Objectives and accessibility
Like all service provision in the field of ECEC, home-based child-care provided by one or more childminders ( also known as parental assistants) is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.
Childminding is regulated by the law of 15 December 2017 (loi du 15 décembre 2017), which defines it as a paid service provided under the status of self-employment by a childminder in their own home. For each child admitted, a contract is signed between the childcare provider and the parents. Childminders can host a maximum of five children at a time, in addition to their own children.
This service can be provided during the day or at night. However, the continuous custody of any individual child cannot be longer than 3 weeks.
Childminding represents a complementary offer to crèches for the care of children aged 0-3 years and after-school care for children until the age of 12 years.
With a smaller number of children (a maximum of five children at a time) and a potentially more flexible time frame, home-based childcare offers families a more flexible daycare solution than larger collective childcare providers. The geographical distribution and small size of the structures represent an additional advantage of accessibility for families from less urbanised regions.
The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth's website publishes information on the provision of education and care services, among which childminders are included. The Dageselteren Agency provides information for parents as well as professional support for childminders.
Requirements for childminders and child ratios
Childminding may only be carried out, as either a main or a subsidiary activity, by a provider who holds a professional authorisation, issued by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth. The ministerial approval is valid for a maximum of 5 years. The approval is based on the childminder's professional qualification and the services expected from them, as well as on the material arrangements required for childminding.
Following the law of 15 December 2017 (loi du 15 décembre 2017) (Article 5), each childminder must have the following professional qualifications, in addition to the abovementioned approval:
- They must hold one of the following certifications:
- a diploma in the psychosocial, pedagogical, socioeducational or health fields;
- a certificate of vocational training for the function of family assistance;
- a certificate of vocational training for the function of childminder.
- They must have completed a pre-training course on the practice and organisation of the activity of childminding.
- They must be able to understand and express themself in at least one of the country's three official languages (law of 24 February 1984 on languages) (loi du 24 février 1984 sur le régime des langues).
People who have completed only the pre-training course, but do not possess the necessary professional qualifications, may be granted non-renewable provisional approval for a maximum of 3 years. During this transitional period, they have the opportunity to undergo training in childminding functions as provided for by the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 30 May 2018 (règlement grand-ducal du 30 mai 2018). This training is organised in the form of courses, which are spread over a period of at least 3 months but not more than 1 year.
Continuous professional development is compulsory for all ECEC staff in Luxembourg. This requirement also applies to childminders.
For the services of childminders participating in the childcare-service voucher scheme, the national reference framework on non-formal education for children and young people (see Chapter 4.3 'Steering documents') is a compulsory educational guideline.
In terms of quality control, the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth is responsible for evaluating the quality of ECEC structures and processes.
According to Article 1 of the law of 15 December 2017 (loi du 15 décembre 2017) on the activity of childminding, the maximum number of children that one childminder can simultaneously take care of in the same home is limited to five children. Of these five children, the childminder may care for a maximum of two children under the age of 2 years.
Children who are part of the childminder's own household are not taken into account in the calculation of the maximal number of children to be cared for, with the exception of those under the age of 2.
Each childminder may have several childcare and education contracts. However, the aggregate number of external children one childminder may take care of must be less than 12.