Nursery care or in-home care?

Once your parental leave ends, you can enrol your child in a nursery, entrust it to care of a family member or a registered nanny running a nursery from home or business premises or caring for your child in your own home

Once your maternity or parental leave ends, as a parent, you will have to decide who will take care of your child while you are at work. In most cases, this important task is still taken on for two or three years by close family members; that is, grandparents. In this way, child is cared for at home while it is still very young and, at average, starts kindergarten after the age of three.

Background checks and recommendations

However, if you do not have this option as a parent, you need to choose between a nursery and hiring a nanny—a person who has a registered business for provision of nanny services. Nurseries accept children who are between one and three years old, and the children there are taken care of by qualified nursery teachers.

If you live in a city where the demand for nurseries is higher than the existing capacities, you will probably (have to) decide to hire someone who will take care of your child while you are at work. Nanny services can be provided by a trade business or employees of a trade business registered for these services if they meet personal and professional requirements to perform nanny services in accordance with the provisions of the relevant Act.
In this way, parents are provided with a certain legal certainty and an option to have their children taken care of by professionally qualified persons who take care of children in an appropriate environment and in an appropriate manner.  

Considering that registered nannies have undergone professional training and met other requirements prescribed by the relevant Act, you can safely leave your child in care of professional nannies without any special background checks.

Information about nannies can be obtained in the family centres of the competent social welfare centres. You can find the addresses and phone numbers in the address book of institutions of the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy.

Nursery care for children under the age of one

Since maternity and parental leave for the first and second child in Croatia last for a total of one year if used by one parent or for a total of one year and two months if used by both parents, placing a child under the age of one in a nursery is considered an exception. This option is available in only two cities in Croatia—Zagreb (Duga and Medveščak kindergartens) and Rijeka (Rijeka kindergarten)—and is intended for parents who have to start working before the end of parental leave for various reasons.