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South Africans in Germany

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Raising a family in Germany can be a wonderful experience, but with any new adventure, it’s important to be aware of the cultural, legal, financial, and emotional differences you may encounter. Although there are similarities between raising a family in Germany and South Africa, there’s no doubt that you will face new challenges and opportunities that come with living in a new country. You may find that the German education system, housing policies, and healthcare system differ from what you’re accustomed to and it’s important to educate yourself on these differences before making the journey. Additionally, navigating the legal and financial systems can be challenging even for native Germans, let alone someone new to the country. Therefore, it’s essential to do your research and seek out support to make the transition smoother for you and your family. Remember, this is an exciting chapter in your lives, and with the right preparation, it can be a rewarding and enriching experience for all.

 Having a baby in Germany.

Having a baby in Germany can be a very fulfilling experience for parents-to-be. The country is known for its excellent healthcare system, which provides quality care for both mother and baby. Maternity and paternity leave are also very generous, allowing parents to bond with their child for an extended period of time. Furthermore, there are numerous resources available to new parents, such as support groups and classes, that can help ease the transition into parenthood. Additionally, Germany has a strong emphasis on family values, making it a welcoming place for families with children. From top-notch medical care to a supportive community, having a baby in Germany can be a wonderful journey for those who embark upon it.

Registering your child at birth

Your new baby needs to be registered at the registry office (Standesamt) within seven days of the birth in order to receive a birth certificate

Having a baby in Germany

Thinking of starting or expanding your family in Germany? Luckily the standard of German healthcare is very high and Germany has great maternity and paternity

Parental leave (Elternzeit)

Parental leave is an important benefit in Germany that aims to support new parents during what can be a challenging and demanding period in their lives. It is designed to give mothers and fathers the necessary time off work to bond with their newborn child, as well as to manage the many responsibilities that come with being a parent. Parental leave is an essential component of Germany’s labor laws and reflects the government’s commitment to supporting families and helping them achieve a healthy work-life balance.

  • Parental Leave – Very informative page from the Make it in Germany Website
  •  Elternzeit – Handbook Germany
  • Pamflet from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs

Parental allowances

The following websites offer detailed information about Family benefits:

Parental allowance in Germany (Elterngeld)

As new parents, both you and your partner are entitled to Germany’s generous parental allowance. If you or your partner has recently had a child, you may be eligible to receive parental allowance (Elterngeld). This benefit, funded by the German social security system, is given to all new parents to cushion the loss of earnings caused by the birth of a child. To encourage both parents to spend time with their new baby, the German federal government has adopted a Scandinavian-style policy whereby the entitlement to parental allowance can be shared between the child’s parents. The benefit therefore enables both



Kita is a German abbreviation for “Kindertagesstätte,” which translates to “daycare centre” in English. In Germany, Kita is a term used to refer to preschool


As a concerned parent, it is vital to grasp a clear understanding of the German school system and how your child will navigate through it. It is important to keep in mind that every educational system varies and it can be overwhelming if you are not aware of the differences. Understanding the variations in teaching methods, grading systems, and school organization can help your child succeed in their academic journey in Germany. Apart from academic adjustments, your child may face cultural differences, language barriers, and social integration challenges that must be tackled head-on to ensure their smooth transition. Being familiarized with these differences will assist you in guiding your child academically and providing them with the support they need to achieve their goals in the German education system.

School Information

The German School system is quite unique and distinguishes itself from the South African models in a number of ways Types of schools There are different types of schools to choose from in Germany. The main system is Public schooling, but if  There are different types of schools to choose from in Germany. The German public school system is renowned for its comprehensive approach to education. Students from all backgrounds have access to free education. Other options are:  Montessori  Waldorf schools, based on Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical human studies. They are state-approved or state recognised independent schools. Jenaplan-Schulen The Catholic church also runs

Parental rights and responsibilities

As a foreign parent residing in Germany, it is important to understand your parental rights and responsibilities. You have the right to raise your child and make decisions about their well-being, including their education, healthcare, and general upbringing. You are also responsible for providing for your child financially, which includes covering the cost of their basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing. Additionally, you may be required to cooperate with the German legal system and comply with any court orders related to your child, such as custody arrangements or child support payments. It is essential that you familiarize yourself with Germany’s laws regarding parental rights and responsibilities to ensure that you are meeting all of your obligations and protecting the best interests of your child.

The following websites offer valuable information:


You can find the vaccination schedule from the RKI (Robert Koch Institut) here.

Measles vaccinations in Germany are now required when you register your child at school.
Parents can be fined thousands of euros if they violate the law

All grown up

What are the citizen options for my child who grew up in Germany with South African parents. This section will be updated soon

Social and sport

What social and sport groups are available –  This section will be updated soon


The following website has a list of resources for your children to read or watch entertainment in Afrikaans


Maternity Terminology

We created a searchable table to help you look up the German words you might need during and after your pregnancy.

Related content

Women’s Health

Contraception Contraception is available at pharmacies, but you will need a prescription from your gynaecologist for birth control pills, IUD’s and diaphragms. Emergency contraception is also

Visiting a doctor

When I first came to Germany, I was fortunate to still frequently travel back to SA, so I did all my check-ups there and tried

Learning German

There are several approaches to learn German, all of which can help you achieve your language learning goals. You can opt for convenient online sites