companies in the Familienbündnis
To be family friendly is a prime focus in Jena. Among other things, this ensures fourth place in 2022 in terms of the birth rate in Thuringia. To help reconcile the demands of family and job, there are, for example, more than 100 kindergartens, over 30 schools with different educational philosophies, and an extensive network of children’s day care centres, as well as many other facilities offered by Jena companies themselves to bring about that magic work-life balance. These include for example, working from home, flexible work hours, subsidised childcare costs, workplace nurseries, welcome-baby payments, parent-child workplaces, and many other initiatives. A wide choice of offerings to benefit the parents of the more than 15,500 children under 16 in Jena.
More than 60 companies are involved in the Jena Jenaer Bündnis für Familie (families federation), and in 2022 more fathers in Jena took their parental leave than anywhere else in Germany. In Jena, 57,7 % of children under 3 are in full-time childcare (i.e. > 7 hours) which is more than 20 % higher than the German average (as of 01.03.2021)
Comprehensive advice on the subject of care for people of all ages is available to those affected and their relatives at the care support centre in Jena.
Kindergartens and childcare
In Jena there is an extensive network of state and private nurseries, kindergartens and childcare providers who look after children until they go to school. They cater for children from the age of one, depending on the service provider, although some also accept younger children.
There are currently more than 100 childcare centres in the local area. Eleven of these are operated by the local authority: the rest are privately run.
Children between the ages of one and three can also be looked after by childminders. Each childminder is allowed to look after a maximum of five children at a time.
The costs of childcare in Jena depend on the parents’ income. Currently, the maximum paid per child is €225 per month; €173 (per child) per month for two children; and for three children, €121 per month (per child). There are no childcare fees from the fourth child. ‘Versorgungsgeld’ needs to be paid in addition to the childcare costs for food provided.
Primary school daycare
Primary schools in Jena will either provide full-day schooling, or if not they provide childcare for children in the afternoon, up to fourth grade.
The cost of after-school childcare in state schools depends on several factors: the parents’ income, the number of children in the household for whom child benefit is paid, the number of children using the childcare facility, and the number of hours childcare required per week.
The cost of afternoon childcare in private or non-state schools is fixed by the schools themselves.
Schools in Jena
The range of schools available in Jena is both wide and attractive. They include schools that follow particular educational philosophies, e.g. Waldorf, JenaPlan and Montessori, as well as specialised secondary schools that focus more on bilingual lessons, science subjects, or sport. Here pupils have space to develop individually.
The local area has:
- 11 primary schools (grades 1 – 4)
- 13 non-denominational (grades 1 – 10/ 12/ 13) and comprehensive schools (grades 5 – 10/ 12/ 13)
- 6 secondary schools (grades 5 – 12)
- 2 support centres
- 3 vocational training colleges
In Thuringia, primary school runs from Grade 1 – 4; after that pupils go to different secondary schools. Throughout Jena’s schools, care is provided for the children during the midday break.
In addition to state and local authority schools, there are seven independently-operated schools. These charge school fees, because they receive a lower level of support from the Thuringia authorities than state schools.
There is a free choice of schools in Jena. This means that you are not obliged to register your child at the school nearest to where you live. Schools make their own decisions regarding admissions. If you want to send your child to a school in another district, you can apply for a grant from the city council towards the cost of the child’s transport. This is discretionary and is paid for children in Grades 1-4 for a school journey of over 2 km, and for children in Grade 5 and upwards for a school journey of over 3 km. The amount of the grant depends on the number of children in the household.