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Childcare services

Tailored childcare options | Nurseries | Kindergartens, playgroups and day-care centers
Registered child-minders | Private childcare at homeExtra-curricular childcare services (before and after school)Sick child home careFor advice and further information     

Tailored childcare options


Children in the State of Neuchâtel start school from age 4. Parents can choose from a wide variety of childcare options to ensure safe and appropriate care for their children outside school hours as well as for pre-school age children and babies (from 3 months).




Nurseries generally cater for children aged between 3 months and 4 years. They are open continuously throughout the day and provide lunch. Hours vary depending on the institution: some open from as early as 06:30 and some stay open up until 19.30 (7.30 pm). Some nurseries can also look after children outside school hours and will collect and take children to and from school. Nursery staff is highly trained and qualified as nurseries are legally required to ensure that at least two thirds of their staff be professionally trained, such as early childhood educators or nursery nurses. Many nurseries have multi-lingual staff, such as the ‘Enfants du Monde’ nursery in Neuchâtel.


Both public and private subsidized day care centers operate on an hourly and daily fee basis, based on a fee structure set by the State of Neuchâtel. This fee takes into account the parents' taxable income and the number of children being cared for from the same family. Private, non-subsidized nurseries operate their own rates, which vary depending on the institution.


Download the list of nurseries registered in the State of Neuchatel



Kindergartens, playgroups and day-care centers


In addition to nurseries and schools, there is a number of childcare centers in and around Neuchatel, although often with shorter opening hours. They may for example close during the lunch break (12 - 2pm) whilst still allowing parents to drop off their children for a few hours or a half-day basis per week.


Kindergartens are aimed at pre-school children. Playgroups offer activities such as music, painting, drawing, cooking, languages, gardening, etc. Drop-in daycare centers welcome children for a few hours on an ad-hoc basis, without prior reservation.


Download the list of childcare centers in the State of Neuchâtel (restricted opening hours)



Registered child-minders


Registered child-minders (‘maman du jour’ or ‘papa du jour’), often mums or dads themselves, are authorized to look after one or more children in their own homes. They offer a personal, homely mode of childcare and are often able to offer more flexible hours than a nursery or a day care center. This type of day care is subsidized by the State of Neuchâtel. Rates are fixed and take into account the taxable income of the parents, and the number of children in the family looked after by the child-minder.


Private childcare at home


Parents wishing to have their children looked after in their own home can make use of private nannies, babysitters, and au pairs.


Extra-curricular childcare services (before and after school)


These organizations look after children outside of school hours and cater to children in primary school, e.g. up until age 10 or 12. Opening hours are longer or shorter depending on the institution, but, in principle, are open to all children before classes start, as well as at lunchtime and once school has ended.


Both the public and private organizations that offer extra-curricular childcare services operate on an hourly or daily rate as set by the State of Neuchâtel and based on the parents’ taxable income. Nonsubsidized organizations apply their own fixed rates, which can vary from one establishment to another.


Download the list of before- and after-school childcare service organizations



Sick child home care


In the canton of Neuchâtel the Swiss Red Cross provides a paid emergency home care services by qualified staff when your child falls sick and home care becomes necessary.


For advice and further information, please contact :

Office de l’accueil extrafamilial
Faubourg de l’Hôpital 34
CH-2000 Neuchâtel
Tel : +41 32 889 66 34


Childcare services