Congratulations, you are looking forward to a happy event. Once you have taken in the good news, it is time to take various steps to prepare for the new arrival under the best possible conditions. Let us start with matters relating to your job.
Notifying your employer of your pregnancy
By law you can choose the most appropriate time for informing your employer that you are pregnant. You should inform your employer by recorded delivery letter with acknowledgement of receipt. Alternatively, you can deliver the letter by hand in exchange for a signed copy. In the letter you should indicate the anticipated date of the birth and the expected dates of your maternity leave. Enclose a pregnancy certificate from your doctor.
As soon as your employer receives your pregnancy certificate, you cannot be dismissed until 12 weeks after the birth.
Medical consultations during working hours
All pregnant women are allowed time off work to attend the medical examinations listed below if they must take place during working hours:
- A dental check-up as soon as the mother-to-be becomes aware of her condition, but not later than the fifth month of pregnancy;
- The first check-up, which takes place before the end of the third month;
- The second check-up, which must take place no later than the second half of the fourth month;
- The third check-up, which should take place during the sixth month;
- The fourth check-up, which takes place during the first half of the eighth month;
- The fifth and final check-up, which is scheduled for the first half of the ninth month.
This time off is considered to be an integral part of your usual working hours and is paid as such.
How maternity leave works
You are entitled to eight weeks' prenatal maternity leave and eight weeks’ postnatal maternity leave.
Postnatal maternity leave can be extended by four weeks if the baby is born prematurely (before the 37th week), in the event of a multiple birth or if breastfeeding. The employee concerned is prohibited from working during maternity leave. If the baby is born before the due date, unused prenatal leave days are carried forward to postnatal leave.
The employee must send the CNS a medical certificate indicating the due date for the birth. This certificate must be issued during the final 12 weeks of pregnancy. After the birth you should send a copy of the birth certificate to the CNS.
Caisse nationale de santé (CNS)
Department: Benefits in cash
How parental leave works
See “Things to do after the birth”
Childcare is frequently something of a minefield for parents. Finding a suitable childcare centre can take up a lot of time and energy. First you need to decide what type of childcare centre you want for your child.
You need to start looking as soon as you can. Demand for infant care centres is greater than the supply available. For this reason we recommend that you start looking after the third month of your pregnancy. A list of government-registered and non-government registered childcare centres, parental assistants (Dageselteren) and after-school care centres is available on the website www.guichet.public.lu.
These care centres and home care solutions take various forms:
Creches (0 – 4 years)
The Ministry for the Family, Integration and the Grande Région defines as a creche any non-residential educational childcare service for children below age four, and for pre-school children.
In Luxembourg, creches can be government-registered and subsidised, or run by the private sector. Find out what services your centre offers, and the cost of caring for your child. This cost can be substantial.
Childminders (0 – 6 years)
A childminder's role is looking after young children up to the age of six, usually at the parents' home. The childminder is responsible for your child's development for a few hours or for the whole day. She must ensure that the child's awareness and well-being are fostered through suitable play and activities. Many childminders are independent and are paid directly by the parents. Others work for an organisation such as a creche.
Rather than relying on your personal impression, use a registered childminder. If you can, try to get references from parents who have already used the services of the person concerned.
Parental assistants (< 18 years)
Parental assistance consists of caring for minor children on a regular, paid basis. Depending on the age of the child being cared for, this may include the following activities:
- Supervision while resting and sleeping;
- Care and supervision if the child is ill;
- Care during set times agreed between the parties, usually outside school hours;
- Meals, comprising two main meals and snacks;
- Supervising and organising activities of a social and educational nature;
- Help with homework.
A list of parental assistants operating in Luxembourg can be downloaded from the website www.guichet.public.lu.
Contact the Dageselteren agency for more information about parental assistance.
11, rue du Fort Bourbon / L-1249 Luxembourg
Tél. : (+352) 26 20 27 94 – 1
Child day care centres (4 – 12 years)
A child day care centre is defined as any service that provides non-residential educational care for children in therapeutic care, pre-school and primary children at a professional centre outside school hours and during school holidays. For more information you should contact the Entente des Foyers de Jour asbl.
Entente des Foyers de Jour asbl
4, rue Jos Felten / L-1508 Luxembourg
Tél. : (+352) 46 08 08-360
Nursery (< 8 years)
A nursery is defined as any service that provides spontaneous non-residential care and learning for children up to the age of eight at a professional centre, for up to 16 hours a week per child. For more information, contact the Entente des Foyers de Jour asbl.
After-school care (< 18 years old)
After-school care centres provide temporary non-residential social and educational care for children and young people up to age 18. The after-school care system is a local authority-run system that organises after-school care for children and the young. It is intended for families that live in the commune and for children attending school in the commune. After-school care centres offer a comprehensive range of services, such as:
- Remaining open and welcoming students, normally outside school hours;
- Meals, including lunch and snacks;
- Supervision and organisation of activities;
- Help with homework.
Contact your commune if you need further information. A list of after-school care centres can be downloaded from the website www.guichet.public.lu.
Things to do before the birth
The birth is fast approaching and you still have a thousand and one things to do to get ready for your new arrival. If you don't know where to start, make sure you deal with the following as a priority:
Don't leave drawing up a list of the things you will need for the baby until the very last minute. You really need plenty of time to think about and prepare a list of the most important things you will need for your baby and yourself. Ask friends for advice or make an appointment with specialist shops that offer a birth list service, preferably when the shop is not busy.
Do not hesitate to test the various products, to see how they compare in use. There is no point buying a top-of-the-range pram if you are unable to fold it up on your own. First make a list of the items you will need for the first few months after the birth. Invite friends and family who would enjoy helping you choose the items on your list.
To save money, remember to ask friends who already have children for help. Their attics are probably overflowing with unwanted items that would be of great use to you.
Even with the internet, printed cards are still the most popular way of announcing a birth. To avoid a last-minute rush, start preparing your cards two months before the baby is due. If you are creative you can make them yourself, otherwise use a specialist greetings card maker. Your budget will depend on the size you choose, the text and the number of cards you order. First draw up a list of recipients and prepare the envelopes in advance.
If you have left a birth list with a shop, remember to mention it on the card.
Getting your home ready
There is more to getting your home ready for your baby than choosing a colour for his or her bedroom. Cosy as it may be, your home could be full of dangers for your baby. A baby may not move much in the first few weeks, but will soon be crawling left, right and centre. Here are just some of the points you should bear in mind.
- Install a safety gate if you have stairs. This will mean you can let your baby explore the house without risking a fall. Make sure it closes firmly so that your child will not be able to just pull it open. Be sure to choose a gate that meets European safety standards;
- Fit electric socket covers. Children have a peculiar fascination for electric sockets and love poking their fingers and other objects into them. You must therefore buy vacuum or key-operated socket covers and remember to hide electric cables behind furniture;
- Make corners of tables and doors safe. Your child could get hurt by the corners of tables, cupboard doors and drawers. Fit protectors to the corners of your furniture so that your baby will not get hurt by bumping into them. For the same reason, fit cupboard and drawer locks.
- Keep small objects out of the reach of tiny fingers. Children will happily put anything they lay their hands on in their mouths. Keep an eye on them and place objects that they could swallow out of reach.