Childcare in Turkey

Find out about the childcare and pre-school options available to parents in Turkey, plus information on babysitting services, nannies and au-pairs...

Traditionally elderly relatives take care of children in Turkey. With the number of working mothers increasing, so is the number of child care centres and kindergartens in cities.

Childcare in urban centres is available at pre-schools or with privately arranged carers.

Pre-school

Pre-school education is recommended by most paediatricians. It is not free or subsidised; fees must be paid.

Although the number of pre-schools is increasing there are not enough places to fulfill demand. Pre-schools usually cater to children aged from two to five years, where they are kept under the supervision of specialised teachers.

Turkish law determines that pre-schools may not have an academic year of less than 180 working days; there may not be more than 20 children in a group.

Babysitting, nannies (Çocuk bakıcısı) and au pairs

Turkish mothers usually opt to leave their children with experienced, elderly people and few families employ young people as babysitters unless they are a member of the family network and hired informally.

Foreign or Turkish nannies or au pairs can be employed to provide daycare or live-in childcare. They can be found by following up referrals, or hired through specialised placement agencies.

All nannies and au pairs who have regular income and a work contract are required to be insured. Nannies hired through an agency will have a work permit and insurance.

The majority of foreign nannies in Turkey are from the Balkan countries or the Caucuses and rarely speak standard Turkish. All foreign nannies and au pairs are subject to the Turkish labour law regarding work permits for foreign personnel.

  • For further information on legal rights, work and stay permits, application process and documents required by foreigners: Click here (in Turkish)