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School system

Compulsory schooling is 11 years and free. The local education system is different from that in Estonia. Compulsory education does not start with the first class, but at the age of 4 with  Kindergarten  (L'Ecole enfantine / a scuola dell'infanzia). Pre-school usually lasts two years, but there are cantonal differences. The school day ends at noon, the parents have to organize themselves in the afternoon. Often the child spends the afternoon in childcare as before the start of preschool. Many parents organize afternoon care with each other.


The peculiarity of the intermediate level is the division of pupils into different classes on the basis of academic success. Based on this, some students can go on to upper secondary school (and to university after that), while others can start vocational training. The choice of professions is very large and vocational training is very well organized. It is also possible to acquire higher education after completing vocational training.

In general, school starts in August and lasts until July. Children have a fall, a Christmas, a sports, a spring and a summer break. Breaks are not at the same time in all cantons and cities.


Legal maternity leave is 98 days, during which 80% of salary is paid. Many mothers stay at home a little longer. In September 2020, it was decided that paternity leave is going to be two weeks.


Small children can be provided with paid childcare, in the Estonian sense, nursery ( Kindertagesstätte / la crèche / il nido ). Most parents with little children work part-time. Many pupils or students earn extra money with babysitting, so the parents can take an evening off. There is also a system Tagesmutter / (nounou) maman de jour / famiglie di urne , basically like a little Kita at home. This option is more homely and affordable. In French-speaking Switzerland, the babysitter can be found

Croix Rouge and Maman de jour.


Au pair

Eltern und Kind im Supermarkt

The nursery is quite expensive and positions are sometimes difficult to find. Many parents are willing to hire an au pair to take care of the children at home and live with their family. Various web portals mediate contacts between interested parties. An au pair contract is usually for one year, EU citizens can stay for two years.


It is important to remember that German-speaking areas speak a dialect that is difficult to understand at first. Depending on the family's background, the children can also speak High German.

Other au pairs can be found on the playground or at a language course. It is also possible to join a Facebook group , a separate group is for au pairs in the Zurich area . There are several groups on Facebook, you just have to find one that suits you.

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