Child care services in Switzerland
Child care centres are managed and funded by communes within each canton. Children are admitted to facilities in their local community. Fees for public centres are charged on a sliding scale according to income. Private child care centres have fixed fees and are generally more expensive. However, waiting lists for public centres are frequently longer. It is advisable to apply for child care as soon as you know where you will be living.
Crèches (day care centres) are generally open Monday to Friday, 07:00-18:30. The age of admittance is from about three months to four years old. They usually follow a pre-school curriculum. Some crèches also offer lunch and after school care for older children, up to about age 11.
Child care in Fribourg
Finding child care in Fribourg can be easier than in some other cantons. Tip: If a facility only has partial availability, start by enrolling your child in one to two mornings. You will be able to add additional days as they become available.
Here are a few online resources to begin looking for different types of child care in Fribourg:
- The Red Cross (Croix Rouge, Rotes Kreuz) (DE/FR) offers qualified babysitting services, bookable in advance. This service is for occasional child care support.
- For day family care the Fribourg Day Family Association: Fédération Fribourgeoise d'Accueil Familial de Jour (DE/FR) is an excellent place to start. Child care workers, or "Assistante parentales", have specific diplomas qualifying them to care for children. They offer care from their private home for up to four children. So children stay in friendly, secured places.
- The Education Familiale (DE/FR) organises playgroups and café meet-ups at various locations for parents and children to attend together. These provide a wonderful opportunity to meet other parents and learn about child care and education in your area.
- For a list of crèche locations in Fribourg visit the Fédération de Crèches Fribourgeoises (DE/FR)
- Passeport Vacances Fribourg (FR) offers programmes for older children (about 7 to 12 years old) over school holidays.
- Anibis (DE/FR/IT) is a popular free website for the French speaking region of Switzerland where private individuals post and respond to ads on all different topics. Use it to find babysitters, cleaners, day care, jobs, apartments, cars, etc.
A few day care centres to start your search:
- La Chenille (FR)
- De la Providence (FR)
- Brossard Madeleine) (FR)
- Chaperon Rouge (FR)
- Les Coquelicots (FR)
- Cap Canaille - English/French nursery
Starting primary school in Fribourg
From the age of four it is compulsory for children to attend kindergarten (Jardin d'enfants) in Switzerland. Primary school is compulsory at age six. Curriculum in schools includes languages, science, mathematics, art, music and sport.
Public schools in Switzerland often close for the lunch period and children go home to eat. Check with your school to see if they offer lunch for the students as well as before and after school care. Nannies or "mamman jours" can assist with care during lunch and after school. Find them through Anibis or your local commune. Parents from the school often share care responsibilities so it is always a good idea to speak with other parents at your child's school.
Attending public school can help children learn the local language and make new friends. Public schools offer good language support and tutoring for students at no extra cost. Instruction in English is available at private schools. Find listings of international schools in Switzerland in the Hello Switzerland Directory.
Learn more in these two articles: