In Geneva there are several types of childcare and each structure responds to different needs. The needs of children and their parents vary by child’s age, family situation, the activity of the parents, etc. You know this better than me.  So it is important to consider your own situation when choosing from the below categories of childcare.  In order to make your life easier, I propose the following:

First check the below table and decide which one has the specs you are looking for.  Then you can read a bit more on the descriptions I provide.  You can even download a printable version of the comparison table here: child care by evageneva

The Childcare structures subsidized by City of Geneva are:

 1 2 3 4 5 6
Long Long Long Temp Temp Temp
Lunch  Yes No  Yes No Yes No
Age 4mos
2-4 yrs  4mos – 4yrs  < 5 yrs 3mos -4yrs 1-5 yrs
Hours Depends on each creche  8/8:30-11/11:30 and 13:30/14:00 – 16:30/17:30  7:30-18:00  7:30/8:30 – 18:00  7:00-19:00  7:30-13:00 and 13:00-18:00
CHF 12-78
More More More More More More

Please note most of the above (like Creche and Jardin d’enfant) adjust the cost of childcare based on the income of the parents. There is a maximum tarif that corresponds to a combined family income of CHF150,000 or more per year. 2nd child pays 50% and 3rd child is free. For parents who work for international organizations, the cost can be higher: CHF 15.60 – CHF 97.40 per day.

1 – Crèches et espaces de vie enfantine.  The most formal form of childcare with very structured days.

2 – Jardins d’enfants.  Half-days only.  Structured activities.

3 – Crèches familiales.  2-4 kids are taken care of in the home of the family crèche Assistant, who takes the kids to the creche 1-2 times/week.

4 – Halte-jeux.  Temporary childcare for parents who don’t need a long term solution. No advanced registration needed.

5 – Crèches de dépannage.  They take charge of kids in
temporary and emergency cases: parents sick or need to
take obligatory trainings.

6 – Garderie Zone Bleue.  For parents who are studying, looking for a job, or going through difficult times. They can also take kids adhoc whenever possible.

How to sign up
Parents domiciled in the city of Geneva or who work there, may file an application for registration of their child at Bureau d’information petite enfance (BIPE).

Bureau d’information petite enfance (BIPE)
Rue Cendrier 8, 1201 Genève
Tél. +41 22 418 81 81

You can register as soon as the 3rd month of your pregnancy. Your requested entry date can not be more than 12 months in the future. Once registered you will be placed into BIPE’s system and be contacted if an available spot is found for your child. Due to limited childcare spots in Geneva, It is quite normal to stay on the waiting list for a while. In this case, it is imperative that you re-activate your request every 6 months to stay on the waiting list.
If you live in a community within the greater Geneva area (such as Carouge or Meyrin) you should contact the local city hall. For example Carouge has its own registration system le Centre d’information pour l’accueil de la petite enfance (Ciape) that is the equivalent to BIPE in Geneva.

Other childcare structures include:

Familles d’accueil à la journée (Maman du jour)
Maman du jour are regulated by SASAJ (Service d’Autorisation et de Surveillance de l’Accueil de Jour). SASAJ personnel regularly conduct home visit evaluation of Maman du jour. Maman du jour take chlidren from 4 months on, part time or full time.
To find a Maman du jour in your area, you should contact AFJ-VdG (Association pour l’Accueil familial de jour en Ville de Genève)
4, rue Rousseau, 1201 Genève
tél: 022 732 34 21
fax: 022 732 34 23

If you live in a commune outside of Geneva (such as Carouge or Meyrin), you should contact your local city hall to obtain the local association that is in charge of Maman du jour coordination.

Mary Poppins
Mary poppins is an offering from the association Pro Juventute Geneve. They would send a nanny to take care of your child at your home. Minimum 6 months contract and minimum 2 days a week. The cost is based on parents’ income and ranges from CHF 66-130 per day for 1 child. (Significant discounts apply for additional chlid).

Chaperon Rouge
Chaperon Rouge (022 304 04 82) is a division of Geneva Red Cross. They have 2 offerings
●Garde enfants malade: they would send experienced personnels to take care of your sick child at your home. This is quite convenient if your child needs to stay home but both you and your partner have to go to work. The cost is based on parents’ income and ranges from CHF 5-10 per hour for 1 child (CHF2/hour for each additional chlid). Minimum 2 hours, maximum 3 days.
●Similar to Mary Poppins, Chaperon Rouge will also be able to take care of your child (healty) at your home on a short term (4days-6months) or long term (6 months- 1year) basis. The cost is based on parents’ income and ranges from CHF 63-165 per day for 1 child on a long term basis (significant discounts apply for additional child).