Daycare center or all-day school – what is the difference? Where can you find childcare in a foreign language? What are the advantages and disadvantages of private or public, local or international schools? We can give you useful information on childcare options and education systems and many more things worth knowing.
Daycare centers (KITA) for children from 3 months
- Daycare centers are open from Monday to Friday.
- Some KITAs take children until they start with kindergarten and others will take care of your child until the end of kindergarden.
- We strongly recommend that you reserve a daycare spot in a KITA at least 9 months in advance using the online portal KI-TAX
- Some KITAs are subsided. The cost depends on the income and assets of the parent. Childcare vouchers will also be available for non-residents of Bern from the summer of 2020.
- A few companies also offer playgroups in English.
- KITA for Children with Special Needs
Tipp: Whenever possible, choose a KITA in your own neighborhood, since your child(ren) will be enrolled in the local kindergarten where you live. This ensures that the travel time from the KITA to the kindergarten and vice versa is as short as possible.
All-Day Schools for Kindergarten- and School-Aged Children
- These include childcare services for children outside of regular school hours (before and after school). Many all-day schools also offer transportation.
- The service is open to all parents and children. All-day school services are voluntary and fee-based for parents (cost depends on income and assets).
Did you know that certain daycare facilities have been awarded quality seals, such as “Fourchette verte”?
- Canton of Bern, Childcare Facilities
- City of Bern, Childcare Facilities incl. KI-TAX platform, babysitting, short-term solutions.
- List of Playgroups
- City of Bern, Parks and Playgrounds (interactive city map)
- There’s a great deal for children to experience and discover in Bern, such as the bears at the Bern Animal Park or the Dählhölzli Zoo.
More activities to enjoy with children in Bern and the surrounding regions (change to Tourism Page)
- Ferienpass (Vacation Pass): Activities for children during the summer holidays
Switzerland is well known for its accessible, flexible and high-quality schooling system. Which type of schooling best suits your personal situation (financial circumstances, your child's mother tongue, length of stay in Switzerland, etc.)? Which institution is responsible for recognizing a diploma? Where are German courses offered? We can give you impartial, individualized advice on the various educational offers available – just contact us!
Kindergarten (2 years) and Compulsory Schooling (9 years)
- Kindergarten and School System in the Canton of Bern
- The Ecole Cantonale de Langue Française (ECLF) in Bern is a public school (kindergarten as well as grades 1 through 9) that follows the curriculum from the French-speaking Swiss cantons. The main language of instruction is French, with German and English taught as subjects.
Did you know that despite the “Harmos” project (aimed at harmonizing compulsory education in Switzerland), the school entrance age still varies in some cantons? Education is a cantonal affair, and the situation has evolved over the years. Harmonizing many different school systems takes time.
Vocational Training, Colleges of Higher Education and Universities of Applied Sciences
Apprenticeship training enjoys an excellent reputation in Switzerland, and around two thirds of Swiss young people complete an apprenticeship after finishing their compulsory schooling. The country’s low unemployment rate is due in part to the fact that young adults are integrated into the working world earlier than in other places. After finishing their apprenticeship, a large majority of them go on to complete another practice-oriented course of study at a college of higher education or university of applied sciences. In Switzerland, lifelong learning is strongly encouraged within the framework of its very accessible education system. Anyone who decides to complete a vocational apprenticeship first can still pursue an academic degree afterwards – with increasing options to do so while continuing to work.
Technical Secondary Schools and Secondary Schools (High Schools)
- Overview of Technical Secondary Schools (Fachmittelschulen) in the Canton of Bern
- Overview of Cantonal Secondary Schools (High Schools/Gymnasien) in the Canton of Bern
Technical Secondary Schools (Fachmittelschulen) are for pupils who target a career in the fields of in the professional fields of health, social work or education. The technical school also prepares for higher tertiary education like College of Higher Education or University of Applied Sciences.
Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
- The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is responsible for recognizing foreign qualifications.
- The Vocational Information Center (BIZ) Bern is happy to help with questions about your foreign qualifications.
Children with Special Needs
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