Childcare in Brazil

Updated 2022-03-25 13:25

As more and more women have joined the workforce in Brazil, childcare has become very important. There are a few options available today, depending on the age of your child and on whether you opt to use public services or pay for private care. Very few companies in Brazil offer daycare, as they do in Europe. Parents will need to investigate options on their own.

Nursery schools

Nursery schools, termed berçários or creches, are open to infants of about three months to 18 months. The Brazilian constitution mandates that public facilities be provided at no charge, and these are administered at the municipal level. However, in many locales, there's far more demand than there are spaces available, so long waits are common. Also, the quality of public nurseries is often inadequate.

Parents who can afford to place their babies in private facilities (which offer care and education) choose this option. Some of the better schools may even offer bilingual activities to even the youngest children. In more impoverished neighborhoods, private nurseries may charge as little as R$200 (Brazilian reals) per month, but prices for better ones in more affluent areas can reach R$3,000 per month.

To enroll your child at a nursery in Brazil, visit the center you've chosen with your child's birth certificate, proof of residence, a recent passport-size photo, as well as your child's medical record with details on vaccines and blood group.

Good to know:

While nurseries will close for recognized holidays, they don't close for extended vacation periods, but instead, operate all year-round.

Preschools in Brazil

Maternals are preschools for babies and children up to two years old. As with nurseries, there are free, government-supported facilities, but also private schools, which offer more in the way of education, as well as sports. At age three, a child enters a jardim de infância.

Unlike nurseries, preschools often close at designated times of the year. January is a standard vacation period, as is July. Note that some schools may, however, also operate summer programs called colônias de férias. These are akin to summer day camps (children don't sleep away from home) and focus on play.

Useful links:

Tic Tic Tac


Mary Poppins

Nursery Scola Amor Perfeito

Mira Flores

In-home care

It's fairly common in Brazil for middle and upper-class parents to hire a nanny or nursemaid (babá) to look after their children in the home. The nanny might be live-in or come only in the daytime while the mother is at work. As babás aren't licensed, you should screen applicants carefully and ask for references.

The cost of in-home care has risen considerably in recent years due to increasing government regulation. In addition to their salary (which might range from B$1,700 to B$2,000 reals per month in a larger city), a babá will also receive a transportation subsidy, and the employer must contribute to government unemployment and previdência (retirement) funds.

The use of babysitting circles and younger babysitters (such as those in college or high school) is starting to become more popular, especially in bigger cities. You can ask around to see which babysitters come recommended.

Good to know:

In Brazil, grandmothers and other members of the extended family often assist on a regular basis with the care of infants and children. Also, babysitters (folguistas) may be engaged just for a few hours, or sometimes for the weekend, when the regular babá is off duty.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.