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Childcare in Israel

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As in most Mediterranean countries, the Israeli culture places emphasis on the importance of family and of cross-generational bonds. Accordingly, if you are moving with children to Israel, tending to the needs and demands of your little ones won’t be much of a challenge while you are living in Israel.

The schooling system in Israel

Schooling is free and mandatory for children aged 5 to 15. After six years of primary education, pupils attend three years of middle school and another three years of high school before taking the Israeli baccalaureate (te'udat bagrut).

Parents may elect to have their children educated in state schools, either secular or religious, or in private religious schools. Although most school teach in Hebrew, some schools geared towards Arab pupils offer classes in Arabic.

In addition, you will find several private international schools in the country’s major cities that provide English curricula and international baccalaureates.

Pre-school childcare in Israel

State-controlled daycare (maon)

These daycare services for children from 3 months to 3 years are operated by non-profit organisations under government supervision, for a contribution ranging from NIS 1,550 to 2,050 according to the household’s income and situation. As places are limited, working mothers are prioritised.

Pre-nursery (mishpachton)

Although these daycare services are based in private homes, they can be supervised and funded by the government, which defines a set of rules, including a cap on the number of children attending a given mishpachton (generally, 5). Prices for a public mishpachton are similar to those for a maon.

There are also private mishpachtonim, with more flexible rules, and which tend to be more expensive (NIS 1,900 to 2,400).

If money is not an issue, the most convenient option is probably to hire a private nanny (metapelet) who will watch your children at your home, however this tends to be expensive.

Family activities in Israel

Israel is home to some 60 national park reserves, allowing for great hikes on beautiful trails, wildlife sightings, or the discovery of stunning natural and archaeological sites. Many of them are associated with kibbutzim; collective agricultural communities which also offer touristic accommodation at good prices.

The country’s coastal regions also boast beautiful beaches and great water parks, the largest of which, Shefayim, close to Tel Aviv, spans almost 100 km2. In the summertime, these will no doubt delight your children.

In large cities you will find plenty of children-friendly cultural centers and museums offering many interesting family events and activities. For example, check out Jerusalem’s Biblical Museum of Natural History, which documents the ancient wildlife of the region.

Finally, Israel has no less than eight Max Brenner’s restaurants. This chain has a unique concept: everything on the menu, from drinks to pizzas, is chocolate-based. Unless your little ones are uncommonly picky, this should do the trick!

Benefits

Israel has a comprehensive national social security system which offers solid maternity allowances and grants, as well as free, quality healthcare for mothers and children.

 Useful links:

Anglican International School Jerusalem
Treehouse International School
Jerusalem American International School
The Walworth Barbour American International School
Tabeetha School

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.
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