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Ritzy tots

If you want to work in a nursery school with a sauna, chauffeurs and bodyguards, pay a visit to the Villa Ritz, Germany's first "luxury kindergarten".

The school, which caters for three to six-year-olds, opened last week in a glamorous corner of Potsdam favoured by fashion designers and TV celebrities.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it offers services well beyond those of a typical state kindergarten. Basic fees add up to around pound;600 per month for all-day care, with separate charges for violin lessons, riding, sauna and fitness activities, as well as the services of bodyguards, chauffeurs and even overnight accommodation should parents not be able to collect their children on time.

Despite the cost, the first 20 places are already filled and another 45 places will be available by the end of the year to meet growing demand.

Handily for its owners, since all three to six year-olds in Germany are entitled to pre-school care, the Villa Ritz also gets state subsidies to cover a substantial part of its staffing costs.

If successful, its owners hope to expand to other cities with plentiful wealthy parents.

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