Choice of Childcare

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In Switzerland, the institutions that offer childcare facilities are:

  • crèches or nurseries "Espace de Vie Enfantine" : this service accommodates children from the end of maternity leave until the child starts primary school - either full-time of part-time.
  • Kindergartens  (les jardins d’enfants)and daycare centres (garderies)  : accommodate children part-time from the age of 2-5 years.
  • Play centres (haltes-garderies /haltes-jeux) : children are taken care of for a maximum of  2 to 3 heures a day generally for children from the age of 2.
  • Family crèches (crèches familiales) :This form of childcare is a mix between a child minder and a crèche where the child minders  are able to meet regularly with a group of children regularly in a crèche.

The placement of children during their pre-school years (0-4 ) is usually co-ordinated and controlled by the communes. There are also some private institutions.
There is also the option of employing a  childminder (maman de jour).

The Swiss Society of Pediatrics has published a brochurewhich gives parents information and criteria which assists parents in making their choice of which form of childcare to use.

Information and guidance

The Canton of Geneva is made up of 45 communes, the most important one being the City of Geneva. CERN is located in the City of Meyrin.

The service Le service de l’Evaluation des lieux de placement (ELP) from the Geneva canton's  Youth Office is responsible for monitoring daycare facilities in the canton.

The ELP sends links and lists useful addresses to assist parents in their search for childcare facilities.  The allocation of childcare places is dependant on where the parents live or work.

You can also check with the commune where you reside.

If you encounter any difficulties (with language, understanding ...), the Social Affairs Service  can assist you.

In France, the  early childhood institutions available are crèches and day nurseries (haltes-garderies).

The placement of preschool children aged between 0-4 is usually the responsibility of local communities or cities.
In addition to this, children can be kept at home with child minders(assistantes maternelles).

Please visit the site: which has been edited by the National Office of Family Allowances (Caisse nationale des Allocations Familiales).  This site gives information about the various childcare options available and also gives guidance on the costs. You will find the nearest structures depending on the place you live.

For information and guidance please note that the following communes are close to CERN : 

If you encounter any difficulties (with language, understanding ...), the Social Affairs Service  can assist you.

Updated on: 14/02/2011