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How does the childcare system work in Luxembourg?



How does the childcare system work in Luxembourg? (Photo : ING Luxembourg )

How does the childcare system work in Luxembourg? (Photo : ING Luxembourg )

Having a baby in a foreign land is often perceived by parents-to-be as a real challenge. If you live in Luxembourg, you don’t have to worry too much. The country has a vast network of crèches, day-care centres, after-school care centres and day nurseries. You can also opt for home help. Although there is no shortage of choice, places are often limited. To help you plan which option is best for you, here is some useful information.  

Childcare facilities

Because of their many benefits, childcare facilities are the most popular option. They are approved by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth based on integrity, staff qualifications and infrastructure. They accept children of all nationalities.

Public and private crèches are for children under 4 years or not yet in the school system. Both are regulated by the State in terms of education standards. In public crèches, the language spoken is Luxembourgish and the hours of care are set. Private-owned crèches are often multilingual and have more flexible hours. The drawbacks are higher fees.

Day nurseries admit children between the ages of 2 months and 8 years. They are similar to crèches. They can be public or private too, but the time limit is 16 hours a week per child. If you require occasional help, day nurseries are the best option.

Day centres offer care outside of classroom hours and during school holidays. They provide lunch and help with homework to children aged 4 to 12 attending early education centres, preschool or primary school. Based on the same principle, the Service Foyers Scolaires in Luxembourg City organizes educational activities for children aged 3 to 12. Its core mission is to complement children’s development and learning with non-formal education[1].

Introduced in 2005 by the Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration as an alternative to day centres, Maisons Relais provide services such as reception of pupils outside of school hours, meals, homework assistance and fun activities. They take children up to the age of 18 and operate longer hours. They are often attached to a school, so you can drop your children as early as 7 a.m. and pick them up by 7 p.m. Not all communes have a Maison Relais. If you want to use this service, contact your commune’s administrative office to see if they have one.

Childminding is a service provided by someone who is accredited and works as self-employed or under a service agreement with you. Childminders have more flexible hours – they can work night or day – and their activities include light nursing like caretaking when your child is unwell. There are still some restrictions. Childminders may not care for more than five children at a time (not including their own children) and not for day and night continuously for more than three weeks. You will find more information on childminding on the website of the Dageselteren Agency of the Arcus Association. A list of accredited childminders by district is available here

Home childcare

Home childcare offers different benefits. Your children feel safer and more at ease in a familiar environment. You can adapt the hours to suit your needs and your budget. In addition, you can deduct some of the expenses as extraordinary costs on your tax return[2].

If you hire someone to look after your children at home, you have to draw up an employment contract. You must also register your domestic employee with the Common Social Security Centre by using the declaration of employment in a private household (downloadable here).

Babysitting is another form of home-based care. There is no minimum legal age to be a babysitter. But to be paid, the person who looks after your children when you are not home must be 15 or older. If you hire a minor, make sure that the parents are aware of the situation and he/she has civil liability insurance. To meet approved babysitters, the best solution is to consult the website babysitting.lu. This nationwide service is coordinated by Focus of the Arcus Association and the National Youth Service.   

You can also hire an au pair[3].

Childcare service vouchers

With childcare vouchers (chèques-services accueil – CSA), you can benefit from reduced rates in state-approved facilities: crèches, day nurseries, out-of-school care for children up to the age of 12 or the date they start secondary school. You can also use it to pay for childminders and after-school activities. The amount granted depends on your household income, the number of children in your family and the number of hours in non-formal education each month. To obtain these vouchers, you have to contact your communal administration of your place of residence. You will find more information about CSA here.

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[1] For more information, click here.

[2] For more information, read our article “Hiring domestic help in Luxembourg”.

[3] For more information, read our article “What are the steps to host an au pair in Luxembourg?”.