Since 20 November 2013, administrators who plan to open a childcare establishment (service d'éducation et d'accueil pour enfants - SEA) must apply for:
- a communal authorisation;
- an operating permit for classified establishment (class 3A) from the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM);
- an opinion from the Ministry of Health;
- and a ministerial accreditation from the Department for Children and Youth at the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.
The authorisations will be granted if:
- the premises comply with the safety and health conditions set by the ITM;
- the infrastructure complies with the requirements in terms of equipment and installations;
- all personnel and administrators meet the specific conditions of professional integrity and qualifications, and the required staff to child ratio is met.
The association of daycare centres (Entente des Foyers de Jour) can provide useful information on the opening procedures for an SEA.
Carry out your procedure:
By downloading a formService d’éducation et d’accueil - Autorisation d'exploitationService d'éducation et d'accueil - Agrément pour personne morale de droit privé
Accreditation is mandatory for any natural or legal person who intends to provide paid education and care services to more than 3 children during daytime hours (between 5.00 and 23.00).
The accreditation applies to SEA establishments:
- accommodating children of less than 4 years of age (also known as crèches);
- accommodating children between 4 and 12 years of age or who attend the primary school or differentiated education (also known as daycare centre - foyer de jour or maisons relais).
The operating permit for classified establishments is directly linked to the building/infrastructures and not to the person operating the establishment.
Safety and health regulations
In order to obtain the operating permit for classified establishments (class 3A) from the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM), the premises must meet the minimal requirements of safety and health to protect the staff, the children and the public.
Standard requirements to be met by SEA establishments are:
- general fire safety regulations:
- specific safety and health requirements:
- education and care services for unschooled children (ITM-SST 1514) ;
- and/or education and care services for schooled or precocious children (ITM-SST 1524).
The infrastructure must be chosen, built and equipped so as to protect children from disturbances such as:
- excessive noise;
- unpleasant odours or vibrations;
- harmful vapours;
- currents of air and other disturbances.
Each room must have sufficient ventilation and a high acoustic quality.
Every SEA establishment must provide the following services and actvities:
- rest and relaxation;
- nutritionally balanced meals;
- entertainment and cultural initiation, music, craft, art, motor and sports activities;
- activities to promote the social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and psychomotor development of children;
- activities to promote the child's integration into his social and local environment;
- a place that offers the schooled children an ideal and quiet environment so they can do their homework on their own, with a minimum of surveillance and assistance.
All services must be adapted to the age of each child.
Maximum reception capacity
The establishment's maximum reception capacity is calculated by dividing the total net floor area of the rooms available to children by the number of mandatory square meters per child, i.e.:
- for young children (less than 4 years old):
- 4 m2 per child in the day rooms (not including the sleeping rooms for children up to 2 years of age);
- maximum 12 children of less than 2 years of age;
- maximum 15 children between 2 and 4 years of age;
- maximum 12 children in the event of mixed age groups;
The floor surface of sleeping rooms (at least 2 m2 per child of less than 2 years of age) is not taken into account when calculating the maximum reception capacity.
- 4 m2 per child in the day rooms (not including the sleeping rooms for children up to 2 years of age);
- for schooled children: at least 3 m2 per child.
Sports halls and cultural centres are not included in these calculations but in case such premises are being used without changing their initial purpose, the maximum reception capacity for schooled children can be increased by 30 %.
During meal times children will be grouped together in an eating room:
- the size of the room must offer at least 1 m2 per child:
- there must be no more than 60 children at the most at the same time.
Sleeping / relaxation rooms
The rooms must offer:
- for young children of less than 2 years of age, at least one sleeping room on the same or next floor as the day room. The sleeping room must:
- offer at least 2 m2 per child;
- and be equipped with babyphones;
- for children between 2 and 12 years, the relaxation and sleeping rooms can form part of an interior design concept and be located in the main day room (the area accessible to children and specifically dedicated to resting, visually distinct from the rest of the room but located inside the room. E.g.: mezzanine, alcove, rest area, etc.).
The bathrooms must offer:
- at least one toilet and one sink with tap per every 10 children (i.e. 2 toilets and 2 sinks as from 11 children, 3 as from 21 children, etc.);
- for young children (less than 4 years of age), the bathroom must be on the same floor and be fitted with:
- a changing table;
- touchless taps (non manual activation or sensor-activated) for the staff.
A toilet is not mandatory for children of less than 2 years of age;
- for schooled children, the bathrooms must be close to the day room and have separate toilet cabins;
- one separate toilet cabin for adults.
The meals can be prepared on site or delivered by a caterer. In both cases, all installations must be compliant with sanitary and hygienic requirements and meet the food safety obligations defined by the Food Safety Department at the Ministry of Health.
The meals served must be adapted to the children's age and be based on a balanced diet with fresh products.
The service for young children must be fitted with a kitchen or a kitchenette on the same floor as the day room (especially taking into account the preparation and storage of feeding bottles or light meals).
Administrative offices and other rooms
The SEA establishment must have:
- a separate room for administrative work, pedagogical preparation and storage of the staff's personal belongings;
- a reserved space for the parents in the central area;
- a storage area for prams and pushcars if the SEA establishment is accommodating young children;
- a storage area for the personal belongings of children attending the establishment at least once a week.
The establishment can set up a central reception area which is to serve as both a reception and gathering place to develop community life.
Professional integrity of members of staff
The assessment of the professional integrity of the administrator and the staff is based on their judicial record.
All members of staff and the administrator must provide:
- an extract of their criminal record (Bulletin no. 2 and the special Bulletin "Protection des mineurs" - protection of minors) if they are Luxembourg nationals.
- an extract of the criminal record from their country of origin if they are foreign nationals or nationals having dual nationality.
Each member of staff subject to a charge or conviction for offenses committed against a minor or involving a minor is required to inform his employer thereof.
Duties of the management personnel
The management personnel must spend at least 20 hours per week with the following tasks:
- organisational planning;
- development of educational concepts;
- management and guidance of the other members of staff;
- monitoring of the services provided;
- development of the child's social network.
For profit establishments, it is highly recommended to participate in the training course for access to the profession of trader (formation pour l’accès à la profession de commerçant) organised by the Luxembourg School for Commerce (LSC), as it teaches the basics about the daily management of a commercial company.
Qualifications of the management personnel
The management personnel (directors) must provide proof of qualification in the psychosocial, educational or socio-educational sectors by submitting:
- a higher education diploma registered in the register of certificates;
- or at least a certificate of vocational training which is recognised as a secondary or secondary technical school graduation diploma;
- proof of professional experience of at least 3 years in the sector concerned.
Duties of supervisory staff
The supervisory staff is responsible for:
- direct educational care of children;
- the preparation of activities, participation in staff meetings and consultation meetings with teachers, communication with the children's parents, at a rate of:
- 103 hours/year for a person working 40 hours per week;
- 77.25 hours/year for a 30 hour week;
- 51.5 hours/year for a 20 hour week, etc.;
- and for the participation in vocational training classes at a rate of:
- 32 hours/2 years (with a minimum of 8 hours/year) for a person working 40 hours per week;
- 24 hours/2 years (with a minimum of 6 hours/year) for a 30 hour week;
- 16 hours/2 year (with a minimum of 4 hours/year) for a 20 hour week, etc.
The required qualifications in educational and care services depend on the type of services provided.
The members of staff must be qualified as follows:
- if they provide care and services to very young children (crèches):
- 60 % of the time spent on childcare in the establishment must be provided by staff with an A qualification;
- 40 % of the time at most can be provided by staff with a B or C qualification (half of the 40 %, at the most, can be worked by C qualified staff, the rest must be B qualified or higher);
- if they provide services for schooled children (foyer de jour / maisons relais):
- 50 % of the time spent on childcare must be provided by staff with an A qualification;
- 30 % of the time, at the most, can be worked by B and C qualified staff;
- 20 % of the time, at the most, can be worked by unskilled staff.
"A qualified staff" - in the psychosocial, educational or socio-educational sector must have:
- a higher education diploma recorded in the register of certificates;
- or a certificate of vocational training which is at least deemed equivalent to a recognised secondary or secondary technical school graduation diploma;
B qualified staff must have:
- either an authorisation to carry out a health profession in Luxembourg;
- or a recognised professional qualification or a higher education diploma recorded in the register of cerficates in the music, arts or motor skills sector.
C qualified staff must have:
- either a recognised vocational skills certificate (CATP) in the psychosocial, educational or socio-educational sector;
- or a recognised vocational skills certificate or a vocational aptitude diploma including at least 100 hours of vocational training in the socio-educational sector (recognised by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth);
- or a training certificate in social and family services (aide socio-familiale - ASF);
- or a successfully completed and recognised study cycle of at least 5 years of higher education in basic education and proof of at least 100 hours of vocational training in the socio-educational sector (recognised by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth).
unskilled staff must have taken:
- at least 100 hours of vocational training in the socio-educational sector (recognised by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth).
As far as holiday actvities are concerned, a maison relais can employ pupils or students provided:
- they hold a brevet A d'aide animateur (assistant youth coordinator certificate);
- and that their activities are monitored by the supervisory staff.
The establishment's administrator must ensure that the 3 official languages in Luxembourg are spoken by the supervisory staff (Luxembourgish, French and German).
The certified minimum level of competency in each of the 3 languages must be:
- Level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with regard to listening to and understanding;
- Level A2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with regard to speaking a foreign language.
The level of competency is deemed to be reached:
- if the language concerned is the worker's mother tongue;
- if the worker has been schooled in Luxembourg most of the time.
Staff to child ratio
The administrator must hire enough supervisory staff to meet the following ratios:
Children less than 2 years old
Children from 2 to 4 years of age
Children more than 4 years old
|NPE = x/6 + y/8 + z/11|
y = number of children from 2 to 4 years of age
z = number of children more than 4 years old
The NPE calculated is rounded up to the next whole number. The ratio must be complied with at all times during the day according to the number of children accommodated.
If the cook who is preparing lunch (whether he is employed by the establishment or an external service provider) serves more than 60 meals per day, he must have a vocational aptitude diploma (diplôme d'aptitude professionnelle - DAP) or an equivalent qualification.
Whatever the number of meals served each day, the cook must provide proof of training in the field of cooking for children (training course to be offered by the Ministry of Health in 2014). In absence thereof, the cook must take the course within a year.
Opening an SAE establishment
The application procedure for operating permits for classified establishments can take up to 2-3 months.
As the permit is not linked to the accreditation, it is strongly recommended to submit the application at the beginning of the project / before commencing works.
The duration of the accreditation procedure depends on the time required to submit a complete application.
The time required for the full procedure to open a childcare centre is estimated to be at least 6 months.
Ensuring conformity - transitional period
Establishments approved under the previous Regulation need to comply with the new Regulation and obtain a new accreditation before 15 July 2016. During the transitional period, they can continue their activity as long as they continue to meet the former requirements concerning the staff qualifications, the infrastructure and setup, the supervisory ratios, etc.
If the accreditation is due to expire during the transitional period, the establishment can renew the accreditation in accordance with the previous Regulation, leaving enough time to meet the new requirements (before 15 July 2016).
The SEA establishments can also decide to meet the requirements in the new Regulation by submitting a new application for accreditation to the Department for Children and Youth at the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.
Members of the supervisory staff, the management and the cooks who have been working under a permanent employment contract between 1 January 1998 and 20 November 2013 and who do not meet the new requirements of qualification can continue to carry out their work, provided:
- they remain in the employ of the same employer;
- they continue to carry out their usual tasks in an SEA establishment but with another employer.
Before submitting an accreditation application, the project owner must contact the commune and check whether the general development plan (plan d'aménagement général - PAG) and the special development plan (plan d'aménagement particulier - PAP) allow the operation of a childcare establishment (SEA) in the building concerned.
The communal administration will provide the establishment with a certificate which attests full conformity with the requirements set in the PAG.
If the project requires transformation works in the building, the administrator must make sure he can produce a building permit (autorisation de bâtir).
Operating permit for classified establishments
The administrator of the childcare centre must submit the application for an SEA establishment to the ITM together with all supporting documents indicated in the standard form.
In principle, the safety officer (designated worker), which is a mandatory position in every business, has the necessary skills to draft a report on health and safety hazards for the staff and the public which must be submitted together with the application.
As soon as the operating permit for classified establishments is granted, the administrator can begin the transformation/construction works.
The permit sets the terms of operation for the establishment (the premises).
It is valid for an unlimited period of time even in the event of a change of administrator.
Opinion from the Ministry of Health
Before commencing works, the administrator must contact the food safety department at the Ministry of Health in order to ensure compliance with the hygienic, sanitary and food safety requirements:
The Ministry of Health will provide an opinion which must be submitted together with the application for accreditation.
Application for accreditation
The administrator must submit an application for accreditation for education and care services (one application per establishment) to the Department for Children and Youth at the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth together with the following documents:
- a recent copy of the criminal record (Bulletin no. 2, Special 'Protection of minors' report and/or foreign criminal record) for each administrator and member of management;
- a conceptual document detailing the implementation of the mandatory services which must be provided to the different age categories of children (see under "Who is concerned"), together with:
- a detailed plan of the infrastructures and their purposes;
- a plan of the outside playground;
- a copy of the opinion issued by the Ministry of Health (the document can be provided at the time the agents from the Department for Children and Youth inspect the establishment for accreditation purposes);
- a copy of the certificate of conformity with the PAG issued by the communal administration (unless it has been included in the certificate issued by the ITM);
- a copy of the letter sent to the Fire and Rescue services informing them about the existence and location of the establishment;
- a forecast budget and related documents informing about the financial situation;
- a written undertaking by the administrator stating that the accredited activities provided are accessible to all users regardless of any ideological, philosophical and religious consideration and that each beneficiary of the services provided is entitled to the protection of his privacy and the respect of his religious or philosophical beliefs;
- a certificate (or acceptance report) provided by an approved inspection body and validated by the ITM (the document can be submitted at the time the agents from the Department for Children and Youth inspect the establishment for accreditation purposes).
If the administrator is a legal entity:
- the application for accreditation must be submitted and signed by the person(s) who is/are authorised to represent the legal entity in court;
- the accreditation file must also contain a copy of the articles of association or the constitutional documents of the legal entity;
- the professional integrity will be based on the person representing the legal entity, i.e.:
- if the administrator is a limited company (société anonyme - SA), a limited liability company (société à responsabilité limitée - SARL) or a European company (société européenne - SE): the administrator, director or manager having received power or attorney to represent the legal entity by the board of directors or in accordance with the articles of association;
- if the director or member of the management board is a legal entity: the permanent representative of the legal entity;
- if the administrator is a public establishment or a non-profit organisation: the president of the board of directors;
- if the administrator is a commune: the members of the communal board;
- if the administrator is an association of communes: the members of its board.
Acknowledgement of receipt
Acceptance and inspection
When the installation/construction works are completed, the administrator has to:
- request an appointment with an approved inspection body concerning a first acceptance check of the finished establishment (check of security standards, sanitary and hygienic requirements as set by the operating permit for classified establishments issued by the ITM);
- request an appointment with the Department for Children and Youth at the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth regarding the inspection for accreditation (inspection of the infrastructures and their compliance with the mandatory requirements and the maximum reception capacity).
These appointments can be set at the same time.
An approved inspection body will issue a certificate (also called acceptance report - rapport de réception) which can show:
- either one or more major nonconformities ("comment with 0 day deadline" - remarque à 0 jour);
- or certain minor nonconformities including a deadline to correct the nonconformity (e.g.: "comment with 90 days deadline" - remarque à 90 jours);
or no comment at all.
Major nonconformity issues
If the acceptance report contains one or more major nonconformities (comments with 0 day deadline), the establishment will not receive accreditation. The administrator will have to:
- correct the nonconformities;
- and request a new acceptance report.
Minor nonconformity issues
If the acceptance report contains minor nonconformities ("comment with 90 day deadline") but no major nonconformity ("comment with 0 day deadline"), the administrator can:
- forward the certificate (or acceptance report) issued be the accreditation body to the ITM in order to have it stamped and approved;
- submit the certificate (with the stamp from the ITM) to the Department for Children and Youth in order to finalize the application for accreditation.
The administrator then receives a provisional accreditation provided that:
- the application is complete;
- the inspection did not come up with any specific comments.
The establishment is authorised to begin operation but will have to:
- correct all nonconformities within the deadlines specified;
- and apply for a new acceptance report.
If the report does not contain any comments, the administrator can:
- forward the certificate (or acceptance report) to the inspection body at the ITM to have it stamped and approved;
- forward the certificate (stamped by the ITM) to the Department for Children and Youth to finalize the application for accreditation. The administrator will then receive a provisional accreditation provided that:
- the application is complete;
- the inspection by the Department for Children and Youth did not give rise to any comments.
The establishment is allowed to begin operation.
Validity of the accreditation
The accreditation is valid as long as the conditions for accreditation are met. If the conditions on which accreditation was based are changed, the administrator of the establishment must apply for a new accreditation.
The accreditation must be stated on every mail, invoice or other document intended for a specific recipient or for the public in general.
Chèque-Service Accueil (childcare service vouchers)
There is no public aid measure for SEA establishments operating as a profit organisation.
However, accredited SEA establishments receive the possibility to sign a cooperation agreement with the Chèque-Service Accueil (CSA) system.
Opening hours and times
The SEA establishment must guarantee its services during at least 46 weeks per calendar year between 05.00 and 23.00 hours at the most (depending on the opening hours set by the administrator of the establishment).
The administrator can offer overnight accommodation on 2 occasions per year at the most.
Administrators of SEA eastablishments must keep an updated file on each representative of the legal entity including a recent extract from the criminal record (bulletin no. 2, Special 'Protection of minors' report and/or foreign criminal record).
The business administrator must keep an updated personnel file on each of the members of staff including:
- the employment contract or a copy of the decision regarding the person's appointment;
- documents attesting his professional qualification and vocational training;
- a medical certificate;
- and a recent extract from the criminal record (bulletin no. 2, Special 'Protection of minors' report and/or foreign criminal record).
The employer is not allowed to keep the extracts from the criminal record for his employees and representatives of the legal entity for more than 24 months. He is therefore required to regularly request an updated extract.
Documents concerning the children
The administrator must:
- keep a daily record of attendance for each child accommodated;
- keep a list with the identity and telephone numbers for the parents or the legal representative of each child;
- make sure that the children do not leave the premises:
- without authorisation from the parents/legal representative;
- unless they are accompanied by a person authorised by the parents/legal representative.
As long as the childcare centre is operating, public authorities will undertake regular inspections on the premises in order to check:
- the infrastructure;
- the qualifications of the staff;
- the required ratio between educational/supervisory staff and number of children accommodated.
- compliance with standards of safety, health and hygiene.
L-1508 - Howald
Fax: (+352) 46 08 08 390
offices are open every afternoon
Postal box: L-2926 Luxembourg
Fax: (+352) 22 05 71
L-2348 - Luxembourg