Child care becoming increasingly common in Romania, as the traditional model of mothers staying at home is gradually replaced by a busy urban lifestyle where both parents work. You should always examine your options carefully before choosing child care or a babysitter for your child.
When selecting a child care facility, it is important to take into account various factors:
Nurseries (creșe) are generally available to children between 1 and 3 years old. However, the exact age depends on the nursery, some may accept babies starting from 3 months. Nurseries can offer either a basic 4-hour day-time care (creșe cu program normal) or prolonged service (creșe cu program prelungit), make sure to pick one depending on your needs. Bucharest has around 40 public nurseries and an increasing number of private childcare facilities, in order to cope with the high demand.
A list of the public and private nurseries and their contact details is available here.
Kindergartens (grădinițe) generally receive children aged 4 to 6 and provide pre-school education. As with nurseries, they can be either part-time or full-time. There are many state-owned kindergartens, however, the demand is extremely high and places must be booked around a year in advance. Private kindergartens offer different alternatives with regards to pedagogy and the language of instruction.
The list of public and private kindergartens can be found here. Note that many international schools offer kindergarten facilities. Also refer to our section on education.
Prices depend on the type of facility. Public nurseries (creșe de stat) are free, but the services and conditions may not be up to the standard expected. Private nurseries charge from 200 euros per month, but prices may be much higher for English-language schools.
The Romanian state offers childcare subsidies (alocații de stat pentru copii) for all children under 18 who live with their parents or legal caretakers. The subsidies are offered monthly in cash, and amount to:
Disabled chidren receibe 200 RON per month until the age of 18.
In order to receive the subsidy, a formal application must be made to the nearest Child Protection Agency. The children of foreign citizens legally residing in Romania are also eligible to receive the subsidy.
Recommendations from other parents are the best way to find a suitable child care facility that you can trust. You can meet at playgrounds, parks, or online forums like EasyExpat's Romania forum and networks. Be sure to visit different facilities to find one that suits you.
Babysitters are generally employed on a temporary or short-term basis. Often a friend of the family or relative is employed for an evening to watch over the child at the parents' residence. In Romania, babysitters may be called "bone".
Usually young women are the babysitters and may offer their services as a business. A babysitter should have civil liability insurance and the babysitter's parents must be informed if the person is a minor. Only baby-sitters aged 15 or more can ask for payment.
Prices charged by babysitter are usually higher than what you would have to pay at a nursery center. Fees depend on the type of work, the schedule and the number of children to take care of. You should expect to pay around 1000 euros per month for one child for a babysitting service during regular working hours.
If you plan on bringing a babysitter from abroad, you will pay an additional one-time fee of approximately 3,500 euros to cover relocation costs and administrative fees.
Most families find a babysitter by word-of-mouth, letting friends and family know that they are looking. Parents may also try posting on bulletin boards at community centers, grocery stores, or expat hang-outs.
A great on-line resource is to post on expat classified's, like on Easy Expat's babysitter search.
Other resources include:
For more frequent childcare, you may consider an au pair. Consult the section on "Find a Job>Au Pair".