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Child Care Options for toddlers in France

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

In France, there is an obligation to begin school the year a child turns 3 years. For your babies and toddlers, luckily, there are many options to choose from, each with its own incentives and benefits.

Child Care Options for under 3 years old

1. Crèche publique (public daycare centres)

The 'Etablissements d'Accueil du Jeune Enfant' (EAJE), or public daycares, accommodate children from 2 months to 3 years of age. With 20 to 100 spaces, these facilities offer regular part-time or full-time care and, in some circumstances, occasional care. The crèche publique is often the more convenient and the less expensive option for parents, therefore it has a long waiting list and parents need to register their child very early, sometimes even before baby is born!

List of public crèches in Grenoble

The average cost for a crèche familiale is between 1.50 and 4 euros per hour, depending on the family's earnings and help from CAF.

2. Crèche familiale ou accueil à domicile

The crèche familiale is a childcare structure with up to four children from 2.5 months to 3 years old in the home of the childcare assistant paid by the CCAS of the City of Grenoble and approved by the 'Protection Maternelle et Infantile du Département de l'Isère' (Mother and Child Protection Service of the Department of Isère). All Childcare assistants are trained professionals and are part of a team. They are in constant contact with a childcare director who goes to the home for regular scheduled and un-scheduled visits. Half a day per week (or one day every two weeks), the child is taken to kindergarten, where he or she is welcomed by a team of early childhood professionals. Note that by choosing a crèche familiale, the CCAS will find you a childcare assistant living around your house or in the sector you have chosen, however you will not be able to choose one from a list.

You can obtain a list of childcare assistants and crèches at the Pôle Accueil Petite Enfance. For both public crèches and home care, registration is done through the Pôle Accueil Petite Enfance.

For more information on crèche familiale

The average cost for a crèche familiale is between 1.50 and 4 euros per hour, depending on the family's earnings and help from CAF.

3. Micro-Crèches (Small private daycare)

A micro-crèche is a childcare structure for children aged between two months and three years. It differs from traditional crèches as it can accommodate a maximum of ten children. There is also a lower caregiver to child ratio. The micro-crèche provides personalised childcare, with a family type approach compared to a traditional crèche. All ages are mixed; therefore, the younger ones benefit from interacting with older children, and the older children thrive on the responsibility of caring for the younger ones and being role models. Activities are done in small groups, which allows genuine communication and sharing. The assistants and educators are experienced and held to a remarkably high standard. The micro-crèches are subject to the same rules and safety standards as traditional group childcare facilities and are set up to promote the education and well-being of the children.

For more information on micro-creches

Some micro-crèches in Grenoble:

Les Bambins d'Abord

Les Chérubins

Les Petits Ouistitis

To find a micro-crèche near you:

The average cost is between 11 and 15 euros per hour. However, the cost can be reduced considerably if we consider tax deductions and financial assistance from the CAF.

4. Assistante maternelle agréée (Registered independent caregiver)

L'assistant(e) maternel(le) agréé(e) is a registered independent caregiver who welcomes your children at her / his house or apartment or in a MAM (Maison Assistante Maternelle). She / he cannot exercise this occupation without having received an accreditation, that is to say without having obtained an official certification (which is not a diploma). She / he can look after a certain number of children simultaneously, based on her/his accreditation (usually a maximum of 3 children). The rate of an assistante maternelle agréée varies from 3 to 5 euros an hour, you need to also add some cleaning fees (indémnités d'entretien) of around 1.5 euros/day as well as paying for the meals of your kid (around 3.50 euros for lunch and 1.50 euros for afternoon snacks). Note that by choosing an assistante maternelle agréée, you are becoming an employer which means you need to sign a contract with her/him, have a proper payroll system and manage other tasks like paid holidays, termination procedure at the end of the contract etc. You can do all of this with the help and through Pajemploi. You however have the total freedom to choose your own candidate.

To find your assistante maternelle, visit:


Or ask for the list at your local RAM (Relais des Assistantes Maternelles)

5. Nounou / assistante maternelle à votre domicile (In-home childcare)

Finally, for families who prefer an individual to come to their home to care for their children, there are agencies that can find the right caregiver for your needs. Private caregivers or 'intervenantes' can cost between 20 to 26 euros per hour. The CAF offers financial assistance for this kind of care and the family can also benefit from tax deductions if legalities are respected. Contrary to the assistante maternelle agréée, the in-home childcare does not need to have an accreditation nor licence to look after your children.

To find a nounou or assistante maternelle:


La Compagnie des Familles (agency)

Kinougarde (agency)

O2 (agency)

At Breeze Relocation, we offer daycare search services to help you find the best solution for your children, feel free to contact us if you need any assistance!



Are you relocating to Grenoble, Lyon, Chambéry or Bordeaux? At Breeze Relocation our core business is to offer relocation services to anyone moving to the heart of the French Alps and the Bordeaux area. We offer personable bespoke services that include :

Preview Services

Home Research

Settling-in Services

Schooling/Daycare Services

Spouse/Partner Support

Departure Services

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Article written by Nicole Girard

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