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.
Day care centres (or crèches) are generally open Monday to Friday, 07:00-18:30. The age of admittance is from about three months to four years. They usually follow a pre-school curriculum. Some day cares also offer lunch and after school care for older children, up to about age 11.
Child care in Zug
Here are a few places to begin looking for different types of child care in Zug:
- The Red Cross (Croix Rouge, Rotes Kreuz) (DE) offers qualified babysitting services, bookable in advance. This service is for occasional child care support. Email the contacts from this list to find certified babysitters in your area.
- If your kids go to an international school, they also have lists of babysitters that you can inquire about.
- Search on the Zug town website (DE) for child care options.
- Stepping Stones is another good early education centre, offering pre-school, kindergarten and day care in Zug.
- globegarden provides bilingual child care.
Starting primary school in Zug
From the age of five it is compulsory for children to attend kindergarten (although most children begin at age six) in Switzerland. Primary school is compulsory at age six and a half or seven. Children attend the school in their neighbourhood. 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. There are limited spaces available for the "Mittagstisch" (lunch) so there is often a waiting list. It is not uncommon for parents to share care responsibilities so it is always a good idea to speak with other parents from your child's school.
Each public school district has its own website with contact and application information. It is advisable to contact the local school as soon as you have registered at your permanent address. Attending a public school can help children learn the local language and make new friends. Integration classes are available for non-German speaking children and will be organised at a central schoolhouse in Zug, Baar or Cham until your child has sufficient German skills to attend their local school. In outlying villages, integration classes generally take place in the village school itself.
Instruction in English is available at private and international schools. International schools in Switzerland have their own programmes and do not require German knowledge. These are private fee paying schools and must be applied to individually. Find listings of international schools in Switzerland in the Hello Switzerland Directory.
There are also three Tagesschulen (day schools) in Canton Zug. These are semi-private schools for first through sixth grades and provide all day care from 07:30-18:00. Prices are subsidised.
Learn more about public and international school options in the following articles: