Trusting your child to someone else can be a frightening thought. However, it is necessary for many working couples. There are several issues to work out to help you, and your child, feel safe and happy.
Budget: It is important to know what you are able to spend to help determine where you should look. Think about the number of hours and time to day you will need a sitter to determine your total costs.
Language: As with many services in Prague, English language skills may cost more. Decide if that is important to you. There are also many German, French, and Russian-speaking services.
The Bilingual Families Web Page is a helpful resource to discuss different places and options:
Age of Children: Care for infants (0-6 months) is quite limited. Above that age, parents should have no problem finding care. At the age 3 and up, children may be enrolled in state pre-school (materska skola). Some schools require that children be potty-trained.
Service Provided: Some facilities offer "drop-in" care which you can use on a sporadic basis. Other places require a contract and a regular schedule.
When choosing a care center, check staff turnover. Consistency in caregivers is a major benefit for your child. Proximity is often the deciding factor when choosing child care. This is an important element in creating a happy situation, and a happy life.
There are a variety of nurseries available. State nurseries (jesles) are one of the cheapest options, but may charge extra for non-Czech children. However, if you are collecting maternity benefits in the Czech system, be aware that you may forfeit your benefits if you send your child to a state nursery more than 5 days in one calendar month.
Private Nurseries prices vary, expect around 7,000 CZK per month for a few days a week of half-day care to upwards of 15,000 CZK per month for full-time care.
The local town hall will usually have a list of facilities. Parents can also find them in the yellow pages under "jesle". Here a few listings for child care facilities, but do your own research to find the right place for you and your child.
Provide care for this age group as well as for older babies and toddlers. Address: Praha 5, Trojdilna 18
Preschool. Open 08:00-18:00, Closed weekends
Address: Praha 4, Babakova 2149
International Montessori School
For 3-6 year olds. Open 08:30-15:00, Closed on weekends.
Address: Praha 4, Hrudickova 2107
The Little Prince
For 2-6 year olds. Open 07:30-18:00, Closed weekends.
Praha 4, Severovychodni IV/25
The Czech word for sitter is chuva or chuvicka. It is possible to employ an agency to arrange sitters, or to hire an independent sitters.
Agencies- must be licensed and insured and are excellent at finding last minute replacements. They also pre-screen their sitters. Reputable agencies include: Agentura Baby, Agentura Chuvicka, Domestica, and Klara Agency.
Prices should be listed (under ucenik) on the website. Fees may include surcharges for care in a foreign language, care for more than one children, care for a sick child, care after 22:00. Some may charge placement fees of 2,000-6,000 CZK for finding a regular sitter; other agencies charge no fee.
Independent- Word-of-mouth recommendations is the most common way to find an independent sitter. The International Women's Association of Prague (IWAP) can be a helpful resource for recommendations. In-home sitters generally range from 90-140 CZK an hour. Most agencies charging at least 110 CZK an hour for experienced sitters.
It is also possible to leave your child at drop-in centres located in many shopping malls. This can be great if a parent doesn't usually need child care, or has to find somewhere last minute. They usually only accept children from age 3 and up and often only take potty trained children. Make sure to be clear on the rules and regulations before leaving your child.