Looking after a young child, financing accommodation, launching a professional career: young families are faced with numerous challenges. The Luxembourg State provides support for parents at this pivotal time in their life, in which they are often financially challenged.
The State does this by supporting some of the costs of childcare, through the CSA scheme. This enables parents to enjoy – depending on their income – reduced rates, and even free hours of childcare, in the various facilities. The CSA thus contributes to improved equal opportunities, since it makes it easier for all children to gain access to quality childcare, whatever facility they attend.
The CSA scheme is aimed at all children aged between 0 and 12 years (and even older if they are still in primary school) whose parents reside in Luxembourg or where at least one non-resident parent works in Luxembourg and is a national of the European Union.
With the CSA, parents can benefit from reduced rates in the fees charged by crèches, maisons relais, foyers and parental assistants, provided that the facility in question is recognised as a provider of CSA services by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth. In order to be recognised, the facility must meet certain well-defined quality criteria, including in particular that of fulfilling a public service mission.
myCard fir Kanner
In order to benefit from the CSA, parents residing in Luxembourg must apply for a personalised membership card for their child to their municipality. Non-resident parents should apply to the Caisse pour l'avenir des enfants.
Since 23 April 2018, the old card has been replaced by myCard fir Kanner, which is sent to parents whose children are already receiving benefits under the CSA scheme. It provides access to a secure online space offering a range of functions and advantages:
- access to educational materials suited to the age of their child,
- the ability to consult the monthly invoices and statements of account issued by the CSA,
- involvement in the multilingual education weeks (1 to 4 years of age).
myCard remains valid up to the end of primary school; in other words, no new card is issued upon the annual renewal of the CSA membership contract.
In the event of loss, parents must apply to the municipal authorities or the Caisse pour l'avenir des enfants for a duplicate.
If you have any technical questions about myCard, click here.
How to apply for CSA benefits (pdf, 1307 KB)
Contribution by the parents and contribution by the State
In order to provide support to those families who most need it, the CSA element is calculated taking into consideration the reality of the various family situations.
The State contribution (that is to say, the CSA) and the financial contribution to be made by the parents are calculated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account:
- the income of the household in which the child is living (for these purposes, married couples, registered partnerships and unmarried cohabiting couples are treated equally);
- the number of children for whom child benefits are being paid in the household and the ranking of the child within the family group;
- the type of childcare facility involved (supervision in a collective facility or by a parental assistant);
- the number of hours for which the child is looked after in the facility;
- any specific advantages, according to the child’s age (20 hours of free care for children aged from 1 to 4 years within a collective facility).
The parental contribution scale (pdf, 31 KB) is used to calculate the CSA rates to which the parents are entitled to.
- The State contributes to a maximum of 60 hours' childcare per week.
- The maximum contribution by the State is 6 euros per hour for a child attending a collective facility.
- It is 3.75 euros per hour for a child who is being looked after during the daytime (7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.) by a parental assistant. For night-time care (7.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m.), and on weekends and public holidays, the contribution by the State is increased by 0.50 euros per hour.
- The State contributes to the cost of 5 main meals per week, at the rate of 4.50 euros per meal.
Private childcare facilities and parental assistants are free to fix their hourly rates. However, any amounts in excess of the applicable maximum costs must be paid by the parents.
During holiday periods and school holidays, the maximum cost of childcare is 100 euros per week, plus the price of meals.
The contribution payable by the parents is calculated on the basis of their taxable income. The following are not taken into account: child benefits, the back-to-school allowance, the childbirth grant, financial aid and voluntary assistance received from social welfare offices or from private social welfare organisations.
Parents receive each month an invoice setting out the childcare benefits awarded in respect of their child. A statement of account can be consulted in the secure online space (chèque-service space, see opposite).
Calculating the parents' financial contribution (pdf, 1366 KB)
Children aged from 1 to 4 years: 20 hours' free childcare, offering the same opportunities to all
In order to offer everyone the same opportunities to access the multilingual education programme, children aged from 1 to 4 years who attend a collective childcare facility offering its services within the chèque-service scheme (thus not parental assistants) are entitled to receive, free of charge, 20 hours' care over a period of 46 weeks per calendar year.
All children aged from 1 to 4 years who are not yet attending school are entitled to this free support, regardless of their parents' income. The advantages of the CSA are provided in addition to the 20 free hours (see above) and thus apply with effect from the 21st hour of childcare.
Children who are enrolled half-time in early childhood education (précoce) and who also attend a crèche are entitled to a lump-sum benefit of 10 hours' free care per week as part of the multilingual education programme.
The programme, which was introduced in October 2017 in all "young children" SEAs offering CSA care, was created to familiarise children aged from 1 to 4 years with the Luxembourgish and French languages. It is based on the observation that the earlier one comes into contact with a language, the easier it is to acquire a knowledge of it.