Kindergarten in Graz - Ages 3-5
First of all, let's clear up some confusion about terminology. In German, "Kindergarten" marks the time before the start of primary school (at age 6). Unlike in the U.S., for instance, Kindergarten is completely separate from primary school, and lasts up to three years (roughly ages 3, 4, and 5). I will use the term "kindergarten" in English, but it is also equivalent to preschool/nursery school.
Facts about kindergarten
44 city-run kindergartens + 84 private kindergartens in Graz (66 on same city cost scale)
Opening hours: ranging from about 7 am – 6 pm (full day); 7 am – 1 pm (half day), 10 hours per day maximum
Cost (ages 3-4): sliding scale, from 0-300 EUR per month for 10 hours/day including meals
Groups typically have up to 25 children with 2 caretakers - 1 teacher (PädagogIn) and 1 caregiver (BetreuerIn)
You can download a table with the sliding scale costs here.
Mandatory Year of Kindergarten – Age 5-6
Half-day kindergarten is mandatory for children who turn 5 by August 31st, starting that September. Half-day kindergarten tuition is free, but additional costs for meals and additional hours incur. You can download a table with the sliding scale costs for five-year-old children here.
You can pre-register at up to 3 kindergartens. To find one near you, here is an interactive map of all daycare centers and kindergartens in Graz. And here is a complete list of every kindergarten and childcare facility in Graz. You can also visit ABI-Service for more information.
ABI-Service (Keesgasse 6, 8011 Graz)
Note: Registration for the 2018/2019 school year is over! Please contact ABI-Service directly if you need to register NOW for this fall!
Online registration for school year beginning September 2019: mid-January - beginning of March 2019 **Check Stadt Graz "Fristen + Termine" here.**
In-person registration at up to 3 kindergartens: 1st week of March 2019
Decision made in April 2019 for start in September 2019
(If child turns 3 during the school year it is possible to start then if a spot becomes available, but the child can also wait until the start of the next school year.)
Considerations for Admission
Main residence of child and parents in Graz.
The age of the child at the time of registration. 5 year old children, who will attend primary school the following year, given priority.
The parents/legal guardians are working.
There is a greater need for support because of difficult personal or social circumstances in the family (such as care needs for relatives, etc.)
A sibling attends the same or nearby facility.
There is a balanced composition of the group in regards to the need for language learning support, age and gender.
The parent/legal guardian is a staff member of the childcare facility.
The kindergarten is located in close residence proximity.
The child has already attended a crèche.
Barmherzige Brüder - Bilingual kindergarten (EN-DE) for hospital employees
Interkultureller Bildungsgarten Graz (Staff speak English and several other languages to enable children to speak in their native language as well as in German)
Max&Moritz, Glacisstrasse 9
These are just a few kindergartens with an emphasis on English. However, nearly all kindergartens are well equipped to handle international children, especially those who speak English. Most kindergartens will teach basic songs, counting and letters in English too.
Here are some of the many options for unique or alternative kindergartens in Graz. These might not offer income-dependent subsidies:
Montessori kindergartens (several)
Waldorf kindergartens (several)
(also “Integration groups” within traditional schools)