Daycare parents (home-based ECEC)
Daycare parents look after one or more children of various ages, often alongside their own children, for a few hours or for the whole day. Most daycare parents are assigned, trained and employed by the Parent Child Forum.
Childcare services are the responsibility of the Ministry for Social Affairs. The Social Services Department, as the responsible authority, has issued directives on the approval and supervision of all forms of childcare services and examines if the necessary prerequisites are fulfilled before providing approval. These directives are binding and include an educational component that applies to all ECEC settings. If daycare parents look after children for more than 40 paid hours a month, they also need authorisation from the Social Services Department.
Playgroups enable children from the age of 3 years to have their first experiences of interacting with other children before starting kindergarten; playgroups therefore function as a bridge. A playgroup consists of a fixed group of 6–12 children that meets regularly (two to three times a week for 2–3 hours). The children are looked after by trained playgroup teachers. Playgroup teachers operating as a legal entity through an agency (association, foundation or establishment) need to be approved by the Social Services Department, regardless of the amount of time they spend working in childcare.
In the interests of early language development, social support and integration, every child in Liechtenstein has the opportunity to attend a playgroup up to three times a week for 2.5 hours. This can be indoors or outside (e.g. in the forest) and is free of charge.
Babysitting services offer childcare on an hourly or full-day basis, on a one-off basis or as part of a regular or irregular arrangement. Parents may make use of babysitting services at short notice. Children spend their time following daily routines that are appropriate and child-oriented, and are cared for by educational experts (as per the Social Services Department’s Guidelines for the approval and supervision of non-home-based childcare services, p. 13).
Supervised lunch meals
Supervised lunch meals can be either integrated within structured day programmes or provided as a separate service, looking after children and providing meals exclusively during lunch breaks.