How can we make sure that all children get the best chances from an early age, regardless of their background? Luxembourg has taken several measures to ensure that children can enjoy quality childcare services, making sure enough spaces are available and offering financial assistance to families. This has made it possible fro every child in Luxembourg between the ages of 0 and 4 years to benefit from free care for up to 20 hours per week.
Quality childcare services
The quality of the care provided is not just measured in terms of infrastructures and safety standards; it also includes the educational services offered by care facilities, in other words the programmes and activities available. The standard of these services is monitored by an educational quality system, the implementation of which is regularly monitored.
- Specifically, each Education and Care Service is required to:
- Draw up a "general action concept";
- Train its supervisory staff on a regular basis;
- Undergo regular evaluations from regional officials;
- Keep a logbook.
The government therefore guarantees that whatever care facility you choose for your child, the same high standards will be applied. Here is a list of possible childcare alternatives for your child:
Crèches are for children aged between 3 months and 4 years, in other words before they begin compulsory schooling. They operate according to different educational concepts. There are crèches that emphasise organic values, company crèches, multilingual crèches, woodland crèches ("Bëschcrèche"), and so on. As parents, you are free to choose the crèche you prefer for your child.
The mini-crèches are decentralised structures which can care for up to 11 kids from 0 to 12 years. Their goal is to strengthen the offer, especially in rural areas. A minimum of 2 people are needed to manage a mini-crèche, while respecting security, hygiene and quality norms. This includes the plurilingual education programme (see box).
Day nurseries take children aged between 2 months and 8 years for a maximum of 16 hours per week. This is a good occasional solution for families and also a way of getting children who are looked after on their own used to being with other children. Like crèches, day nurseries may be run by the municipality, operated under an agreement with the state, or be privately owned.
Day centres take school children aged between 4 and 12, in other words up to the end of fundamental education. Day centres are open outside classroom hours and during school holidays. The children eat lunch together in the canteen and do their homework there in the afternoon.
"Maisons relais" offer greater flexibility in terms of opening hours and services than crèches or day nurseries. They look after children from the age of 3 or 4 up to 12, and in some cases up to the age of 18. They are open from 7am to 7pm and offer supervision, meals, activities and help with homework.
It is also possible to have your child looked after by a parental assistant; these assistants are paid to look after children in their own home, in a family-style atmosphere. Their hours are often more flexible than those of crèches and day nurseries, and children are looked after even when they are ill. Parents should contact the "Agence Dageselteren".