Is my Swiss salary enough to cover childcare costs?
I often get inquiries from parents abroad asking about childcare costs in Switzerland..
Globally mobile families are often attracted by high salaries in Switzerland but when both parents are working full-time, childcare costs can be a big burden on family finances, especially with younger children. Childcare costs in Switzerland are among the highest in Europe. What should families expect to spend on nursery fees and after-school and holiday care?
Childcare in your area – check fees and availability!
Fees for childcare in Switzerland will vary significantly in different regions, so be sure to investigate availability and childcare tariffs before your move! The below estimates are based on prices in canton Zug.
While childcare costs will vary, depending on where you live in Zug, expect to pay around 130 Francs per day for nursery costs for your preschooler or around 2500 per month for full-time day care, from 8-6pm, including lunch.
International schools also offer early years care. While fees are lower for early years (pre- kindergarten), these do usually not include lunch costs and hours are shorter.
Childcare provisions for school-aged children
While public Kindergarten is free of charge, days are much shorter with mornings only in the first year and one additional short afternoon in year 2, meaning that you still need after-school care. Once children reach Kindergarten age, they are eligible to attend subsidised lunch and after- school care. Expect to pay between 45-60 Francs per day for lunch and after-school care.
While this amount is lower than nursery day rates, you still have holidays to cover, so once you factor in costs for 12 plus weeks holiday care, (fees range from 100-130 francs per full day), overall childcare costs are not significantly lower than fees paid for nurseries, as these usually stay open all year round expect for a couple of weeks in summer.
In upper primary, children still come home for lunch every day, but stay in school most afternoons until 3 or 4pm (except for Wednesdays), so child-care related costs will start to go down.
Do the maths!
So, before you accept an employment offer, be sure to sit down and do the maths to avoid an unpleasant surprise once the childcare bills start to pile up!
If you need more detailed information about childcare costs in Switzerland and in your area, arrange an online consultation with your local education expert! https://swisseducationconsulting.ch/