Luxembourg has a fairly comprehensive childcare system which includes allowances for day care. However in some municipalities there are waiting lists for state creches and maison relais.
This guide provides details of the country's childcare options and the financial support provided by the state for all care, including private options.
Covid-19 - family leave
If your child is placed in quarantine or isolation by the Healthcare Directorate as part of the measures implemented in schools and childcare places, you can take leave for family reasons to look after your child during this period and, at the time of writing, until 23 July 2022. This is for children up to 13 years if in quarantine and from 13-18 years if hospitalised due to Covid. These days will not be deducted from the legal days of leave which are given dependent on the age of the child.
This leave can be taken by any employee, self-employed person, non-salaried worker or apprentice who is registered with the CCSS in Luxembourg. If one parent is teleworking, then the other parent can take family leave during these hours. Parents can share family leave but they must not take the same days/hours. If your child receives a special supplementary allowance for physical or mental capacity then the 18 years age limit is not applicable.
Parents in this situation should inform their employer verbally or in writing immediately and indicate the start date of their leave.
You should then fill in the online application form, and upload the isolation or quarantine letter from the Health Directorate and send it to the CNS and your employer, electronically or by post (printed form and quarantine letter).
If an isolation or quarantine letter is not available, you request can one here.
Public and private crèches
Crèches are for children under 4 years and both private and public ones are regulated by the state in terms of education standards.
In public crèches the language spoken is usually Luxembourgish and the hours of care will be set, whilst private crèches cater to many different languages and often have more flexible hours, but usually charge higher fees.
The ever-expanding population of the Grand Duchy does mean that finding a space in the right crèche can be difficult, and you may have to be put on a waiting list. Priority in public crèches is given to single parents and children with special needs.
The Ville de Luxembourg (VdL) provides a list of municipal crèches in the city here. The LT Expat Hub's "In the Neighbourhood" series, which also lists crèches in the location guides (scroll to the section on schools in each article).
Taking children from as young as 2 months up to the age of 8 years for a maximum of 16 hours a week, day nurseries can be public or private too. They are more suited to someone requiring occasional help or looking to help transition their child from home to school.
Day centres and Maisons Relais
Day centres take children between 4 years old up to 12 years old (or the end of fundamental/primary education). They are usually open when schools are closed and can provide lunch and help with homework. A bonus is that many are open during the school holidays.
Maisons Relais were established by the government in 2005 to offer activities, help with homework, provide meals and supervision to children aged 3 to 12 years (but sometimes up to 18 years of age). They operate longer hours, and are often attached or located near to a school, so parents can drop their children as early as 7.00 and pick up by 19.00. Not all communes offer a Maison Relais service, but you can check with them here or consult this list.
You can find more information on site-based childcare, including crèches, day care and Maison Relais on Guichet here.
Nannies, au pairs or home help
Nannies will usually have qualifications to deal with very young children and babies and can either live in or out. Au pairs tend to be less experienced, but usually live with the family and take on light chores in return for bed and board.
Nannies and au pairs are considered full-time if they work 25 hours a week or more, in which case you will be responsible for health insurance, tax and paper work.
Au pair hosting is regulated in Luxembourg, and one of your children must be under 13 years old. An au pair must not work for more than 5 hours a day or 25 hours per week on average in a four-week period.
To receive approval of your au pair, a family must complete an application and send it to the National Youth Service, with supporting documents. An agreement must be signed between the family and au pair and should include:
- Duration of stay
- Time devoted to family care and chores
- Place of stay and housing conditions
- Days off
- What tasks the au pair will perform
- Language classes paid for by the family for the au pair
- The amount of pocket money for the duration of the stay (which must be at least 1/5th of the minimum social wage).
It's also worth noting that an au pair must have three free evenings per week, a full rest day each week and two additional rest days per month, in addition to a private room, food, and time off plus payment for a language course.
You may also need to send in proof of residence, a copy of your criminal record, and proof of childcare if your child is under 6 years. The agreement can take 4-6 weeks to process, after which the family must register the au pair for social security, health and accident insurance within the first month of his or her arrival.
You can find the relevant forms and information for hosting an au pair here.
There's more information and forms on different types of child home care here, including the forms for Déclaration d'une occupation dans un ménage privé .
This might be day or night childcare, usually provided by someone who is accredited and is either self-employed or works to an agreement with the family.
In Luxembourg, children cannot be cared for day and night on a continuous basis for more than three weeks and childminders may not care for more than 5 children at a time (not including their own children).
Childminders generally provide care outside of school hours and can do this flexibly to the parents' requirements.
You can find out more on the conditions that must be satisfied by childminders (including accreditation, childcare contracts and CSA) by contacting their helpline from 8.00 to 12.00 on 26 20 27 94 1.
Got a sick child?
Krank Kanner Doheem, is a service for working parents that provides care for sick children. You can register with them here.
Financial help for childcare
An income-based government subsidy, Cheque Service Accueil (CSA), can be used to reduce the cost of fees as long as the childcare option you have chosen is registered with the state. Financial support is paid monthly for crèches, day nurseries or out of school care for children up to the age of 12 years or the date they start secondary education. It can also be used to pay for childminders and after-school activities.
CSA allows for a free or reduced rate of childcare and is paid directly to the CSA provider who will deduct it from your monthly invoice. The amount calculated will depend on the number of children in the family, the income of parents, and the number of hours in non-formal education each month.
You can find out more about CSA in our article on Understanding family benefits and allowances.
Guichet provides detailed information on hours and amounts (depending on childcare provider) that the state will support.