Administrative matters and miscellaneous
Family allowances are paid for children up to the age of 16.
Training allowances are paid for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who are studying or in apprenticeship (upon presentation of supporting documents).
There is a federal minimum, but each canton is free to set a higher amount.
If you are an employee, your employer must apply for the allowance. Contact your HR advisor.
If neither of the child’s parents is employed, but if one parent pays AVS contributions as a self-employed person or as a person not in gainful employment, you will have to submit the application yourself to the OCAS (web site in French only) if you live in Geneva.
It’s best to wait until you’ve received your residence/work permit before applying.
If you are a detached worker, such as a visiting scientist on academic leave, and if you remain affiliated to the social security system of your employer’s country, you will not be entitled to Swiss family allowances.
Health insurance / health care
A basic health insurance policy (known as LAMal, an acronym for Loi sur l’Assurance MALadie) must be taken out for each child within 3 months of your arrival in Switzerland.
It is not compulsory to insure your child with your own insurance company; you can choose another company.
You must add the accident option for children.
The family doctor option entitles you to a discount on the insurance premium. In this case, you need to provide the insurance company with the name of the pediatrician who will be treating your child.
Supplementary insurance may also be of interest.
Some companies offer discounts for families.
Children must be under the care of a pediatrician.
Dental care is not covered. In Geneva, pupils from 1P to 8P (aged 4-11) receive a free dental check-up at school every year.
Pupils in the cycle d’orientation (ages 12-15) receive 3 vouchers for an annual dental check-up during their three years at the cycle d’orientation.
https://www.ge.ch/depistage-soins-dentaires-enfants-jeunes (in French only)
The Public-School Health Service provides dental care at reduced fees for children whose parents have low incomes. (site in French only)
The University Dental Clinic (site in French only) offers reduced-rate treatment by students at the end of their training or in post-graduate training.
20 ans / 20 francs discount card
You only buy this card once (price is CHF 20 per child) and the child will be eligible for discounts until her / his 21st birthday : https://20ans20francs.ch/ (in French only).
If you have 3 children or more, the card costs CHF 10 per child (you need to ask for a carte Gigogne first).
Children under 6 years old travel free of charge.
Yearly Junior Travel Card (CHF 30)
With the Junior Travel Card, children aged 6 to 16 travel free of charge on all public transport in Switzerland if accompanied by a parent (who must have a valid ticket of course).
There is also a children co-travel card, which allows the child to travel free of charge with a designated person. (one card per child and per person).
The Night GA travel card is valid up to the age of 25 and entitles the holder to travel free of charge by train and on many public transport services in Switzerland at night from 19:00 to 05:00 on weekdays, and from 19:00 to 07:00 on weekends.
TPG – Geneva Public Transport
Up to 6 years old : free of charge.
6 to 15 years old : junior card or accompanied child card or reduced fare.
6 to 15 years old : reduced fare for tickets.
6 to 24 years: reduced fare for season tickets.
Municipalities discount: certain municipalities contribute to the cost of TPG season tickets for their residents.
Children up to the age of 12 or 150cm tall must be seated in suitable car seats. For further information : https://www.ch.ch/en/travel-and-emigrate/holidays-in-switzerland/compulsory-child-seats-in-cars
Helmets are not compulsory on bicycles, but are highly recommended, including for children in trailers, longtail bikes or cargo bikes.
Helmets are compulsory on fast electric bikes (over 25km/hour).
A bicycle seat is mandatory, or a seat-belt-equipped bicycle (longtail trailers / cargo bikes).
A maximum of 3 children can be transported.
Further information (In German , French or Italian) :
Although not recommended, transporting a child on a motorcycle is authorized under certain conditions. (Information in French, German and Italian).