You are here


For parents who wish to continue working, there exist various collective or individual child-minding services. Childcare services also exist for unemployed mothers. However, these facilities are in high demand and it is essential to plan for the minding of one’s children prior to departure.

Below, Espace Ulys presents all such childcare services available in France, as well as what you need to know regarding such services in Lyon and Saint-Étienne:

Collective childcare facilities

Whether they are called crèches, halte-garderies, structures multi-accueil or jardins d’enfants, all of these facilities can meet your child-minding needs.

These centres can welcome your children on a regular basis (over 20 hours a week) or periodically (less than 20 hours a week), up until they start nursery school (at the age of 3), or even up until the age of 6 at certain centres.

All of these centres must follow the applicable rules and regulations, and they must be approved by the President of the Conseil Général (departmental council). The children placed in their care are minded by trained professionals.

Childcare costs are determined by the Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF, family allowance office), based upon your income and the number of your children placed in such care.
Calculate the cost.


Registering your child for child-minding services

Less than 20 hours per week
For less than 20 hours of child-minding per week, we advise you to directly contact a local collective childcare facility for information regarding child registration. You will be contacted as soon as a place becomes available at the institution of your choice.
Search for a childcare centre.

Over 20 hours per week
For over 20 hours of child-minding per week, you will need to submit a registration application dossier to the local town hall. Your application dossier will be studied by an admissions committee. You will then be contacted by the town hall, which will inform you regarding the acceptance or refusal of your application. The entire procedure can last several months.

Consult the list of town halls for Lyon and the surrounding municipalities.
Consult the list of town halls for the Saint-Étienne metropolitan area.


University day care centers

In Lyon, two day-care centers give priority to the children of university staff:

The registration procedure is the same as for the other child-minding facilities.



In France, a childminder (assistante maternelle, also commonly referred to as a nounou) cares for up to 4 children aged under 6 at his/her home. Childminders may also mind children at the parents’ home.

All childminders must complete a specific training programme and receive state certification. It is this certification that lends the childminder his/her professional status.

Childminders are either employed at a crèche familiale (family day-care centre), or directly hired by the parents. The childminder’s salary is set either by the day care centre or in agreement with the parent-employers. In the event of the childminder being hired by the child’s parents, the latter may benefit from an allowance provided by the Caisse d’Allocation Familiale (CAF) depending on the parents’ income and the makeup of the family.

Search for a childminder.


Play centers

Accueils de loisirs ("play centres") are educational leisure activity centres for children and adolescents. These facilities are open:

  • During the academic year, prior to or after school, during the lunch break, on Wednesdays and/or on Saturdays.
  • During the school holidays.

These facilities organize indoor and outdoor games, as well as manual, relaxation, discovery, cultural, athletic, scientific, technological, etc. activities for children.

The children are minded by state-certified monitors or monitors undergoing training.

Rates are set by the play centres. 

Search for a play centre.


Child-parent activity centers

Lieux d’accueil enfants-parents welcome children under 6 years of age accompanied by their parents, to participate in convivial games and exchanges. These child-parent activity centres allow families to mix and become acquainted, while favouring the socialization of both the children and their parents.

Activities are organized and supervised by either professionals or volunteers trained to listen.

These services are usually free. However, a small fee may occasionally be requested.
Consult the list of child-parent activity centres in Lyon.
Consult the list of child-parent activity centres in the Loire department.