The offer in the area of early childhood education and care (ECEC) are intended for children up to the age of 6 years until they start school.
Day care centres (Kindertagesstätte) (International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) level 010) provide family-supplementary care for children until they enter kindergarten at the age of 4 years. Kindergarten (ISCED level 020) with its duration of two years is part of pre-primary education and follows the Liechtenstein curriculum.
Childcare services for children under the age of 4 years
Childcare services support families in Liechtenstein. They encourage a better balance between family and working life, support the integration and socialisation of children and promote their development. They are optional services that parents can choose to use if they wish.
Day-care centre (centre-based ECEC)
Daycare centres offer education and care to children from the age of 3 months until they start kindergarten at the age of 4 years. Alongside half-day or full-day sessions, childcare is offered on a more flexible, hourly basis (‘short-term’ care services).
The majority of daycare centres are run by the Daycare Centres Association, which was founded in 1989. There are state-funded and non-state-funded daycare centres.
Kindergarten for children aged 4 and 5 years
Kindergarten is the traditional form of pre-primary education and is free of charge. It is a designated part of the education system. As a rule, children attend kindergarten for 2 years, when they are 4 and 5 years old. Enrolment is voluntary for most children. However, once a child has been registered, attendance is compulsory. For children whose first language is not German, attendance for the second year (from the age of 5 years) is obligatory.
The national curriculum for kindergarten, primary and lower secondary education is binding for all kindergartens. Public kindergartens are authorised by the Office of Education within the Ministry of Education, whereas private ones are the responsibility of the Office of Social Services within the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Structured day programmes
From the age of 4 years, in addition to the time spent at kindergarten, children can be looked after within structured day programmes. This childcare service covers lunchtime and times before and after the opening hours of kindergartens. Children can attend the structured day programme from 6.30 until starting kindergarten and after kindergarten until 18.30.