von-Humboldt-Gymnasium
Makarenkostraße 54
17491 Greifswald
Tel. : 03834 80560
www.humboldt-greifswald.de [de]

Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Gymnasium
Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Platz 1
17489 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 7920
www.jahngymnasium.de [de]

Private Gymnasien (Grammar Schools)

Montessori-Schule
Helsinkiring 5
17493 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 834511
www.montessori-schule-greifswald.de [de]

first Abitur year group planned for 2022

Freie Waldorfschule
Hans-Beimler-Straße 79-83
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 502612
www.waldorf-greifswald.de [de]

Evangelisches Schulzentrum "Martinschule"
Loissiner Wende 5
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 820366
www.martinschule-greifswald.de [de]

Ostseegymnasium
Pappelallee 1
17491 Greifswald
Tel. 03834 872450
www.privatgymnasium-greifswald.de [de]

Leisure Activities for Families

Throughout the year, there are activities on offer for families and their children in Greifswald and the surrounding region. The following list only represents a small overview of possible activities. Current information and event tips can be found in the Ostsee-Zeitung and by asking colleagues or other parents.

The magazine Landknirpse provides information in particular for families with children, including family events in and around Greifswald. 
landknirpse.de [de]

Baltic Sea Beaches

The first thing we have to list is of course the Baltic Sea that is always worth a visit, no matter which season: Swim at the beaches in summer, fly a kite in autumn, enjoy the fresh air in the winter and search for the “gold of the North” (amber) after the spring storms. Apart from the lido, Strandbad Eldena, in Greifswald’s Eldena district, there are other beautiful beaches in the surrounding area, e.g. in Lubmin.  

'Freizeitbad Greifswald' (Public Swimming Pool)

The public swimming pool in Greifswald makes it possible for you to have a swim whatever the weather.
Various courses are on offer that will help keep you fit and healthy.
Further information on opening hours and prices can be found on the pool’s website.
Freizeitbad Greifswald
www.freizeitbad-greifswald.de [de]

Children’s and Youth’s University

The University regularly holds the “Children’s and Youth’s University”. The event gives children and youngsters the chance to discover the secrets of everyday life and more unusual phenomena.
Find out more here [de]

Family University Greifswald

Every semester, the University of Greifswald offers lectures for the whole family [de]

'Tierpark Greifswald' (Zoo)

Greifswald also has a small zoo, the Tierpark Greifswald, which is home to both native and exotic animals. There, you will also find a petting zoo and an adventure playground. The Information Centre displays information regarding various details of the endemic flora and fauna.
www.tierpark-greifswald.de [de]

Treetop Path in Prora on the Island of Rügen

On the east coast of Rügen, you will find the “Treetop Path” (Baumwipfelpfad), which takes visitors through the treetops at heights of between 4 and 17 metres. From the viewing platform in the middle of the path that stands 40 metres high, you can even see Stralsund on a clear day. 

The treetop path can be accessed either by car or by train. Find out more on the following webpage: nezr.de

Music Schools in Greifswald

Greifswald’s Music School (Musikschule Greifswald) teaches pupils various instruments. These classes are subject to a fee. The classes range from early age music for pre-school children to classes and courses for school children and adults. Find out more on the Musikschule’s website.
https://www.greifswald.de/de/freizeit-kultur/kultur/musikschule/Unsere-Musikschule/index.html [de]

There is also the Musikfabrik, a private music school offering lessons for various instruments. Find out more on the Musikfabrik’s website. 
www.musikfabrik.com [de]

Sports Clubs

Footballer Toni Kroos was born in Greifswald and started his successful international career at one of Greifswald’s football clubs. If it’s not football you’re looking for, there is a huge range of other types of sports clubs in Greifswald, find out more here:
www.greifswald.de [de]

Indoor Playground Kunti-Bunt

If the weather is bad and the children still want to let off some steam, the indoor playground Kunti-Bunt is exactly what they need. Play equipment such as slides, trampolines and climbing frames have been set up here in a former indoor tennis court, covering 3400 m². If you are planning on going there with several children (e.g. birthday party), we recommend you make a reservation in advance.
http://www.kunti-bunt.de/greifswald [de]

Bicycle Rentals

If you would like to hire a children’s bike or a bike with a child seat, you can do so at “Greif’n Bike”. To do so, just call “Greif’n Bike”, because they don’t have a business premises. The requested bike(s) will be brought to the desired location and adjusted to the right height. Of course they also have adult bikes on offer. Further information and contact details can be found on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greifnbike [de]

Financial Support for Families

Depending on the circumstances, some foreign parents are entitled to German Kindergeld (child benefits) for their children. Please note that this does not apply to students or scholarship holders. Entitlement depends also on your residence permit.
Possible entitlements for any child benefit in the home country will be checked and cleared. Please check the leaflet about cross-border cases below.

The place for requesting child benefit is the Familienkasse (Family Benefit Office).
The State’s Familienkasse (Family Benefits Office) provides comprehensive information material:
Familienkasse (Family Benefits Office) (engl.)
Child benefit leaflet (engl.)
Child benefit in cross-border cases (European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland) leaflet (engl.)
Application form (engl.)
Appendix Application Form (engl.)

The application form, notifications, etc. have to be sent to the following address:

Familienkasse

20069 Hamburg

Please notice that is very important to give notice to the Familienkasse about all changes related to child benefit payments, especially when you'll move abroad.

Depending on the circumstances foreign parents might be entitled to parental allowance (Elterngeld, Elterngeld plus). Please notice that this does not apply to foreign students or scholarship holders.
The responsible state ministery provides comprehensive information material:
Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

Please take note of the following information:
We assume no liability for the content of this webpage. This is because the content is general and cannot cover every individual circumstance bindingly. Furthermore, the content is not necessarily complete, comprehensive or up to date. The information provided represents no legally binding provision of information. It can therefore not substitute advice provided by experts on the respective question or respective topic.