What is "Bildungs- und Teilhabepaket"?
Participation in school trips, learning to play a musical instrument or joining a sports club can be costly. And such expenses are often not easy to afford for many families. The "Bildungs- und Teilhabepaket" (also called "Bildungspaket" or "Educational Package") is a form of state aid for children from low-income families intended to enable them to participate in school-related and leisure activities. With the Educational Package, the government supports children to participate in and benefit from certain activities and services at school and in their leisure time, such as lunch service at school or after-school care, private tuition and joining sports clubs and music classes.
What do I need to know?
"Educational Package" (Bildungs- und Teilhabepaket) is a form of financial support from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for low-income families. With the money provided within the Educational Package, the participation of children and adolescents in specific school or leisure time activities is funded - including tutoring fees, membership fees for sports clubs or costs of school supplies. This financial aid is intended to ensure that children from low-income families are well-supported.
The Educational Package supports families with less income so that their children can take part in certain educational and leisure activities. These offers and activities can take place, for instance, at your child's school or daycare centre.
The following is available for children in daycare and at school:
- Your child gets a total of €176 (as of 2023) for school supplies such as notebooks, pens or, for instance, a new school bag. Each semester, you will receive a portion of the money - the larger portion will be paid out at the beginning of the school year. The amount is reviewed every year and adjusted if necessary.
- If your child goes to school by bus or train, their commute costs will be fully covered.
- Extra tuition costs will be covered if your child needs help learning at school. However, your child's school must confirm that your child actually needs the extra help. It is best to ask your child's school directly for more information.
- If there is a lunch service at your child's daycare centre, after-school care or school, your child can use the service, and the associated costs will be covered. Please note: This only applies to lunch. You will have to cover the costs of any other meals provided at the school or care centre, for instance, breakfast.
- The "actual costs" of one-day or multiple-day trips with the school or daycare centre are also covered. The "actual costs" include the costs of accommodation and travelling to and from the hotel. That means that pocket money, for instance, is not covered.
In the area of leisure activities, the following expenses are covered:
You receive €15 per month so that your child can take part in leisure activities. This amount remains the same each month. You may also decide to save the money. With this money, you can, for instance, pay for your child's membership in a sports or music club, a visit to a museum or participation in the so-called "Freizeiten". "Freizeiten" or "leisure time" is an excursion with one or more overnight stays organised by an association or a group. You can also use the money, for instance, to buy new sportswear or a musical instrument for your child. You can often find out what leisure activities are available for children in your area on your city administration's website. Alternatively, ask your child's school.
Important: Keep all evidence confirming that you actually used the offers or services included in the educational package: this can be a purchase receipt for exercise books or a club membership certificate. The Social Welfare Office or the Jobcenter can ask you to present such evidence later. The authorities sometimes do so to make sure you have used the money for the intended purpose. Otherwise, you have to pay the money back.
Check out the section "Where and how can I apply for the educational package?" to learn where you can apply.
Municipalities can independently decide how to pay for the services included in the educational package. They can transfer the money directly to your account, issue you a voucher or transfer the money directly to the school, club or company which provides the service.
Important: Vouchers are only valid until a specific date, so redeem the voucher in due time. If the voucher expires, or you lose it, you would need to apply for it again.
Your child must be under 18 and attend a daycare centre or school to benefit from the educational package. Under certain conditions, children over the age of 18 may also be eligible for the educational package. You can learn more in the section "My child is over 18 years old. Can we benefit from the Educational Package?".
In addition, you or your child must receive one of the following benefits:
- Housing Benefits ("Wohngeld")
- Asylum Seekers Benefits (according to the Asylum Seekers Act)
Important: If your child is going through dual vocational training and receives a "vocational training allowance" ("Ausbildungsvergütung"), they will not be eligible for the Educational Package, even if they are younger than 18.
After the 18th birthday, your child can only receive education grants. Education grants cover the costs of school supplies and excursions, commute expenses for school and private tuition fees. You can learn more in the section "What exactly does the Educational Package include?". You will only receive education grants if:
- Your child is under 25 years of age.
- Your child continues to attend school.
- Your child is going through vocational training and is not receiving any money for it- this often includes young trainees going through school-based vocational training.
The municipalities regulate the educational package, i.e. the administration in your place of residence. They decide which authority should receive the application form and where you have to hand it in. The responsible office can be, for instance, the Jobcenter or the Social Welfare Office.
To apply for the educational package, you need to fill in a form. Your municipality determines which office should provide you with the application form. Some cities and counties use a single application form for the entire educational package. In others, you have to fill out a particular form for each benefit included in the Educational Package separately.
On www.bmas.de, you can check out which office is responsible for the Educational Package applications in your municipality. Click on your state's and then city's name - Then you will see the address and often also the opening hours and the website of the respective office.
You must always apply for the Educational Package before claiming any benefits. In other words, if you do not submit an application ahead of time, you will not be reimbursed. Therefore, you should always try to submit your application as early as possible. Check with the responsible office to find out when you have to submit your application- the application timing can differ depending on the benefit.
In order to apply for a benefit within the Educational Package, you must submit different documents depending on the respective benefit and the municipality. It is best to ask about the required documents from the office responsible in your place of residence.
In general, you should have and keep these documents:
- Proof of the benefits you receive from the Jobcenter or the Social Welfare Office. This can be, for instance, a confirmation from the Jobcenter indicating that you are receiving "Bürgergeld", which often comes in the form of a letter.
- Your child's school confirmation or school certificate. A school confirmation or certificate is a document that states your child's name, birthday, school name, current class and end of the school year. You can find a template on the website of the Employment Agency. You need to obtain a new confirmation from your child's school every school year since such a document is only valid for one school year. If your child changes schools, you need to obtain a school certificate from the new school.
- Evidence that confirms your child has actually used the offer or service provided within the educational package. This can be, for instance, a purchase receipt for exercise books or a club membership certificate. The Social Welfare Office or the Jobcenter can ask you to present such evidence later. The authorities sometimes do so to make sure you have used the money for the intended purpose. Otherwise, you have to pay the money back.
Is your child having problems at school? Do you, as a parent, sometimes feel overwhelmed? Then contact the "Elternhotline" network and ask for help. On their website, you will find support and helpful information for parents and children in many languages.