The pirate ship playground, in Luxembourg City’s municipal park, is a favourite with families
Photo: Matic Zorman
Young families tend to flourish in Luxembourg, thanks to generous financial support for parents, a range of school options and a great selection of children’s playgrounds and activities.
For some, the thought of having a baby in a foreign country might take them out of their comfort zone. But facilities in the four maternity wards here offer excellent care. Expectant mums should be reassured by the fact that Luxembourg royals also use the maternity services here--the Grand Duchess gave birth to all five of her children in Luxembourg.
For potential parents having difficulty conceiving, up to four IVF attempts are fully covered by the national health insurer (CNS). You can find out more by visiting a gynaecologist and the family planning clinic. Luxembourg is generous when it comes to parental leave.
Every woman working legally in Luxembourg is entitled to antenatal leave, starting 8 weeks before the expected delivery date, and postnatal, 12 weeks after delivery. Breastfeeding mums are also entitled to two, 45-minute breaks or one 90-minute break for breastfeeding during the work day.
Luxembourg is flexible about parental leave, which can be taken full time over 4-6 months or part time over a period of 8 to 12 months, per child. Leave can be subdivided to 8 hours per week over 20 months, for example.
Fathers are also increasingly benefitting from the system, especially since the maximum before tax monthly compensation during parental leave was increased to €3,330.98. Since January 2018, fathers are also entitled to 10 days’ paternity leave after the birth of a child.
There are also a number of benefits to support parents living and working in Luxembourg with the costs of raising a family. Among the key ones are maternity allowance, paid in three instalments, monthly family allowance, back-to-school allowance (for parents of primary school children aged 6 and over to buy school materials) and the special additional allowance for a child with a disability. Guichet.lu has comprehensive explanations in English.
Luxembourg has a good network of crèches, daycare centres, drop-in centres and day nurseries, several of which offer care in English. Depending on their household income and number of children in the family, parents can get a discount on the cost of licenced childcare facilities through the “chèques-service accueil” or childcare service vouchers. Demand for some crèches is high and some parents even describe having to book a place as soon as they learn they are pregnant. That said, given the constantly evolving population, it can also pay off to get on a waiting list and be patient. A system of smaller, so-called mini-crèches is expected to begin in early 2019, which may well ease demand for places.
Education is compulsory for children aged from 4 to 16 but deciding on the best school option for your children is very subjective. In addition to the Luxembourg school system where youngsters learn in Luxembourgish, German and French, Luxembourg has a number of private and public English options.
A key differential of the English streams in the public system compared to private is that Luxembourgish is compulsory at primary, which is useful for students who wish to remain in Luxembourg. Some parents opt to send their children to schools over the border, for example in France or Belgium, where they will receive a francophone education.
It is also not unusual for parents to send children to boarding schools abroad in order not to interrupt their education. A new tool, Mengschoul.lu, can help parents gain an overview of the school system in Luxembourg in terms of languages, specialisations and geographic location.
Meanwhile, the Luxembourgish Schools Support Group can help answer any questions you may have about the education offer. Families in which both parents work should also ask about after-school facilities where the child can stay until the working day ends and ask at their commune about activities for children during the school holidays.