Finding day care for young children can be difficult in Switzerland. In Lausanne it has been difficult for many years.
The challenge doesn’t disappear when children go to school either. In Switzerland, schools close at lunchtime and children are the responsibility of parents, a system that works when one parent works and the other stays at home but not if both are out at work.
Currently, the city of Lausanne has around 2,400 places for children aged between 4 months and school age.
These child care places are subsidized. The monthly cost of full-time care per child ranges from CHF 200 to CHF 1,918 per month depending on household income and the number of children in the household – the price falls as the number of children rises and rises with income.
To decide which children get a place, the municipality looks at the family’s proximity to the kindergarten and favours those juggling child care with work.
However, from the beginning of the next school year, the municipality has decided to implement a firm policy of turning away the children of families where one parent doesn’t work, in order to free up more scarce places for working parents.
Families with child care places concerned by this new policy have be sent letters by the municipality, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.
Many are unhappy at the change. The issue is to be discussed further at the next municipality meeting.