What is emergency childcare in Switzerland and how do I access it?

What is emergency childcare in Switzerland and how do I access it?
Photo by Markus Spiske from Unsplash
If for some reason you need someone to take care of your kids at short notice in Switzerland, one option is emergency care. Here's what you need to know.

Experiencing an emergency can be difficult even in your home town where you know which numbers to call and what to do. 

But if you are abroad, it can be particularly difficult. 

READ MORE: Nine Swiss phone numbers you should never forget

For parents, this can be particularly difficult and challenging. 

If for some reason you need someone to take care of your kids at short notice, one option is emergency care. 

As Swiss people have a proud record of planning, emergency childcare is not to be used if you forget to organise a childminder at short notice or if you need to rush out and see a show. 

Emergency care is reserved for sudden illness, accidents or even death and is used to “bridge the gap until the situation has calmed down”. 

Emergency carers will usually be available within a few hours of a phone call, but will be ready within 24 hours at the latest. 

The Red Cross list several reasons for emergency care, including “Illness, accident or convalescence (time of healing after illness) of the caring parent, exhaustion (e.g. after giving birth), exceptional situations such as crises in the family Illness or accident of a carer (e.g. grandparents, childminder) and urgent appointments (court appointment, police interrogations)”

Emergency care is offered by the Swiss Red Cross in Zurich and is also offered by the Red Cross in other cantons such as Basel. In Bern, this is administered by the cantonal authorities

In Geneva, this service is provided by the YMCA, while there are also two emergency creches that can be contacted here

Please click on the links for more information. 

If you have ongoing health issues, emergency care organisations can help you provide longer-term solutions. 

You can also donate to the Red Cross emergency care facilities anonymously here

What does it cost? 

Again, it is important to reiterate that this does not take the place of regular childcare but is focused on urgent and emergency situations. 

If you are looking for general childcare information, click the following link. 

READ MORE: How to save money on childcare in Switzerland

This means that it is somewhat subsidised. 

While parents will be asked to make a financial contribution, the program is also funded by the Office for Youth and Careers Advice of the Canton of Zurich, the Social Department of the City of Zurich and the SRK Canton of Zurich.


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