Summary of our market study

The total size of the childcare market, combining childminders and crèches, is considerable.Crèches alone will generate sales of 1.5 billion euros by 2023.

The childcare market in France is characterized by a steady decline in birth rates, with the number of births falling significantly by 6.6% in 2023, to around 678,000.

Despite this decline, the market remains resilient, with strong demand for childcare solutions. Almost half of all children under the age of 3 will be in formal childcare by 2021.

The market offers both in-home childcare options, such as personal help and childminders, and out-of-home options such as crèches (day nurseries) and EAJEs (early childhood establishments).

Some players are moving towards privatization and setting up their own training schools to cope with staff shortages.

the cost of childcare continues to depend on income, with out-of-pocket expenses for dual-income families varying according to the type of childcare and family income.

The average price of out-of-home childcare rose by 20% after the pandemic.

The dynamics of the French childcare market

In recent years, the French childcare market has undergone several waves of change, combining the impact of the falling birth rate with the fluctuations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of children under three is currently hovering around 2 million, while the number of children under six will reach 4.2 million by 2024.

Despite the 20% drop in the birth rate between 2010 and 2023, demand for childcare services remains strong due to the increase in the employment rate of mothers, which has risen from 56% to over 70%.

Almost half of all children under the age of three benefit from some form of formal childcare.

The total market could be estimated at over €7 billion by combining revenues from crèches and childminders.

Childcare in France is based mainly on two forms: collective childcare (crèches) and individual childcare in the home (childminders). Over 85% of the children of non-working parents are cared for at home, while dual-income parents opt for childminders or group childcare.

Services can now be adapted to meet a wide range of family needs, such as flexible working hours and assistance that goes beyond childcare to include housekeeping and meal preparation.

Pricing remains based on family income.

Pioneers and innovators: The main entities shaping the childcare landscape in France

Crèches and day-care centers: Crèches are a fundamental option for many parents. Public and private organizations manage these institutions

Maternal assistants (Aides Maternelles): Maternal assistants, commonly known as "nannies", are at the service of families, looking after children, usually in their own homes.

In-home childminders: Organizations specializing in in-home childminding bring the convenience of professional childcare to the family.

Micro-crèches and Paje systems: The flourishing micro-crèche segment and the Paje (Prestation d'Accueil du Jeune Enfant) system are representative of the inventiveness that reigns in this sector.

Daycare market players

  • Les Petits Chaperons Rouges, part of the Grandir group, is at the forefront. Grandir is extending its expertise beyond France's borders, and has made a number of acquisitions.

  • Babilou With a solid network of facilities throughout France, Babilou also stands out for its international outlook.

  • People and Baby is another major player, enriching the market with a range of services that meet the needs of modern families.

  • La Maison Bleue stands out for its adoption of innovative educational techniques, including environmentally-friendly practices that echo society's growing concern for sustainable living.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Market overview and definition

Childcare refers to all the formal and informal solutions parents use to find people to look after their children when they are not available. The childcare market mainly concerns the care of children under the age of three, as in France it is compulsory for children to attend school from the age of three. Certain types of childcare, such as drop-in centers, also cater for children under the age of six.

This market is characterized by a highly diversified offer, often adapted to the parents' situation. A general distinction is made between in-home and out-of-home childcare solutions.

The main offers are organized as follows:

  • Collective childcare : in public or private crèches. These include crèches (especially for pre-school children), day nurseries, kindergartens and multi-care centers.
  • Maternal assistance: A maternal assistant looks after children, usually in her own home, in what is colloquially known as a nanny.
  • In-home childcare : In-home childcare is one of the activities of the home help market.

Nursery assistants emphasize their individual approach to childcare, while group childcare and crèches emphasize their socialization skills.

Although the number of births is falling in France, especially by 2023, the capacity of childcare facilities is still not sufficient to meet demand. In fact, theoretical capacity corresponds to just over half the number of children. The childcare market is characterized by a severe shortage of personnel, leading some players to set up their own training schools.

The COVID-19 crisis had a major impact on this market, closing most childcare centers during the initial containment period and gradually reopening for so-called "priority" children, i.e. children of the medical profession, teachers, single-parent families or those unable to work from home. Today, however, the market has almost completely recovered, but the offer is adapting to parents' new lifestyles.

1.2 A booming global market

The childcare market is estimated at ***.** billion in ****, with a compound annual growth rate (***) of **.**% between **** and ****. The most developed market is the United States, with an estimated **.** billion in ****. This large market share is partly explained by the ** million single-parent families in the United States, and by the investments made ...

1.3 A growing domestic market

As of January *ᵉʳ, ****, France will have * million children under the age of * and *.* million under the age of *. The younger the children, the more important it is for parents to find suitable childcare solutions and professionals available to awaken the children. Under the age of six months, the vast majority of ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Annual births in France continue to fall sharply

Births in France In ****, around ***,*** births were registered in France, representing a sharp drop of *.*% compared to ****. Since ****, the number of births in France has fallen steadily each year, except for a rebound observed in ****. Between **** and ****, the average annual decline in the number of newborns was -*.*%, accelerating to -*.*% ...

2.2 EAJEs and childminders, the main childcare options for the French

obviously, the vast majority of parents on maternity or paternity leave don't turn to outside childcare solutions. But once they return to work, if they decide to do so, there are many options for looking after their baby and possibly other children. For young parents or parents of several children, the ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

3.2 The different types of player

In France, education is compulsory from the age of three, which is particularly young compared with other European countries. For childcare, a distinction is therefore made between childcare for children under three, for children aged * to *, and for children over six, at which age certain care solutions are no longer authorized, ...

3.3 Market size and breakdown

The childcare sector is hiring more and more people every year, and is becoming increasingly diversified in terms of companies, as the market is gradually being conquered by private companies.

number of companies and number of employees in the childcare sector France, ****-****, in thousands, in thousands Source: ****

In France (***), in ...

3.4 Government assistance

Source: ****

4 Offer analysis

4.1 An extremely diversified offering to meet the needs of families

In-home childcare encompasses a variety of tasks and services to meet the daily and specific needs of children and parents:

Source: ****

The asterisks * indicate the childcare services included in this study

Among the various services on offer, home help services and childminders provide additional assistance with home maintenance, childcare... Here are ...

4.2 Some prices

The price of most childcare solutions varies with the income of the parent(***).

Source: ****

This table shows the out-of-pocket expenses in **** for a dual-income family, depending on the type of childcare for a full-time child, after tax credit.

it should be noted that the net out-of-pocket expenses in **** for these families ...

4.3 Industry trends

There has been an evolution in the offer to adapt to the latest expectations of parents when it comes to childcare. First of all, some homecare and crèche franchises have developed their own training programs to offset the staff shortage affecting the sector. Family Sphère, for example, has ...

5 Regulations

5.1 The 2017 Finance Act

The **** Finance Act introduced measures to encourage the employment of home-based employees by offering significant tax benefits. This part of the law enabled individual employers to benefit from a tax reduction equivalent to **% of the expenses incurred for the employment of a home-based employee, up to certain ceilings. In practical terms, ...

5.2 Day-care regulations

Decree n°****-**** of August **, ****

Decree no. ****-**** of August **, **** on childcare assistants and childcare establishments is an important measure concerning childcare assistants and childcare establishments. This decree aims to reinforce the quality of care for young children by regulating more precisely the conditions of practice of maternal assistants and childcare ...

5.3 Regulations governing childminders

Convention collective nationale des particuliers employeurs et de l'emploi à domicile (***)

The national collective agreement for individual employers and home-based employment, which came into force on January *, ****, brings together the rules applicable to employees working in the homes of individual employers. It aims to simplify and clarify the rights and obligations of ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Player segmentation

Here are some of the major players in the sector, with their particularities and sales figures.

Source: ****

  • Babychou Services
  • Family Sphère
  • Poppinou
  • Baby Sittor
  • Kidlee
  • BSIT
  • Yoopies
  • Babilou Groupe
  • Grandir Groupe -Les petits chaperons rouges
  • People and Baby (Holding)
  • La Maison Bleue
  • O2
  • Kangourou Kids
  • Callihop

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Sales in the childminder and crèche markets in 2023
  • Number of births per year in France
  • Change in the number of women aged 20 to 40 and the fertility rate in France
  • Rate of use of paternity and maternity leave
  • Paternity leave uptake by employment status
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Latest news

People & Baby founder ousted - 24/04/2024
  • - Christophe Durieux, founder of People & Baby, owns 80% of the group's capital.
  • - People & Baby has debts of 400 million euros.
  • - People & Baby's creditors now have 75% of the voting rights, following a decision taken at the Annual General Meeting.
Workforce shortage: private daycare centers face training headache - 15/04/2024
  • les Petits Chaperons Rouges , one of France's largest private crèche groups. Headed by a network of 850 crèches under its own name, 2,200 partner crèches and 9,000 employees, the company, which generated sales of 450 million euros in 2023
  • the early childhood sector employs 150,000 people
  • the private childcare sector, which accounts for 40% of the 480,000 crèche places in France, does its best to offer training courses to its employees and students.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Babychou Services
Family Sphère
Baby Sittor
Babilou Groupe
Grandir Groupe -Les petits chaperons rouges
People and Baby (Holding)
La Maison Bleue

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