Childcare - Details

Please find below the information about childcare by location:

CERN childcare facilities for children from 4 months to 6 years

Table of CERN childcare Facilities 2020-2021


"Le Jardin des Particules", located on the CERN site in Meyrin, caters for children of CERN's members of personnel from 4 months (after maternity leave) until the age of 6. They are open Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m.

The Crèche welcomes babies from after maternity leave until the age of 4.
The Infant school is attended by children between the ages of 4 and 6, they follow the first and second years of Swiss primary school education program. Afterwards they are able to integrate into either the French or Swiss educational system as well as a private school.

Admission of children is subject to availability of places. If no places are available, children will be put on a waiting list.

For further details


In 2007, CERN signed an agreement with the commune of Meyrin for the assignment of 20 places to members of the CERN personnel in the "Espace de Vie Enfantine" (EVE) at Champs-Fréchets. Children are accepted from the age of 4 months to 4 years.

For further details


In 2011, CERN signed an agreement with "Le Jardin de Capucine" and allocated 40 places to members of the CERN personnel, of which 2 places are allocated for a short term period only. A private nursery that welcomes children from the age of 4 months to 4 years of age.

For further details


The CERN Welcome Club organizes a drop-in playgroup, called CWC Toddler Group. Accompanied by a parent, some 15 children from newborns to 4 years old (as well as their older siblings during school holidays) play together on Mondays from 15.30 to 17.30 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to noon in the clubhouse, which is located next to Restaurant 2.

Open to members of the CERN Welcome Club.

More information from the Toddler Group Coordinator:

For further details

CHILD MINDERS ("Assistantes maternelles")

A child minder ("assistante maternelle") is a professional in the childcare field registered by the President of the General Board after consultation with the Services de la Protection Maternelle Infantile (PMI) (governing body).  All registered child minders have completed training enabling them to take care of up to 4 children (usually under the age of 6) in return for payment.

In France, this is the most common form of childcare.

The child minder is paid by the parents who employ the child minder's services.  It is the role of the parents to establish a contract with the child minder that should define the duration, hours, days of work, salary to be paid, paid holidays and cleaning costs.

The "Relais Assistantes Maternelles" (RAM) is available to provide you with a list of child minders and with a template contract.

For more info, consult also our FAQ and if you still have a question contact the Social Affairs Service.


The main purpose of nurseries is to accommodate children whose parents work from the period between the end of maternity leave up until the age of 3.

The child can also stay in the establishment during lunchtime.  The opening hours are usually from 7.00 a.m. - 6.30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The staff team consists of professionals in early childhood care who organize various educational activities, look after the children and ensure their safety and well-being.

Parents should be aware that places in these crèches are limited which often leads to long waiting lists. Enrolment is done with the director of the crèche.

You can contact your "mairie" or click on the lists below: 

Financial contribution varies depending on resources and family responsibilities. For more information, please contact the crèche director or see how the calculation is done on the site

DAY CARE/CENTRES ("Halte garderie")

A day care centre ("halte-garderie") is a childcare facility for children between the ages of 0-3. It is reserved for children with one parent not working and enables them to attend for three half-days a week. It provides the possibility for parents to work part-time or for parents who require childcare facilities only for a few hours a day.

The cost of this service is dependent on family income.

The director of the day care centre determines the admission of a child after meeting with the parents, establishing how many available places there are and after the completion and submission of an application for a place in the day care centre.

List of day care centres:


You may choose to have your child looked after by a person who comes to your home.

Some areas have childcare services that can play the role of an agent, i.e. handling all the formalities from recruitment to various administrative tasks related to employment. 

 If this facility is not available, you must carry them all out as the employer.

  • To assist you with the formalities required, you can check out the site mon enfant or you can contact the Social Affairs office.
  • To recruit someone you can contact the "Pôle Emploi" or the adverts in the local newspapers.

PRE-ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS ("Ecoles maternelles")

Children aged 3 to 6 can attend the nursery school in the commune where they live if the child reaches 2 by the first day of the school year and depending on the availability. Attendance is compulsory to help children develop and get used to community life.

Classes are divided into 3 sections by age: the "petite section" for the youngest, the intermediate or "moyenne section", and the "grande section" for the eldest.

For more information, see our pages on education.


Canton of Geneva

The purpose of crèches and nurseries is to accommodate children whose parents need to go back to work at the end of their maternity leave up until the child reaches the age of 4. The child can go to the nursery/crèche part-time or full-time.  The child can also stay in the establishment during lunchtime. The opening hours are usually from 7.00 a.m. - 6.30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They generally close for one week at Christmas and four weeks in the summer.

The staff team consists of professionals in early childhood care who organize various educational activities, look after children and ensure their safety and well-being.

Childcare services

Parents should be aware that places in these childcare centres are limited, often leading to long waiting lists.

The intake/allocation of available places is usually done in April for the beginning of the "school" year, which begins at the end of August. It is very unusual to find free places during the year.

Parents who are looking for childcare are advised to make their application in the commune where they reside first followed by the area in which the parents work, as these are the main criteria used for awarding childcare places.

  • In Geneva, the BIPE (Early Childhood Information Office) responds to all applications for childcare facilities. It is both a help desk and a hotline for families. It welcomes parents, gives guidance on the different types of care and registers enrolment applications for all the centres supported by the City of Geneva.  It also allocates places using specific criteria.
  • For other communes, childcare centres are the responsibility of the nursery service run by the "mairie" (the commune's town hall).
  • CERN is close to the towns  of Meyrin, Vernier and Satigny who have lists and information about their childcare centres and crèches.
  • The crèche Scoubidou is the only private nursery in Geneva. Registration is open to everyone without restrictions on place of residence or work. However, priority is given to employees of partner organizations: ILO, EBU, TSR, UNAIDS, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS.

The cost for a place in a childcare centre is dependent on both parental income and the number of days attended (2-3 days minimum). For international staff, financial contributions are higher.

Canton of Vaud


Canton of Geneva

There are two crèches for emergency care in Geneva that cater for urgent and temporary requests for childcare for children between the ages of 0 and 4.  The reasons for this request range from the illness of a parent, resumption of professional duties or requiring childcare due to the loss of existing childcare facilities. Priority is given to residents in Geneva.

Canton of Vaud

KINDERGARTENS AND DAY CARE CENTRES ("Jardins d'Enfants" and "Garderies")

Canton of Geneva

Kindergartens and day care centres offer a host of regular childcare facilities for children aged between 2 and 5. These centres offer children to stay half-days, enabling them to socialise and to prepare for school.

Drop-in centres provide respite care for a limited period of between 2-3 hours usually for children as young as two. 

Childcare List

In Geneva, the BIPE (Early Childhood Information Office) deals with all requests. It is both a help-desk and a hotline for families.

The BIPE welcomes parents, gives guidance on the different types of care available and registers enrolment applications for all kindergartens supported by the city of Geneva.

Geneva has one drop-in play centre for children under the age of 4.

For the other communes, the childcare centres are under the responsibility of the nursery service run by the "mairie" (the commune's town hall).

Meyrin has an emergency childcare service and the town of Vernier has several kindergartens and a nursery. Satigny has a kindergarten.  

Click here to download the list of kindergartens in the Canton of Geneva.

There are also some kindergartens located in Geneva that have attachments to private schools.  A list of these can be found on the Geneva Association of Private Schools website.


Fees charged are dependent on parents' income and the number of days the child attends the institution.

  • Fees in Geneva
  • Fees in Meyrin
  • Fees in other communescheck with your "mairie".

Canton of Vaud

CHILD MINDER (day care mums) ("Mamans de jour")

Canton of Geneva

Your child will be looked after for the time required during the day by a host family.

Host families are employed by childcare agencies who provide childminders and co-ordinate between the parent and childminder.  The centre also draws up the contract and co-ordinates the other procedures relating to this. 

In order to find a child minder, you must contact a childcare centre close to where you would like to have your child looked after. 


From 01/01/2011, a new system, where the hourly charge is proportionate to income is charged and the childcare centre/agency will manage the payment of wages and social charges.

For more information, please contact your local childcare centre/agency.

Canton of Vaud

THE FAMILY CRECHE ("Crèche Familiale")

Canton of Geneva

"Family crèches" organise and supervise the care of the child at the home of a family crèche worker. Every week, the workers and the children spend at least half a day at the crèche.  The workers are hired, supervised and paid by the crèche.

There are 2 crèches familiales in the town of Geneva.

Canton of Vaud


Canton of Geneva

This form of childcare takes place in the parental home. The role of Mary Poppins is to take over from parents during their absence (between 7 and 19 hours) with a minimum of 2 days per week. The cost is dependent on parental income and ranges from 60 to 130 CHF/day for 10 hours of childcare.

This specialised recruitment agency offers a range of services to meet the needs of the family: full or part-time care for children at home on a regular or occasional basis. Another service that they offer is baby-sitting. 

The team is mostly made up of midwifery students at the High School of Health in Geneva and student nurses who have completed neonatology courses. They provide baby-sitting services for all ages: From night-shifts for new-born babies to baby-sitting after school in the evening and can also accompany families on holiday.  


Canton of Geneva

  • Le Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood) is a service that looks after children at home 7 days a week whenever a problem arises concerning children aged between 0 to 12 years of age.  The agency looks after sick children, provides emergency childcare and stands in when the existing childcare facility is not available. 
    Uni-emploi helps connect students at the University of Geneva with individuals through the services it offers online. An annual fee of CHF 30 is required to access this service.  The University also suggests recommended hourly rates.
  • Dépannage bébé: The Meyrin commune offers an emergency childcare service (once the child is registered), for children from 4 months to 2 years of age.

Canton of Vaud


Canton of Geneva

Primary education is the first stage of compulsory schooling, which starts from the age of 4.

For more information, visit our pages on Education.

Private schools also offer schooling for very young children. For further information, consult the guide: AGEP.

Canton of Vaud

Updated on: 11/03/2020