A person who wants to operate a crèche or daycare facility needs to obtain:
- an operating permit for classified establishment (class 3A) from the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines - ITM;
- accreditation from the Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration (ministère de la Famille et de l'Intégration).
Accreditation will be granted if:
- the premises comply with the safety and health conditions set by the ITM;
- the childcare facility is equipped and designed in accordance with the conditions applicable to:
- all care facilities;
- and more specifically crèches and/or daycare facilities.
- all personnel and administrators meet specific conditions of professional integrity;
- the managing director meets the requirements in terms of qualification and professional integrity;
- all personnel meets specific conditions of qualification.
The association of daycare centres - childcare facilities info centre (Entente des Foyers de Jour - Service Info Crèches) can provide useful information on the opening procedure for childcare centres.
Carry out your procedure:
By downloading a formAutorisation - service d’éducation et d’accueilAgrément pour une crèche - infos sur le personnelAgrément pour une crèche - infos sur la sociétéFichier de calcul - effectif minimal / capacité maximale des crèches et foyers
Accreditation is required for all natural or legal persons who are planning to operate a commercial regular childcare facility during the day without overnight accommodation, for more than 3 children.
Accreditation is namely required for childcare facilities and establishments that provide educational development programmes such as:
- crèches (daily care of children from 0 to 4 years or not yet schooled);
- daycare centres (daily care of schooled children from 4 to 12 years outside their classroom hours or during school holidays).
The operating permit for classified establishments is directly linked to the care facility and not to the person operating the establishment.
Safety and health regulations
To obtain the operating permit for classified establishments (class 3A) from the ITM, the premises must meet the minimal conditions of safety and health to protect the staff, the children and the public.
Standard conditions to be met by crèches and daycare centres are:
- the general fire safety regulations for small buildings (ITM-SST 1501) or medium-sized buildings (ITM-SST 1502), and;
- the specific health and safety regulations for educational and care services for children (ITM-SST 1514).
Basic equipment and design
In addition to the safety regulations that must be complied with, the areas accessible to children must:
- be free of any type of nuisance such as excessive noise levels, unpleasant odours or vibrations, harmful vapours, draughts, etc. (the sleeping rooms for the children's rest must be designed and equipped to guarantee a disturbance-free sleep);
- be lightened up by natural light (only the sleeping rooms designed for the children's rest may have opaque or translucent windows or be located in a basement with small basement windows) and have sufficiently strong but glare-free artificial lighting.
- be kept at a pleasant room temperature for children;
- have a minimum ceiling height of 2.5 metres;
- be well ventilated;
- be built, designed, furnished and fitted out to ensure a high level of safety.
The premises must:
- have acoustic monitoring systems in the sleeping rooms for children under 2 years of age;
- have a kitchen of adequate size adapted to the number of meals served (unless an external provider is used);
- have a telephone on each floor;
- have a separate room for administrative work to be carried out on the premises;
- have toilets for adults and accessible for the parents, visitors, personnel and disabled persons;
- provide access to the ground floor (minimum requirement) for persons with reduced mobility;
- have at least one toilet and one washbasin (with cold and lukewarm water) per 10 children.
Specific installation and design of a crèche
A crèche can only be located on the ground and/or first floor.
Each crèche must have:
- an outside playground of 1 are minimum (100 m2) and at least 5 m2 per child (except where an exemption is granted because there is a direct access to a public playground);
- a reception capacity of 100 children at the most;
- a total surface area of at least 3.3 m2 per child:
- excluding the sleeping rooms if the crèche is accommodating infants (from 2 months to 2 years old);
- including the sleeping rooms if they can be used as activity rooms (once the mattresses or beds have been removed) for groups of small children.
Infant groups (2 months to 2 years of age)
Each group of infants may in principle not be larger than 12 children and must have:
- 1 or 2 activity rooms of at least 10 m2;
- 1 or 2 sleep rooms offering 6 m3 per bed located on the same floor as the activity room or on the next floor and be equipped with:
- beds or mattresses reasonably spaced out;
- bunk beds with 2 beds maximum;
- a bathroom on the same floor fitted with:
- a changing table;
- a washbasin with automatic tap and soap dispenser for the personnel;
- a washbasin with tap(s) adapted for children (toilets are not mandatory for this age group);
- a kitchen or (kitchenette) on the same floor.
Groups of small children (from 18 months to 4 years of age)
Each group of small children may in principle not be larger than 15 children and must have:
- 1 or 2 activity rooms of at least 10 m2 where one of the rooms may occasionally be used as a sleeping room if needed;
- a bathroom on the same floor fitted with:
- a changing table and a washbasin with automatic tap and soap dispenser for the personnel if children of less than 2 1/2 years are accommodated;
- a washbasin with tap(s) adapted for children (at least 1 per 10 children);
- children sized toilets (at least 1 per 10 children).
Specific installations and fitting out of a daycare facility
Daycare facilities can be located on the ground floor, the first or second floor (provided there is a second staircase or a fireproof stairwell, i.e. a stairway that can only be accessed through a fireproof door).
Each daycare facility must be equipped with:
- an outside playground of 1 are minimum (100 m2) and at least 5 m2 per child (except if an exemption is granted because of a public playground within a 500 metre radius or the premises has sufficiently large play areas);
- a reception capacity of 200 children at the most;
- a total surface area of at least 3 m2 per child;
Preschool groups (kindergarten, from ages 4 to 6)
Each preschool group may in principle not be larger than 15 children and must:
- have 2 activity rooms of at least 8 m2 (only one activity room if the reception capacity does not exceed 10 children);
- a bathroom on the same or next floor as the activity room (at least 1 toilet and 1 washbasin per 10 children).
Primary school groups (school cycles 1, 2 and 3, from ages 6 to 12)
Each school group may in principle not be larger than 18 children and must have:
- 1 main activity room;
- 2 activity rooms for homework of at least 8 m2 each (only one room if the reception capacity does not exceed 15 children);
- a bathroom on the same or next floor as the activity room with separate toilet cubicles (at least 1 toilet and 1 washbasin per 10 children).
Professional integrity of personnel
All staff (including the managing director) as well as the administrator in the case of a company (business managers, directors, majority shareholders, etc.) must meet the following conditions of professional integrity:
- not have been convicted for a crime or offence against a child or for a fraudulent bankruptcy;
- not have lost custody of a child for inability to support its needs during the last 10 years.
Qualifications of the managing director
In order to justify the qualifications required to receive accreditation from the Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration to operate a crèche or daycare facility, the managing director must have:
- a level of education at least equivalent to the diplôme luxembourgeois d’éducateur (luxembourg diploma for educators);
- have at least 12 months of professional experience.
If the managing director operates 2 or more facilities or if the facility has a reception capacity of 40 children or more, the managing director must, at least, hold a bachelor's degree (3 years of higher education studies) in a field related to working with children.
If the facility is open for 20 hours or more each week, the managing director must carry out his tasks on the premises for at least 20 hours per week.
In order to be able to carry out the daily management of a crèche or daycare facility under the best possible conditions, it is highly recommended to take the course for access to the profession of trader organised by the Luxembourg School for Commerce (LSC).
In order to justify the qualifications required, at least half of the supervisory staff must hold one of the following recognised Luxembourg or equivalent foreign diplomas:
- differentiated education teacher;
- kindergarten teacher;
- paediatric nurse;
- graduate paediatric nurse;
- nursery or school teacher;
- curative teacher;
- any other diploma which mainly prepares to working with children.
The minimum headcount for supervisory staff is dependent on the maximum reception capacity per age group of children and on the number of weekly opening hours.
Children less than 2 years old
Children from 2 to 4 years of age
Children more than 4 years old
At the beginning of the activity, the number of supervisory staff required only depends on the number of children effectively registered and not on the facility's reception capacity. However, the number of supervisory staff must be subsequently adapted to increasing needs.
The calculation file for supervisory staff made available by the Ministry of Family Affairs allows to calculate the number of staff required per group of children accommodated.
Before submitting an application for accreditation, 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 in the building concerned.
If the project requires transformation works in the building, the project owner has to make sure he can obtain a building permit (autorisation de bâtir).
Purchase/lease of premises
Before taking a lease or purchasing premises and to ensure that the requirements in terms of safety and health are met, it is recommended to first contact:
- the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines which can provide information about the standard conditions that will apply to the establishment within the operating permit application procedure.
- the Ministry of Health (namely the Health Inspection) which may have stricter requirements (e.g.: separate washbasin and sink and shower for the cook, etc.).
The administrative procedure for the operating permit for classified establishment can take up to 2 or 3 months.
As the permit is not linked to the accreditation, it is strongly recommended to submit the application from the very 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 needed to complete the full procedure for opening a childcare facility is estimated to be 6 months at least.
Operating permit for classified establishments
The operator/manager of the care centre must submit the application for a care and educational service to the ITM together with all supporting documents which are 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 added to the application.
As soon as the manager receives the operating permit for classified establishment, he can begin the construction/installation 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 manager.
Application for accreditation
The manager must send an application for accreditation of a crèche (information concerning the business) to the Ministry of Family Affairs together with the following documents:
- an extract from the Trade and Companies Register and the company's articles of association.
- a copy of the identity card (or passport) for each of the business managers;
- an extract from the police record - report no. 2 and the special report 'Protection of minors' - (or equivalent) for each of the managers (managers/directors);
- a plan of the facilities, for each floor:
- the surface (in m2) and height of the rooms;
- the facility's internal communication channels;
- each room's use;
- the planned sanitation facilities;
- the age group of children for each room;
- a map of the outside playground including its surface;
- a concept regarding the interior and exterior equipment;
- a cadastral map (extract from the land register);
- the project's financial status, i.e.:
- a previsional budget in the case of a new company;
- the balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the previous years in the case of an existing company;
- a copy of the notice sent to the fire department indicating the potential number of children and adults on the premises.
When the installation/construction works are completed, the manager has to:
- request an appointment with an approved inspection body for the purpose of a first acceptance of the equipped premises (compliance check of standards of safety, health and hygiene);
- request an appointment with the Ministry of Family Affairs for an accreditation inspection (compliance check of quality standards - setting the accommodation capacity).
These appointments can be set at the same time.
The approved inspection body will issue an acceptance report which must be forwarded to the Ministry of Family Affairs to complete the application for accreditation.
In the event of certain minor cases of non-compliance listed in the acceptance report, the manager may be granted a deadline to ensure compliance (e.g.: "Non-compliance with 30 days notice"). In this case, the manager can complete the application and obtain a temporary accreditation, open the establishment and then carry out the necessary works to ensure compliance within the deadline indicated.
In the event of a major non-compliance ("Non-compliance with 0 days notice"), the establishment will not be given a temporary accreditation. The manager must carry out works to ensure compliance and apply for a new acceptance by an approved inspection body before completing his application for accreditation.
Finalising the application
The manager has to complete the application for accreditation by sending information on the staff to the Ministry of Family Affairs together with the following documents:
- a copy of the identity card (or passport) of the managing director;
- an extract from the police record - report no. 2 and the special report 'Protection of minors' - (or equivalent) of the managing director;
- the managing director's employment contract;
- documents attesting to the qualifications of the managing director, i.e.:
- a copy of his degrees and diplomas (and equivalence/recognition of diploma);
- a curriculum vitae;
- attestations of employment from his previous employers providing proof of at least one year of professional experience, or failing this, a certificate of affiliation to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS);
- and the acceptance report from the approved inspection body.
Documents attesting to the qualification and professional integrity of all personnel (police records - report no. 2 and special report 'Protection of minors', copy of ID cards or passports, copy of diplomas/certificates of equivalence, etc.) must be kept available on the premises at all times. These documents must be regularly updated.
The Ministry will grant temporary accreditation provided that:
- the application file is complete;
- the inspection by the Ministry did not give rise to any objection;
- the acceptance report by the approved inspection body did not mention any element of major non-compliance ('Non-compliance with 0 days notice').
The manager can open the establishment as soon as he receives the accreditation and operating permit.
The accreditation must be stated on every mail, invoice or other document intended for a specific recipient or for the public in general.
The accreditation is valid as long as the conditions for accreditation are met.
When the requested compliance works are finished, the manager needs to set an appointment with an approved inspection body to receive the final acceptance for the completed premises (compliance check of standards on safety, health and hygiene).
The Ministry will grant final accreditation provided that:
- the inspection by the Ministry of Family Affairs did not give rise to any objection;
- the final acceptance report from the approved inspection body did not contain any remarks.
No public funding is available for childcare facilities working for a profit.
However, when accreditation is granted, the manager will receive a voluntary collaboration agreement which must be signed and returned to sender if he intends to join the Chèque-Service Accueil - CSA (Childcare service voucher) system.
As long as the childcare facility 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.
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