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Pre-school, day care and home day care

Would you like to have a family and to work at the same time? In the canton of Bern there are many types of service available for supervising children at the pre-school, kindergarten and school-age levels. The most widespread services are day care (Kitas in German), home day care and supervision outside of school hours.

Day care centres for children from 3 months

These facilities generally accept children from the age of three months to first grade, with care and supervision being provided by trained social education workers. Day care centres are open five days a week all year round, except for (usually short) holiday periods. They must comply with cantonal quality guidelines and are regulated by the communal or cantonal authorities.

Often day care centres are also a good solution for supervising children outside the compulsory kindergarten timetable, which usually includes only mornings Monday to Friday and one afternoon a week. The staff of most day care centres accompany the children to the closest kindergarten and pick them up there afterwards.

In the canton of Bern there are centres where care is subsidised and other, private facilities for which no financial assistance is available. At the subsidised centres, the contribution paid by parents depends on their income and assets, and beyond a certain income no subsidy is provided. Private facilities set their own rates. You can obtain information about private and subsidised day care in your area from your local commune. 

Home day care for pre-school and school-age children

Home day care for pre-school and school-age children is provided in private residences. Many of these facilities are associated with family care organisations and have subsidised rates. All are required to report the service they provide and are supervised by the state. You can obtain information from your communal authorities about home day care in your region. 

Supervision outside school hours

Supervision by trained staff can be provided for kindergarten and school children before and after normal school hours and during lunchtime. Ordinarily such supervision takes place on the premises of the commune’s public school and is organised by the commune, according to the time periods chosen by the parents.

Whenever at least 10 parents want supervision for their children outside of school hours, it must be provided by the commune. Although it is subsidised by the communal and cantonal governments, it is not free of charge and depends on the parents’ income and assets as well as on family size. Supervision outside school hours is not normally provided during school holidays, although some communes do offer this service (e.g. Services available in the Canton of Bern (German)). 

Family portal

The family web portal (German/French) is maintained by the Family Section of the Cantonal Social Affairs Office and is primarily aimed at parents and specialist agencies that advise parents. It provides information on a wide variety of topics that are of interest to families. The objective is to make information available in a simple form in one accessible location. You will find information on the following topics and services on the family portal:

  • Finding day care centres and home day care using a simple and practical search engine
  • Search engine for activities for and with children
  • Search engine for courses in parenting
  • Information on family topics from A-Z
  • Information on schools where children are supervised outside teaching hours (Tagesschulen)
  • Betreuung während den Schulferien 

Contacts

For questions about subsidised day care and home day care, get in touch with the Family Services Bureau at +41 31 633 78 83 or info.fam.soa@gef.be.ch

For questions about subsidised supervision outside of school hours, get in touch with the Department of Education at +41 31 633 84 49 or akvb@erz.be.ch

For questions about private day care and home day care, get in touch with the Cantonal Youth Commission at +41 31 633 76 33 or kja@jgk.be.ch.

 

Other private services

Preschool playgroups: Playgroups offer the possibility for pre-schoolers to play together in a supervised environment. Many of the nursery nurses who lead these groups have specialist training or further education diplomas.
See Playgroup Contact and Information Centre for the Canton of Bern (German/French)

Nanny service: Nannies usually provide daily care for all the children of the same family in their home.

Au pair service: Au pair girls and boys care for one or more children in the children’s home for a number of weeks or months. They live with the family. Often they apply for the au pair job from another country, speak another language and want to attend a language school in addition to caring for the children.


Further information

 


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Information about this website

https://www.portal.sites.be.ch/portal_sites/en/index/navi/index/living/education/preschool.html