Forms of extrafamilial childcare
There are a range of childcare services available to help parents balance work and family life. From birth until the end of primary school, children are integrated into a structure that promotes their development and supports their learning. Care services are subject to a fee. If there are no such structures where you live, you should enquire in person at the municipality. The municipalities do their best to ensure people have access to a range of childcare services.

Day care centres

Day care centres (or crèches) look after children for the entire day. Most of the offers cater for children from three months of age until they are old enough for primary school. Since waiting lists are usually long, parents must register their child very early. Costs vary depending on the day care centre and the family’s income, and are shared by the municipality in which you live. Because some day care centres are organised and financed by associations of municipalities, your child may not be able to attend a nursery in your home municipality.

Extracurricular childcare facilities for pupils 

For school-age children from the age of four until the end of primary school, many day care centres offer extracurricular day care (Tagesstrukturen), often simply referred to as “lunchtime clubs” (Mittagstisch). You can usually choose during which hours your child is cared for: before or after school as well as during the lunch break (includes meal). Parents must pay to use these services. The rates are often dependent on income.

Day care families

Parents who would like their children to be cared for in a more familiar environment can contact a “day care parents” association (Tageselternverein). Day care parents (or day care families) are childminders who look after one or more children at home. The parents, together with the day care parent coordinator and the day care family, agree on which days and for how many hours their child will be cared for. The day care family can also adapt to changing needs (e.g. when the child starts kindergarten or school, or the parents’ working conditions change). In German-speaking Valais, day care families are provided by the following day care centres:

Playgroups and children’s centres

Many children go to playgroups before they start attending school. Playgroups bring children together with trained staff for play, crafts and other activities. The playgroup offers a stable learning environment throughout the school year in which children can be creative and are encouraged to develop their social skills. At children’s centres (Kinderhort), on the other hand, no registration is necessary and childcare is provided on an irregular basis by the hour or in half-days. Conditions and tariffs vary depending on the offer. Further information can be obtained from your municipality of residence.

Childcare in tourist resorts

Many tourist destinations offer professional childcare on an hourly or fixed basis. For example, parents can enjoy an extra run on the ski slopes while the kids are happily playing or doing crafts. Information is available at the local tourist centres.

Childcare at home

If a child or their parents are ill, the Red Cross childcare service offers quick and straightforward assistance. One call is all it takes for a caregiver to arrive promptly at your home (four hours after the call). This offer is for babies and children up to 12 years of age. The Red Cross also provides babysitters so that parents can treat themselves to an evening off.

Day structures in Upper Valais /
Childcare at home, Red Cross /
Babysitting service, Red Cross /
Extrafamilial childcare Valais /