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France childcare

Updated: Mar 15




Table of Contents


  • Intro

  • How daycare works in France

  • France's parental leave

  • Who Can Get Help with Childcare in France?

  • Different kinds of child care centers

  • France Has Options for International Childcare

  • Taking care of kids in France

  • The Costs and Help

  • Au pairs and nannies

  • Childcare for employees and school-age kids

  • Childcare During Breaks from School

  • How to Find Childcare in France

  • Costs and pros of child care

  • France's health care for kids

  • Becoming a Child Care Worker in France

  • Useful Resources


It's important to know how childcare works in your new country, whether you want to have your baby in France or move there with small children. In France, there are many choices for low-cost child care, with benefits based on household income. However, it can be hard to get a spot in a public nursery. Kids in France can go to free state pre-schools as early as 3 years old.

How daycare works in France

When moving your family, one of the most important things to do is find good childcare choices. In France, there are private, associational, and family-run crèches, which are like schools. There are also trained babysitters (nounou) and assistantes maternelles who take care of many children. Some families choose au-pairs or live-in nannies.


France's parental leave

France recently raised the amount of family leave for dads from 11 days to 25 days. Moms can now get 16 weeks of paid leave after giving birth. This system encourages kids to start going to school early. In this country, 60% of kids go to some kind of early education, which is one of the highest rates in the OECD.


Who Can Get Help with Childcare in France?

There are many public and private child care choices for permanent residents. Children must have all of their shots up to date. Children born after 2017 need 11 different vaccinations.


Different kinds of child care centers

Collective crèches are places where up to sixty kids can go to get care together. They are run by either the local government or private groups. Up to 24 kids can stay at a crèche parentale, which is run by parents. Halte-garderie takes care of kids younger than 3 years old part-time. Jardin d'enfants is for kids from 18 months to 6 years old and has educational classes to get them ready for preschool. The Micro Crèche and the Crèche familiale offer more specialized care in smaller spaces. Multi-accueil facilities offer a range of child care choices to meet the needs of a wide range of people.


France Has Options for International Childcare

Many daycares offer bilingual or multilingual settings that help kids learn and use a second language through games and other activities.


Taking care of kids in France

Assistante maternelle (nounou), or professional childminders, are a popular choice for personalized child care because they can work around parents' work plans.


The Costs and Help

In France, the government pays for some childcare, and the amount paid depends on the family's income. Families may be able to get the Complément de libre choix du mode de garde (CMG), which can help pay up to 85% of the costs of child care.


Au pairs and nannies

Parents can hire nannies or au-pairs to take care of their older children on a daily basis. They can be picky about qualifications like language skills, care for older children, or both.


Childcare for employees and school-age kids

While all school-age kids can go to clubs before and after school at their schools, some companies and institutions offer crèche d'entreprise.


Childcare During Breaks from School

Community exercise centers and summer camps (colonie de vacances) are two options. The costs of each depend on the family's income.


How to Find Childcare in France

Local Mairies and websites such as Nounou-Top or Maminou can assist in finding suitable childcare options, including nannies, childminders, and babysitters.


Costs and pros of child care

Childcare costs are partly determined by the quotient familial, with subsidies available through the CAF. Families can get extra cash help through the Paje program and the PreparE program.


France's health care for kids

Regular check-ups and vaccinations are essential, with healthcare professionals available to ensure children's well-being.


Becoming a Child Care Worker in France

Prospective childcare workers can find detailed information on qualifications and regulations on the Service Public website.


Useful Resources

MonEnfant: Guidance in selecting the best childcare option. Service Public: The administrative hub for family-related services.




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