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What are the different types of childcare?

by | Mar 1, 2020 | Information, Parents

When you are a parent, entrusting your children is not a simple thing. Moreover, it is also complicated to choose a safe childcare method that corresponds to your needs. Especially, when there are many different types of childcare. Between daycare centers, au pairs, childcare assistants or even baby-sitters, it is not easy to find a solution. It is therefore important to be aware of the different options and how they work before making a choice. 

To help you see more clearly, here is an overview of the different ways to have your children looked after! 

Collective structures, among the most frequent modes of child care :

These establishments are designed for the collective reception of children until they return to school. To be able to access them, the children must be in good standing in terms of mandatory vaccinations. And, they must also be under 6 years old. As for pricing, the cost to pay varies from one facility to another. Also, this cost will often depend on your resources and your family situation. 

These structures are obviously subject to appropriate regulations. They comply with safety standards adapted to the care of young children. In addition, specialized multidisciplinary teams are in charge of the support. These organizations are also required to have an operating authorization from the President of the departmental council after inspection by the maternal and child protection services. 

Group day care centers:

These facilities are generally managed by the department, the city or by private associations or organizations. To be admitted, children must be between 2 and a half months and 4 years old. Care is provided according to specific schedules and by childcare assistants and specialized educators. Adapted spaces welcome the children while responding to their needs and proposing activities appropriate to their age. They also take their first steps in the community while learning to socialize. 

As far as registration is concerned, it is advisable to pre-register before the birth. You should do this in several nurseries at your level, as these establishments are often short of places and the wait can be excessively long. It is also important to underline the strictness of these structures. For example, if your child falls ill, he or she will not be accepted into the facility until he or she has recovered. The hours are also imposed and rarely variable. 


Smaller than collective day care centers, micro-nurseries can welcome up to 10 children under 6 years old in a secure and adapted space. This can be a house, an apartment or a space dedicated by the locality. They also respect the same norms and regulations as collective daycare centers, while having relatively more flexible schedules. By joining a micro-crèche, your child will be able to enjoy the joys of the community while benefiting from individual care as at home. 


Kindergartens regularly welcome 2 to 6 year olds in spaces adapted to their age and according to the same schedules as those of collective crèches or nursery schools. In these establishments, specialized educators take care of the children and accompany them in their development. They offer them various developmental and awakening activities in the form of workshops. However, the cost of kindergartens is relatively higher than in collective nurseries. 

Babysitting is one of the most popular childcare options:

Among the preferred childcare methods of the French, the babysitter or, more commonly referred to as a home nanny, is a person recruited directly by the parents or via an intermediary (specialized agencies, networking sites). She can also have qualifications or not. Indeed, no approval and no training are mandatory when it comes to this type of care. However, parents can direct their choice towards qualified and experienced babysitters during their search. Whether the babysitter is directly employed or recruited through an agency, parents can also, depending on the age of their children, benefit from CAF assistance. 

The advantage of this type of care is that parents can choose the nanny or babysitter according to their criteria and requirements. The same goes for the services provided within the home. The babysitter, will be mainly dedicated to their children if the care is regular for example. This allows the creation of an emotional bond that is very much appreciated by the children. 

Using a nanny

Also, hiring a nanny is more convenient when it comes to scheduling and travel. Babysitters generally have very flexible schedules and they travel to the parents' homes to do their babysitting until very late and even during the weekends. The cost of this type of childcare, is generally from 9 euros net per hour. However, the cost of a babysitter also depends on various other factors such as the method of recruitment, the services provided or even the region where you live. 

If you want to find the perfect babysitter but don't have the time to go through the arduous search process, Kidlee can do it for you totally free of charge and without obligation! We strive to find, quickly, the rare pearls so sought after by parents. And this, through sourcing directly from our partners (the BDE of SciencesPo, Dauphine, EM Normandie or La Sorbonne).

Shared custody:

This type of care always depends on a babysitter or a nanny. What is different is that two families can agree on the nanny. And then, recruit her to watch their children in the same home or alternating between the two homes. The two families can then split the salary and expenses, which is often more affordable. However, if the number of children exceeds 4, it is often complicated to find a babysitter who accepts a shared custody. 

The licensed childminder:

The childminder has an agreement issued by the President of the Departmental Council. This is done after examination by the maternal and child protection services. This approval allows her to keep children at her home. She can also take care of the child in a childcare center. As far as the hours are concerned, they are generally full-time or after-school care. As for the babysitter, it is up to the parents to take care of the administrative procedures for employment. As far as rates are concerned, the salary of a childminder is generally agreed upon with the family. 

Childcare options : The au pair

The au pair is a person of foreign nationality aged between 20 and 30 years old. The au pairShe offers her services in exchange for a place to stay with the family that welcomes her. And, whose children she will keep. In addition to a correct remuneration, the au pair also benefits from a support (food, housing and transport). And this, in exchange for her babysitting services and some household chores. Being generally a student, the au pair will have to organize her time between childcare and her occupations (studies, outings etc.)