Skip to main content

Schools in SwitzerlandWe don't necessarily visit daycare, play schools, nurseries or kindergartens and definitely don't look at them as thoroughly as the primary and secondary schools (and only publish full GSGI write-ups on them if they are part of a primary or K-12 school), but these are amongst the ones in Basel recommended or mentioned by parents. We list them here just to give you a place to start, to help you make up your own short list. 

We always appreciate any feedback from parents (contact us), and we'll remove schools or add them as we hear about them or receive updates, even from this informal list.

What are your options in Basel for the under-five set?  Are you looking for full-time childcare while you head to the office or just a morning here and there to give yourself a well-earned break? Well, whatever you are looking for, Basel probably has it, albeit often with waiting lists and huge fees.  

Making an appointment to visit in order to get a feel for the place in advance is a must. Also ask for a free trial morning.

All places listed below are accessible by public transport.  Insurance for your child is required at all establishments.

ELA Early Years

Gartenstrasse 93, 4052 Basel

tel:+41 61 313 0580

email:[email protected]


Centrally located not far from the main SBB railway station. Highly recommended by expats, although often mentioned as expensive, ELA is the only one of the international schools in Basel offering daycare for children younger than three. ELA Early Years takes babies, toddlers and pre-school age children from 3 months to 4 years subject to spaces. Run by English Bernadette Allison in a beautiful mansion building in a quiet residential street. With a reputation for nurturing and well-organised environment, children are engaged in arts, crafts, stories, games, music and physical activities plus free play.

All lunches are freshly made on the premises and are a very sociable occasion. Everyone sits down as a group with the teachers and are encouraged to have get involved in self- serving and to have good table manners. Minimum of 2 whole days including lunch. Early drop off and late pick up options available. Ideal for working parents. Primary school is also available from age 4-11. 

Kids Camp

Hohestrasse 150 4104 Oberwil

tel: +41613010069 email:

[email protected]

Situated in Baselland. Accept children in nursery 3-18 months and pre-school from 18 months to 4 years. English and German spoken.  Good option if you are living in one of the large ex-pat communities in Oberwil. Easily accessible by public transport, although a but out of the way if you are living in Basel Stadt. Run by an American and a Swiss, both are professional sports woman and one is also a professional musician, so there is a lot of emphasis on music and sport, with feel of an American style 'holiday camp' about it.

Lots of green spaces around for afternoon walks to forest/farms. Also has a large private playground outside. Minimum subscription of 3 half days per week. Early drop off and late pick ups catered for for an extra fee, breakfast (if required) and hot lunch provided. Often the children are taken off premises for outings in kids camp's own bus. Whilst it is especially well known as a pre-school, Kids Camp in Oberwil does also have a small attached Primary School.


Sägestrasse 7 4104 Oberwil BL Switzerland

tel: +41 79 889 84 14

email: [email protected]


Traditional playschool for toilet-trained children aged between 3-5 years. This is a small but highly recommended English-speaking playgroup in Oberwil run by very friendly and experienced teacher Grainne, who's originally from Ireland.

Very welcoming and friendly group, housed in a small building close to the tram line in Oberwil village centre. All children speak english but culturally diverse. Engage in many craft activities, games and stories. Healthy snack provided. Minimum one session per week. Playgroup open Tuesdays-Fridays 8.30-12pm. No playground on site but children are taken out to nearby playground. One morning per week minimum.

Sunshine Little Learners GmbH

Sperrstrasse 104a 4057 Basel Switzerland

tel: +41 61 554 89 62

email: [email protected]

Another recommended traditional English speaking playgroup for children aged 2 to 4 run by British Sandra Willi, it runs from Monday to Thursday 8.45 am - 12.30 pm. Lots of messy and stimulating play. Daily outdoor activities and also may include walks to nearby parks, farm. One morning per week minimum. Long waiting list. This editor feels you'd be very lucky to get a place here.

Bilingual Kids Academy

Schutzengraben 35, 4051 Basel & Gellertstrasse 37, 4052 Basel. tel:+41612610402

email: [email protected]


Accommodates children from 3 months to 6 years old. Bilingual environment with English and German used side by side during the day. Daycare available 7am-7pm. Minimum 2 days per week (from 880CHF per month subject to change). Easily reached by public transport within Basel area. Schutzengraben site is a traditional town house with secure garden. The Gellert site is situated in a large park. One to check out if you need long hours of daycare.

Open Door Playgroups

Zwingerstrasse 20, 4053 Basel

tel: +41 61 361 1710


For very young children, there are various playgroups located around Basel centrally coordinated by Open Door. In order to see if there is a group near you (and a space) you are advised to call and leave a message.The Open door Coordinator will then call you back. She will either register your child in the most appropriate group according to age if a place is available or will place your child on the waiting list. You must pay The Open Door membership fee of 65CHF to be eligible for a place. See their website for more info.


Kannenfeldstrasse 28 Im Hinterhof CH - 4056 Basel

tel: +4161 271 64 69

email: [email protected]


Caters for children aged between 3 and 7. First Montessori in Basel and has been running for over 30 years. Week days from 8 am to 12 noon. The languages spoken are both German and English. Four times per week there are special afternoon activities on offer for an extra charge. This Montessori has its own school bus.

Ahead with English Pre-School

Kanelmattweg 5 4106 Therwil

tel: +41 61 421 4109/+41 61 901 8921

email: [email protected]


Accepts toilet-trained youngsters aged 3-5. Run by teachers with English mother-tongue. English only spoken. Pre-school is split into small groups with maximum of 10 children per group with one teacher and one assistant. The pre-school runs Tues-Friday 8.30-11.30am. Located in Baselland and accessible by public transport. A bit out of the way if you are based centrally in the City. Mornings are structured into a set routine and children are taken out to a nearby playground weather permitting.

SIK (Susanna's International Kindergarden)

Schonaustrasse 67 4058 Basel & Erlenmattstrasse 16-20 4058 Basel

tel: +41613614106

email: [email protected]


Caters for children 3 months to 7 years. Popular with working parents due to its proximity to Novartis, Roche and Syngenta (the big 3 ex-pat employers) plus easily accessible to Badischer Bahnhof (German railway station), tram and bus. Bi-lingual German/eEglish. The Kindergarten is split into nursery, pre-school and Kindergarten 1 & 2. Each age group has its own space made up of multiple rooms.

Open 7.00-18.30 on weekdays, all year except Christmas week. SIK also offers afternoon care and holiday camps. Onsite playground and courtyard and both of its sites which are located a stones throw from each other. Minimum attendance 60% either 3 full days or 5 half days. An ad hoc evening babysitting service is available if you are enrolled.

LittleFoot Nursery

Voltastrasse 98 4056 Basel

tel: +41 615 358 828

email: [email protected]


For children aged between 3 months- 6 years. Bi-lingual German/English. Another facility popular with working parents due to its long opening hours 7.00-18.30 weekdays plus late night options on Thursdays and Fridays. Garden and playground on site. Sibling discounts available. Open all year except Christmas week.

Freies Gymnasium

Spielgruppe Scherkesselweg 30 4052 Basel

tel:+41 61 378 9898

email: [email protected]

Playgroup sessions available Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am-12 noon. Minimum of one morning per week. Focus on preparing the children for joining Freies Gymnasium Kindergarten/pre-school. Children from age 2-3. German language is the main language of instruction, although teachers will have an understanding of english. Worth considering if interested in longer term education at Freies Gymnasium International School.


International School of Basel ("ISB")

Fleischbachstrasse 2 4153 Reinach, Basel

tel:+41 61 715 3333

email:[email protected]


The most well-known of the international schools in Basel takes toilet-trained children from age 3 (before 31 August). Their 'Early Years Centre' caters for children aged 3-6 (Pre-School 1, Pre-School 2 and Kindergarten) located south of Reinach in Aesch in its own modern purpose built campus. Pre-school runs to 3pm in the afternoon Monday-Friday with an extra option of staying in after school activities until 4pm subject to an additional semesterly fee. Pre-school 1 and 2 don't come cheap and cost upwards of 20,000CHF per annum. It's also out of town and parents have been heard bemoaning that it can be a pain to get to. On the plus side ISB has the best on site facilities of all the schools in Basel. North American in theme. IB education offered at ISB up to age 18.

Swiss International School ("SIS")

Erlenstrasse 15 4058 Basel

tel: +41 61 683 71 40 email:[email protected]


SIS is a bi-lingual German/English Swiss IB international school in inner city Kleinbasel. Children aged 3 -4 can start in Kindergarten 1 and ages 4 -5 in Kindergarten 2. Truly international mix of children with a mixture of German and English speaking children and teachers. 50% education provided in German and the other 50% in English.

Great if you already have some knowledge of German and/or have a flair for languages and a passion for learning and intergration into the Swiss culture. Not great if your child is lacking confidence and/or does not have any interest or desire to learn German.

Hours 8.30-3pm every day except Wednesday which is a half day. Extracurricular activities after school available some sessions for free, some for additional charge. Hot lunches available for additional cost. Kindergarten 1 & 2 are in the region of around 15,000CHF per annum.

Academia International School

Bonergasse 75 CH - 4057 Basel

tel: +41 61 260 20 00

email: [email protected]   


A fairly new international school, AIS also offers a bilingual (German/English) education and has a pre-school for children aged 4 - 6 years. Word on the street is that it has a nice atmosphere and small classes so worth checking out if your heart is set on a bi-lingual pre-school. For Preschool 1 core hours are mornings only 4 days per week (9am start) and full day (until 4.15pm on Tuesdays). Pre-schools 2 is 8.30- 12pm Mon, Wed, Fri and until 4.14pm on Tues and Thurs. Lunches offered on site for 10CHF extra per day. Flexible extracurricular activities offered until 6pm daily at additional cost.

Freies Gymnasium Basel

Scherkesselweg 30 4052 Basel

tel: 061 378 98 88

email: [email protected]  


Called the FG Basisstufe (Pre-School), this Swiss-run international school is officially German-speaking but offers German and English in pre-school. Unusually, pre-school aged children are mixed in class with first 2 years of primary school (idea being that older children will be role models for the younger and encourage them to develop their skills). Once a certain level of personal development is reached, children will move up to primary school. Probably only an option if you are planning on a longer term stay in Basel.

Most popular Good Schools Guide articles

  • Moving Overseas: Before You Go, Read This!

    Books and movies to check out before you relocate overseas, and after you arrive. Expert advice or just plain funny; for expats, ambassadors, parents and travelers. Chosen by GSGI editors.

  • Best schools in Basel considered by expats

    A snapshot of international schools in Basel that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents, with the best visited and reviewed by The Good Schools Guide International.

  • Relocating from Switzerland back to the UK

    Suddenly relocating back to the UK? Little children milling around your ankles and big children to find school places for? How do you manage if you are relocating from Switzerland to England? What is the transition like from international or Swiss schools back into the English system?

  • The Good Schools Guide International

    Corona Virus As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, The Good Schools Guide International offers the following guidance:  Determine the global situation and that of individual countries on government mandated school closures by accessing the UNESCO information on this link:   For updates on the medical situation, go to  the World Health Organisation website at  If you wish to contact one of our GSGI listed schools to discover their current status or any plans for alternate learning strategies, please go to our database to find email and phone numbers for each school If your company makes you brexit, The GSGI should be your first…

  • Best schools in Geneva considered by expats

    A snapshot of international schools in Geneva that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents, with the best visited and reviewed by The Good Schools Guide International.

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
 Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
 Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
 Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

The Good Schools Guide subscription

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.

The Good Schools Guide manifesto for parents