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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Home-based provision


4.Early childhood education and care

4.5Home-based provision

Last update: 27 November 2023

Objectives and accessibility

Children aged up to 3 years

Home-based provision is available in addition to childcare provided by crèches and kids’ clubs. Home-based care is provided by either day-care providers (opiekun dzienny) / childminders or nannies (niania). Like childcare in crèches and kids’ clubs, home-based provision is supervised by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy. However, the mayor of a commune, town or city (the executive body of the commune) supervises crèches, kids’ clubs and day-care provider settings in respect of the conditions and quality of childcare services.

A day-care provider is a natural person employed by the commune (lowest-level local government unit) or a self-employed person. Where a commune is the employer, it covers the costs of the day-care provider’s civil liability insurance.

Childcare is provided at home (often at the day-care provider’s place), and compared with centre-based settings, the length of time that care is provided for can be more effectively adjusted to the parents’ working hours.

Day-care provider services are a childcare setting for a small number of children. Such services enable the provision of centre-based care, particularly in small rural communes where a crèche or kids’ club is not needed because of the small number of crèche-aged children. Pursuant to the Act of 4 February 2011 on the Care for Children aged up to 3 years (ustawa o opiece nad dziećmi w wieku do lat 3) day-care providers take care of children aged 20 weeks and above. They take care of up to 5 children; the maximum number of children is 3 if a group includes a child aged under 1 year, a child with a disability or a child who requires special care. With all parents’ consent, a day-care provider may look after up to 8 children. For a group which includes a child aged under 1 year, a child with a disability or a child who requires special care, the maximum number of children is 5 if at least one of the parents takes care of children jointly with a day-care provider.

The main responsibilities of a day-care provider include:

  • providing care to children in home-like conditions;
  • providing children with proper care and educational support according to their individual needs;
  • conducting care and educational activities suitable for the level of children’s psychological and physical development and their age.

A day-care provider cooperates and communicates with the parents of the children in care, particularly by providing them with information, guidance and advice. Day-care providers may be supported by parents in childcare activities.

Day-care providers should have suitable premises that ensure safe conditions for children. The commune can provide or furnish premises for day-care providers. The commune council determines the maximum level of, and the rules for calculating, salaries for day-care providers.

A nanny is a natural person employed on the basis of a written contract for home-based provision agreed with the parents of a child aged at least 20 weeks. Social security and health insurance contributions for nannies are paid partly by the Social Insurance Institution (for a salary equal to the national minimum wage) and partly by the child’s parents (for the remaining amount).

Nannies can be hired only if both parents work (or the lone parent works) and the child is aged up to 3 years (or up to 4 years only in exceptional cases specified in the legislation).

Children aged 3–6 years

Childcare is provided only in centre-based settings. However, children can take the compulsory one-year preparatory preschool education classes at home.

Individualised learning programme and home education

The individualised learning option is available to 6-year-old children – that is, children required to complete the preschool preparatory year – who, due to their health problems, may follow an individualised learning programme at home on the basis of a certificate from a counselling and guidance centre. Home-based classes/activities are conducted for 4–6 hours or more per week in accordance with the Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 9 August 2017 on the individualised one-year compulsory preschool preparatory classes and individual tuition for children and youth (Rozporządzenie Ministra Edukacji Narodowej z dnia 9 sierpnia 2017 r. w sprawie indywidualnego obowiązkowego rocznego przygotowania przedszkolnego dzieci i indywidualnego nauczania dzieci i młodzieży).

An individualised preschool preparatory year is organised in the form of classes/activities conducted by one or two teachers in direct contact with the pupil. The classes/activities take place in the child’s place of residence, in particular at home or in an education-and-care institution, or in a nursery school if the child’s health allows him or her to attend.

Furthermore, at the parents’ request, the head of a public or non-public nursery school where the child is enrolled may allow the child to complete the compulsory preschool preparatory year outside a nursery school, preschool class or another preschool education setting. This is commonly referred to as ‘home education’. Home education can be provided only to a child undertaking the compulsory preschool preparatory year (that is, a 6-year-old child).

Permission for home education may be granted if the request is accompanied by a statement from the parents that they provide conditions for the child to follow the core curriculum for preschool education.

Requirements for childminders and child/staff ratios

Children aged up to 3 years

Staff, including supporting staff, who are employed or hired to provide services in crèches or kids’ clubs may not be listed on the Sex Offender Register nor convicted for an intentional offence / crime by a valid court ruling.

Qualification requirements for supporting staff working in non-public crèches and kids’ clubs are laid down by entities administering such settings. Staff in crèches and kids’ clubs administered by communes have the status of local government employees.

All staff working in crèches and kids’ clubs whose positions are directly related to childcare should have qualifications required of a nurse, midwife, childminder, preschool education teacher, early school education teacher or childcare and education pedagogue/counsellor, social care pedagogue / educationalist / counsellor, early education pedagogue / counsellor, or educational therapist. Such positions can also be taken by persons who have completed a degree programme or a non-degree postgraduate programme in one of the following fields or specialisation areas: supporting early childhood development; supporting childhood development as part of psychological and pedagogical support in crèches and nursery schools; development-oriented education; early childhood education; child psychology; psychology of learning and development; or educational psychology.

A day-care provider (opiekun dzienny) can also hold another qualification if he / she has previous experience of working with children aged up to 3 years and has completed the training as specified in the legislation.

A day-care provider can be a person who has qualifications required for working in a crèche or otherwise provides guarantees for proper childcare on the condition that he / she has completed a training course of 160 hours.

A day-care provider can also be a person who worked with children aged up to 3 years for at least 12 months directly before taking up the job of day-care provider, on the condition that he / she has completed a 40-hour supplementary course, including training in baby / child first aid.

Day-care providers are required to complete training in baby/child first aid every 2 years.

The Act on the Care for Children aged up to 3 years (ustawa o opiece nad dziećmi w wieku do lat 3) does not lay down any formal qualification requirements for nannies (niania). Neither does it specify the number of children for a nanny to care for. The number of children in care is specified in a contract agreed between parents (or a lone parent) and a nanny.

At the end of 2021, around 4,900 individuals employed as nannies were registered in the national social security system (700 less than in 2020). An overwhelming majority (around 97%) were women. The data shows that the demand for services offered by nannies declined again compared to the previous year. This may have been influenced by the government programme “Family 500+”, which has been implemented since 1 April 2016. It aims to support families in raising children by providing a monthly child raising allowance of PLN 500 (around EUR 111.44). Some mothers chose to stay at home and look after their children rather than using external services. This trend may continue, considering, among other things, new family support / welfare schemes, such as the Family Care Capital, which are being established by the Government. (Source: The Council of Ministers report on the implementation of the Act of 4 February 2011 on the Care for Children aged up to 3 years in 2021). (Text in Polish)

Children aged 3–6 years

The qualification requirements for preschool education teachers are laid down in the Teachers’ Charter (ustawa Karta Nauczyciela) and the Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 1 August 2017 on the detailed qualification requirements for teachers (Rozporządzenie Ministra Edukacji Narodowej z dnia 1 sierpnia 2017 r. w sprawie szczegółowych kwalifikacji wymaganych od nauczycieli).

In accordance with the law, a teacher position may be taken by a person who either has a higher education qualification and a pedagogical / teaching qualification or has completed a programme in a post-secondary non-tertiary initial teacher training institution and takes up a position for which such a qualification is sufficient.