Receiving childcare service vouchers

With the childcare service voucher (chèque-service acceuil - CSA), parents can benefit from reduced rates in crèches, drop-in centres (maison relais), mini-crèches, childcare centres, and also with parental assistants (childminders), provided however that the structure in question is recognised as a chèque-service accueil (CSA) service provider by the Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth.

In particular, these structures must meet certain quality requirements and fulfil the public service mission of guaranteeing equal opportunities for all children with the ultimate aim of social cohesion. By these means, the State supports the integration of children in the Luxembourg society on the level of local communities and fosters their schooling in Luxembourg's basic education system.

The amount of the state's participation (amount of the CSA) and the parent's financial participation are calculated on a per case basis by taking into account:

  • the income of the household the child lives in (married couples, couples joined under a civil partnership or cohabiting couples are deemed equal);
  • the number of children eligible for family allowances in the household and the child's position in the sibling order;
  • the type of childcare structure (in a collective childcare facility or with a childminder);
  • the number of hours the child spends in the childcare structure;
  • specific benefits according to the age of the child (20 hours of free childcare for children from 1 to 4 years of age accommodated in a collective childcare facility).

The CSA is paid directly to the childcare providers registered with the service voucher programme.

Who is concerned

The CSA is available for all children:

  • who reside in Luxembourg; or
  • whose parent or legal guardian (at least one) is a national of a Member State of the European Union and working in Luxembourg.

Prerequisites

To be eligible for the CSA, the child must:

  • be under 13 years of age; and/or
  • still be in the basic education system.

For non-resident workers, further conditions must be satisfied, i.e.,:

  • the parent or legal guardian must be affiliated with the Joint Social Security Centre or work at a European institution;
  • they must be receiving the Luxembourg family allowance (either from the Caisse pour l'avenir des enfants - CAE or the European institution) for the child for whom they are applying for the CSA.

How to proceed

Signing up for the CSA scheme

To benefit from the CSA, parents residing in Luxembourg must go in person to the communal administration of their place of residence (rather than that of the town in which the childcare structure is located).

Non-resident European nationals working in Luxembourg who wish to receive the CSA for their child must go in person to the offices of the Children's Future Fund (Caisse pour l’Avenir des Enfants - CAE) or submit the relevant form by post.

At the time of registration for membership, the parents will receive a membership contract with the CSA which states the hourly rates they will have to pay. It is only possible to conclude one membership contract per child and to indicate one billing address.

The membership contract indicates:

  • the CSA rates for the child in question;
  • the parents' financial contribution per main meal;
  • the duration of the membership and its start and end dates.
  • an annexe indicating the specific advantages according to the child's age.

The membership contract is established in either French, German, English or Portuguese, depending on the parents' wishes.

When a child is registered for the CSA for the first time, a personalised "Mycard" membership card which grants access to a number of services is sent by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.

Details to be provided

In order to benefit from the CSA scheme, parents must provide the following compulsory data:

  • the child's full name;
  • the child's national identification number;
  • the names, first names and the national identification number of the legal representative;
  • the national identification number of the partner or legal representative in the case of a blended family;
  • the child's address;
  • the applicant's address;
  • the billing address;
  • the preferred language of communication (German, French, Luxembourgish, English or Portuguese);
  • to benefit from the State financial aid: the financial income of the legal representative.

In order to draw up the membership contract, the applicant authorises the communal agent to consult the personal data required for processing the membership application in the National Registry of Natural Persons (RNPP) or the Communal Registry of Natural Persons (RCPP), and in the database of the Joint Social Security Centre.

Validity period

The contract is valid for 12 months from the date of signature and has to be renewed every year before the expiry date. Under exceptional circumstances, and for duly substantiated reasons, the applicant's membership in the scheme may be limited to 3 months. Parents are responsible for renewing their membership before the expiry date. Failure to renew the card will result in the CSA being stopped. In this case the parents will be charged the full child care cost.

Amount

State financial aid

The State's financial participation is limited to 60 hours per week. The maximum participation of the State is limited to EUR 6/hour for education and care services and to EUR 3.75/hour for a childminder. All costs exceeding these limits are entirely borne by the parents.

The state is covering the costs for a maximum of 5 meals per week. Any additional meal must be paid by the parents.

The parents' financial contribution and the CSA tariffs

Parents may be entitled to a lower rate within the framework of the CSA scheme provided they communicate their household's income.

The CSA membership contract establishes the value of the CSA based on the parental participation scale which allows to calculate the amount of the parent's financial contribution.  

Married couples, couples joined under a civil partnership or cohabiting couples are treated in the same way when determining the household's income.

The child's legal guardian must produce recent copies of all the documents required to establish the household's current income:

  • a copy of the most recent tax return or, failing this, an income certificate issued by the Luxembourg Inland Revenue (ACD;
  • any documentary proof of the household's income - a recent annual salary certificate, a pension or unemployment certificate, or an income certificate issued by the CCSS - if the income of the applicant is not subject to tax on the basis of taxable income;
  • for non-residents, documentary proof issued by the competent authorities for members of the household who are not liable for tax in Luxembourg; or
  • failing this, any other documentary proof of current income.

If the applicant cannot, for reasons beyond their control, provide one of these documents, the household's taxable income can be certified by any other relevant document issued by the employer.

The communal agent may request further documentary proof of the household's income.

Should the parents not wish to disclose their income details, the amounts indicated in the last category of the parental contribution scale, entitled "no income details provided", are applied.

Applicants are strongly recommended to contact their commune of residence or the CAE in advance, in order to find out exactly which supporting documents will be required for the CSA application.

Note: if the monthly taxable income is more than 4 times the social minimum wage, i.e., EUR 8,284, or if the annual taxable income exceeds EUR 99,412, the maximum rates will apply and income details will not be required.

Choosing a service provider

Membership in the CSA scheme does not exempt parents from registering their child(ren) with the childcare establishment of their choice.

To benefit from the advantages of the CSA scheme, parents must choose a service (education and childcare service and/or a childminder (parental assistant - PA)) that satisfies the criteria for being approved as a "CSA provider" and meets certain quality requirements. Registrations can be made directly with the service provider / PA. A reception contract is signed between the service provider and the parents for each child admitted. Children are admitted according to the number places available and in line with the service providers' priority admission criteria.

There are several types of structures that welcome children in Luxembourg, from infancy to 12 years old.

Collective education and care establishments (service d'éducation et d'accueil - SEA) can, depending on the case, have one of the following names.

  • crèches;
  • daycare centres;
  • drop-in centres;
  • mini-crèches;
  • school hostels (foyer scolaire - City of Luxembourg).

There is another type of childcare services: childminders or parental assistants (assistant parental - AP): they care for children at their home, during the day or at night. The Agence Dageselteren counsels and informs parents who are looking for a childminder.

Specific advantages

The service voucher scheme provides for additional advantages with respect to the CSA scale and tariffs depending on the child's characteristics.  

Children from 1 to 4 years: 20 hours of free childcare

In order to support very young children in their language development, children between 1 and 4 who attend a collective childcare structure benefit from the plurilingual education programme.

This programme, which was introduced in all childcare structures for small children under the CSA scheme in October 2017, aims to familiarise children with Luxembourgish and French. Childminders are excluded from this programme given that this form of childcare cannot fulfil the prerequisites for implementing plurilingual education (1 person per language). Children who are eligible for plurilingual education can benefit from a maximum of 20 hours of free education per week during 46 weeks per calendar year.

Children from 1 to 4 years of age who are not yet schooled can benefit from this free service regardless of their parents' level of income. The plurilingual education programme can be combined with the aid granted within the framework of the Chèque-Service Accueil (CSA) scheme. The advantages of the Chèque-Service Accueil scheme are added to the 20 free hours and apply as of the 21st hour of childcare.

Children registered half-time (fewer than 8 sessions per week) in an early learning educational programme (éducation précoce) benefit from 10 hours of free education per week during 46 weeks per calendar year for the purpose of plurilingual education.

There is a flat-rate contribution of EUR 100 per week during the school holidays

The parental contribution fee during the school holidays is set to EUR 100 per week, exclusive of main meals.

Re-billing

In the event of an error in the amount of aid, the applicant can submit a request for rectification of the application:

  • to the communal administration; or
  • to the CAE.

In that case, all relevant supporting documents must be provided. The re-billing of services which have been invoiced is only possible with the approval of the communal administration and/or the provider.

In the event of an error in the invoicing of education and care hours, the applicant should request the issue of a new invoice from the provider. Re-billing is only possible with the provider's consent.

An invoice cannot be back-dated beyond 12 months. If parents forgot to renew their card within the deadline, invoices cannot be back-dated beyond 3 months.

Forms / Online services

Demande d’adhésion aux chèques-services accueil (CSA) pour les non-résidents

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