Childcare in the Vienna Region
The days of entrepreneurs are long and busy. Hence, childcare options are an important issue when choosing the right country to relocate a company to or to launch a start-up. Austria is a great place to raise, care for and educate children. There are plenty of benefits and possibilities – we have summed them up for you below.
Childcare in Austria
Reliable and flexible childcare facilities are an essential prerequisite for the successful combination of work and family life. Austria provides excellent and ever-increasing support in this area. There is a high standard of childcare in the Vienna Region. Public and private institutions as well as personal arrangements are available. Subsidies help cover childcare costs. Public childcare usually includes supervised learning, playtime, and meals.
In the last few years, initiatives from the provinces, the municipalities, and the federal government have created even more care places. Opening hours in the afternoons have been extended and there are more care offers during holidays. The federal government spent more than 400 million euros on the enlargement of childcare facilities between 2008 and 2018 (source: Bundeskanzleramt). Early language support has been increased, and a compulsory kindergarten year free of charge before entering school has been introduced. This one year of preschool education became compulsory in 2010. Vienna and Burgenland offer all-day care for children up to the age of 6 which is free of charge. Lower Austria offers free part-time daycare for children between the ages of 2.5 and 6 years.
Child care clearly is a major focus of the Austrian government. Due to government benefits and programs, most Austrian families do not spend a lot of money on childcare. For example, UK parents spend about 33.8% of their income on childcare, while Austrian couples spend less than 4% (source: Expatica.com and OECD`s database on tax and benefits). Hence, relocating with one’s company to Austria is quite attractive for employees with children.
Types of childcare
There are different types of institutions offering child care – they differ in group size, focus, and the age of the children.
Crèches look after children under the age of three. They provide care and activities that are suitable to the children`s age. These facilities primarily address working parents, hence they are usually open all day and all year round.
Nursery schools welcome children from the age of 3 until they start school. They are an addition to family care. Their goal is the promotion of the mental, emotional and physical development of the children. The focus is on playing, and the educational effect of the group which is especially beneficial for children without or with much older siblings. They also organize excursions, cultural events, and sports activities. Many nursery schools have a garden, so children can play outdoors as well. Since 2010 it is compulsory for 5-year-olds to attend nursery school for one year, 20 hours per week.
There are public state kindergartens that are free of charge. Private kindergartens are still quite affordable because part of the cost is subsidized by the Austrian government. Some big companies also provide independently run kindergartens for their own employees.
Day homes take care of pupils after their school hours as well as on school-free days. They provide support with homework and help the pupils to prepare for exams. Moreover, they offer leisure activities which are suited to the age of the children. Daycare programs for school kids are also becoming increasingly common within larger companies.
Childminders look after small children in a private home, mostly together with their own children. This type of care has increased quite a lot in recent years. Suitable qualifications and training courses are obligatory for each childminder.
Au pairs, nannies and babysitters
Au pairs are young foreigners (mostly students) who come to live with you in your home. In addition to babysitting, they also take care of simple household chores. You must register their employment before they arrive. They will usually get approval for six months at a time and not longer than a year total. There are several online au pair agencies that help with all the necessary details.
A nanny comes to work in your private home. He or she is a trained childcare professional. Working hours and tasks are agreed upon directly with the parents. In Austria, a nanny has employment rights (for example the right to paid maternity leave or a legally binding contract).
If you occasionaly require childcare services, especially for evening hours, babysitters are a great option. There are several websites where you can look for a babysitter. They are usually paid an hourly rate.
Most Austrian residents receive a family allowance that helps to cover the cost of childcare and of raising children. Maternity leave is also very generous in Austria. Parents have the right to work part-time, and to obtain so-called care release. There is also a family bonus tax deduction, a “multiple children bonus” and a single-earners or single-parent tax allowance.
Austria has universal health care and an excellent medical system. Spouses and children of ex-pats are covered under the working family member’s insurance policy. A parent’s insurance covers children’s healthcare in Austria, which includes medical and surgical bills.
The website of the Austrian Government offers an extensive, clearly structured list of childcare institutions. It provides information on nationwide offers and on regional offers. Associations with a specific focus – such as support for single parents, support for female entrepreneurs, Catholic or Waldorf kindergartens, etc. are listed as well. You will also find Information on the regulations concerning parental leave and parental part-time work, childcare allowance, financial support, etc.
The Austrian Business Agency offers thorough information on kindergarten, primary and secondary schools in their blog.
So does www.bildungssystem.at which provides a detailed overview of the Austrian education system.If you are looking into relocating your company, adding a new production site, or founding a start-up outside of your home country, the Vienna Region is an excellent choice. It offers an excellent business environment with all the important factors for success. In addition to that, it provides great childcare, high quality of life, and a safe and healthy place for children to grow up in.
More emotions and regional insights
Let me give you five reasons why you should set up your headquarters in the Vienna Region:
- it is part of the 4th richest country of the European Union
- a high quality of life at affordable prices
- Excellent, highly-developed infrastructure
- highly qualified workforce
- outstanding spending capacity of customers
- home to many international companies, universities as well as research facilities
- direct access to South East and Eastern Europe
- high level of personal security, political stability and legal certainty
- an international as well as cosmopolitan region due to a population with migration background
What a founder-friendly location needs is a focus on the global market. Austria’s location in particular makes it an ideal hub for the international start-up scene in Central and Eastern Europe.
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