How to become a parental assistant
Parental assistance consists of the regular and paid care, either during the day or at night, of children from birth up to the age of 12 years or still in fundamental education or in differentiated education at the request of the person(s) with parental authority. This activity is a provision of service carried out on a self-employed basis by the parental assistant at his/her home.
One or a group of parental assistants may not care for more than five children at any one time; no more than two of the children may be under two years old (including own children less than two years old).
Parental assistants may not carry out their activity without holding an accreditation issued by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l'Education Nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse).
To be accredited as a parental assistant, candidates must meet the following conditions:
- be over 18 years old,
- be physically and mentally capable of looking after children,
- regularly attend continuous training and supervision sessions, for at least 20 hours each year,
- submit a development plan (projet d'établissement) describing the offer and the concept of the childcare.
In terms of required professional training, candidates must meet all of the following three criteria:
- have successfully completed one of the following training courses:
have completed the pre-training course intended as preparation for working in and organising the activity of parental assistance;
- hold a diploma in the psychosocial, educational, socio-educational or health field;
- hold a certificate further to attending a training course for socio-family assistants;
- hold a certificate further to attending a training course for parental assistants;
be able to understand and speak at least one of the three languages French, German or Luxembourgish, as provided for in the Law of 24 February 1984 on the use of languages.
Anyone who has not successfully completed basic socio-educational training or care/healthcare training must attend parental assistance training in order to obtain authorisation.
Stages in the procedure for obtaining accreditation
Under contract to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, the Dageselteren Agency is a service providing training, information, and guidance for parental assistants, parents, and social institutions.
The stages in obtaining accreditation to work as a parental assistant are as follows:
- Anyone interested in working as a parental assistant should contact the Dageselteren Agency, to enrol for an information session. This group session will give them a better idea of what is involved in working as a parental assistant.
- Candidates then send a full application to the Dageselteren Agency, and are invited to a personal interview to discuss their personal and professional motivation for this work, and their language skills.
- After the personal interview, candidates are invited by the Dageselteren Agency to attend the compulsory pre-training course lasting six days, designed to prepare them for carrying out and organising their future work as parental assistants. The pre-training course costs 216 € (May 2017). The list of documents to be sent to the Ministry is handed out during this pre-training course.
- After the information session, personal interview, and pre-training course, candidates must send a full application to the Education and Care Service of the Department of Children and Youth at the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.
- Candidates who have handed in a full application are then contacted by the Ministry for an accreditation visit to be organised at their place of work.
Parental assistants who have completed the pre-training course and who hold an initial professional qualification as required by law receive an accreditation for a maximum period of 5 years.
Those who do not have the necessary professional qualification must attend the training course for parental assistants; they receive a temporary accreditation for a maximum of 3 years.
Training course for parental assistants
Parental assistants who have completed the pre-training course and do not hold an initial professional qualification as required by law must attend the training course for parental assistants.
The training comprises at least 100 hours of classes and at least 40 hours of internships in an approved education and reception service.
The training course for parental assistants comprises the following modules:
- characteristics and educational principles of non-formal education
- basic knowledge of child development
- communication and conflict management
- food for children, and food hygiene
- areas of action and non-formal education as defined in the national reference framework
- professional and administrative aspects of working in the parental assistance activity
- family education actions.
The training course for parental assistants is certified by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth on the advice of the Commission on training for parental assistants, subject to the following conditions:
- the trainee has actively participated in at least 80% of the classes scheduled for each of the modules in the training course for parental assistants;
- the trainee has carried out the 40 hours of internship in an approved education and reception centre;
- the trainee, at a final interview, has submitted a training file to the Commission on training for parental assistants reporting on the various skills and knowledge acquired during the training course and during the required internship.