As written earlier this year in Childcare Part 1, “when it comes to our children, no matter our parenting style, we all want the best for them”. And as also was stated, at some point, as expatriates, without “ready-made” childcare options (close friends, family), we often have to turn to paid childcare. Finding the right fit is often a tricky one. If in-home help isn’t right for your family, what options are there for care Outside the Home?
Well, the categories are as numerous as they are diverse. There are independent providers, public providers and private establishments. These might include day mothers (mamans de jour), a creche (daycare), a jardin d’enfants (nursery), a pre-school, and for school-aged children there are also programmes for before school, at lunch hour, and after school! For each, how they provide service is pretty self-explanatory: your child is either welcomed into someone’s home, into a daycare or education facility, or into a lunch-facility.
In most municipalities in Vaud, there is an office responsible, the reseau d’accueil, for helping find its residents’ children public childcare space. The same is true of some places in Geneva. A full list of each network in Vaud can be found on the website for La Fondation pour l’accueil de jour des enfants. For the La Cote area, the reseaux include:
- Versoix (GE): Fondation communale de Versoix pour la petite enfance
- Coppet/Terre-Sainte: Association pour l’accueil de jour des enfants de Terre-Sainte
- Nyon: Réseau nyonnais d’accueil de jour des enfants (0 – 10 ans)
- Toblerones: Association intercommunale d’accueil de jour des enfants – Reseau d’accueil des Toblerones
- Gland: Structures d’accueil de l’enfance.
- Rolle: Association Régionale pour l’Accueil de jour des Enfants de Rolle & Environs (ARAERE) (but based in Nyon!)
- Morges-Aubonne: Réseau d’accueil de jour des enfants Morges-Aubonne (Accueil familial de jour (AFJ) & Réseau Accueil de Jour des Enfants)
- Lausanne: Service d’accueil de jour de l’enfance (SAJE)
Each of the above is responsible for publicly-regulated childcare providers: mamans de jour, creches, and morning, lunch hour and afterschool programmes. In general, as public spaces are limited, it is important to sign up with your reseau as soon as you know you might need space. All public providers are regulated and fully-insured and fees are generally dependent on the family’s salary.
Private nurseries, primary schools, and daycares are just that, private. But to open, they must register with a local body and obtain a permit to run. And with private places, there are various language options. Many of the English-language institutions are listed in the Education Guide Switzerland or in the Know-it-All Passport to Geneva, Vaud and neighboring France.
Finally there are independent providers. When hiring someone independently, the rules for hiring in-home help may apply. For more information on in-home help, read Part 1 of this series or stay tuned for Part 3 for the Legal Aspects of Hiring a Babysitter in Switzerland. Fore more on childcare in general, visit the blogs in this series.
Have a story to share about your childcare choices? Comment below.