If you work and are responsible for one or more children, childcare can be a real challenge. The Grand Duchy has understood the substantial financial needs of parents who want to combine pursuing their professional careers with bringing up their children, particularly while the children are very young. Luxembourg has also understood that offering all children equal opportunities at the outset means providing them with access to the same chances for success, whatever their social background.
That's why the Luxembourg state provides all residents and all non-resident employees with financial assistance for having their children looked after in childcare structures. This takes the form of childcare service vouchers, called 'Chèques service accueil' (CSA), available for all children between the ages of 0 and 12 years. These vouchers can be used as payment in kind for childcare services, as well as a number of extra-curricular activities.
Quality and affordable childcare for all
The CSA system is for all children of parents residing in the Grand Duchy and for the children of cross-border employees, under the condition that they are citizens of an EU member state and at least one of the parents works in the Grand Duchy. Its aim is to make it easier for parents to combine their private lives and their work, and to ensure high-quality care for all children in approved structures that are subject to quality controls.
Through the CSA system, the state pays part of the cost of childcare, either in nurseries, childcare centres ('Maisons relais'), day-care centres, or the 'parental assistant' scheme, if the structure is approved as a service provider by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse, MENJE). In addition, all children between the ages of 0 and 4 years have the benefit of 20 hours of care free of charge in an approved childhood structure (excluding the 'parental assistant' scheme) to ensure their inclusion in the plurilingual education programme.
Are your children budding musicians, artists or soccer players? CSA cheques can also be used to pay for their musical, artistic or sport activities. Just ask the association when you enrol your child to find out whether it is approved as a CSA Service Provider ('Prestataire').
Fair scale for payment
As for the parents' financial contributions, the Luxembourg state has introduced a graduated scale based on the parents' income and the number of hours of childcare they use. This means that parents on a low income are entitled to more hours of childcare at a cheaper rate that high-earning parents.
How do I sign up?
Do you meet the conditions? To be able to use the CSA system, just apply for a membership card (myCard) from your local authority if you live in the Grand Duchy, or from the Children's Future Fund (Caisse pour l'avenir des enfants, CAE) if you are employed in the Grand Duchy but do not live there.