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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice


4.Early childhood education and care


Last update: 27 November 2023

Place guarantee to ECEC

Children aged under 4 years

In recent years, centre-based childcare has been gradually expanded, and a state subsidy system has been in place since 1995. Nowadays, there is at least one institution offering centre-based childcare services in every municipality. In addition to state-funded centre-based childcare services, there are semi-private daycare centres, including company daycare centres. Information on current childcare provision can be found on the Liechtenstein Family Portal.

There is no place guarantee for childcare services. The offering is market driven and there are times when the availability of childcare places does not meet actual need.

Children aged 4 years and 5 years

Children who are 4 years old on the qualifying date (30 June) are entitled to join kindergarten from August for approximately 21 hours a week. The law guarantees an ECEC place for every child aged 4 or 5 years in Liechtenstein. The municipalities and the national authorities are legally bound to provide a sufficient number of state kindergarten institutions and related infrastructure. Enrolment in kindergarten is voluntary. However, for children whose first language is not German or whose enrolment in primary school has been postponed (Article 23), attending the final year of kindergarten before the beginning of school is compulsory.


Children aged under 4 years

Under the Ordinance of State Contributions to the Costs of Supervision and Care, the state offers income-related subsidies for parents to contribute to childcare fees. In cases of unemployment or low income, parents can submit an application for additional financial support to the Social Services Department. Applications are considered on an individual basis.

Daycare centres approved by the national authority are supported by the state and receive a per capita payment for every child attending the daycare centre. This payment, regulated by the Ordinance of State Contributions to the Costs of non homebased Supervision and Care, covers operational costs including staff and facilities.

In addition, daycare centres are provided with the necessary infrastructure and additional financial support by the municipalities. These financial support systems vary between municipalities. There is no common regulation.

Children aged 4 and 5 years 

Kindergarten is the traditional form of early education and is free of charge for 21 hours a week for children aged 4 and 5 years. State kindergartens do not offer lunch. Children generally attend a kindergarten close to their home. However, if the kindergarten is not within walking distance, transport is organised by the Office of Education and is free of charge (School Law, Article 124).

If children are looked after within structured daycare programmes in addition to a kindergarten, parents pay income-related contributions.