General information about the early childhood sector

The early childhood sector is complex. It depends on the Ordinance of the Federal Council of 19 October 1977, which sets the placement of children (OPE) outside the family home.

Each canton has its own law enforcement of this Ordinance, as well as guidelines on places, the professional qualifications of staff working in pre-school institutions and the supervision of children required. These elements constitute the standards in the canton.

Different departments and services of the State are involved in the supervision of the implementation of these standards that are generally Departments of Education, Department of Youth Protection and security services. It is also the State, which authorizes opening childhood Institution.

Most French-speaking cities have established specialized services in early childhood. Their approval is generally required to obtain an annual subsidy or part of the operating financial support.

The early childhood is designed at the municipal level. This fact creates a lot of disparities between urban and rural municipalities and their respective financial footing. Large urban municipalities have been able to develop more heavily the offer of places than rural municipalities.