There are a number of nursery schools and kindergartens in Cyprus, known collectively as part of the pre-primary system. In fact, since 2004, Cyprus has made it mandatory for children to attend at least one year of pre-primary school before enrolling in primary school, starting at the age of four years and eight months, though you can enrol children as young as three.
Recommendations from other expats or locals you meet in Cyprus are generally the best source of information when it comes to picking the best childcare facilities. You can follow the EasyExpat forum for Childcare in Cyprus, or arrange for an Expat Meet-Up through the relevant forum in order to get other expats' advice.
After you have solicited advice from a few people, make sure to visit the childcare facilities in person to see if you are satisfied with the amenities and level of care, and if the facility is a good fit for you and your child. Expect to pay approximately 400 to 600 Euros a month in fees, in addition to a one-time registration fee.
Recommended international pre-primary schools include:
There are playcenters, music classes, and meet-ups for moms where your children can play all throughout Nicosia and Cyprus. If you just want a small group of kids, try setting up playgroups with other expats through the meet-up forum.
Expats in Cyprus either hire an au pair to help them with babysitting duties and light housework in the long term, or opt for a babysitter if they just need someone to watch the children on rare occasions.
If you don't like either of these options, you can ask fellow expat parents you meet through schools, playgroups or other forums for babysitter recommendations. Otherwise, you can post a job listing on the Teaching, Childcare in Cyprus job board. Babysitters in Cyprus are usually young women in their late teens or early 20s.
Pay attention to the title the babysitter uses; according to Cypriot law, “nannies” are usually more experienced but not required to hold childcare qualifications, “childminders” are defined as self-employed businesswomen who work from home and mind multiple children, and “babysitters” are the most informal option for short childcare stints.
Expats who opt for an au pair must sign them on for a 12-month position, but in return they usually get an experienced childcare professional with a First Aid certificate and fluent English skills. Au pairs also come at the cheapest rate per hour (around 3 to 4 Euros) compared to other babysitters, however, you will probably end up spending the same amount of money since you are signing them on to a year-long contract.
Prices for a babysitter range between 7 and 16 Euros an hour, though many childcare companies will offer clients discounts if they book the babysitters' services for multiple hours in the upcoming weeks. The fees usually depend on the babysitter's experience.
Usually, the same companies in Cyprus that employ babysitters also employ au pairs, so you can discuss the options with the company and see which suits you and your family best.
Childcare Companies in Cyprus