Proposed features/Nursery

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Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: nounours77
Tagging: amenity=nursery
Applies to: Node, Area, Relation
Definition: Daytime care of very young children before they go to (pre-)school. A place where children aged from newborn till kindergarten or school stay during the time their parents are working.
Rendered as: rendered as amenity=school or amenity=kindergarten
Drafted on: 2013-11-03


This proposal has been marked abandoned as being inactive for 28 months. On the key page, the key was marked discouraged already, actual use is insignificant.




A nursery is an institution who takes care of a child during the day, normally on a daily basis, including meals, playing activities and outdoor activities. A nursery is more a place to live than a place to learn, so it's not a pre-school, even if some educational activities might be present. A nursery is not an after-school for older children already visiting a school or a Kindergarten, even tough there a nurseries where children are allowed to stay when they grow up for one or two years after they entered kindergarten/primary school and use it as an after-school, even if it's not.

The service is known as child care center in the United Kingdom and Australia and day care center in North America . In german speaking countries it is known as Kindertagesstätte or "Kita" or Hort (mainly Austria). Also used, especially for very young children is "crèche". (In France, but also in US).

Relation to older discussion on amenity=childcare

I'm aware that there was a rejected proposal on amenity=childcare (see Proposed_features/childcare)

see also Further discussion on this topic on the talk page

I think that the proposal was rejected because the difference to "amenity=kindergarten was not clearly explained in the proposal, and I think that the tag is really relevant, at least for Germany, Austria and Switzerland

There is an new proposal Childcare2.0 and the related talk-page, but which has a focus more on childcare in a sense of "after-school", and which also wants to replace "kindergarten", what I do not understand.

Other related pages

Because of the on-going discussion about differences between childcare, daycare, aftercare, pre-school and after-school, nursery, crèche and kindergarten, I try in parallel (or better upfront) to discussion a general eduction reform, see Education_Reform

Additional tags

Key Value Comment
optional age=* min_age=* and max_age=* integer The children age group(s) the institution covers. Example: min_age=0 + max_age=6
optional capacity=* integer The maximum number of children the facility takes care of
optional operator=* string The name of the operator
optional operator:type=* school/government/religious/private/cultural Additional values can be used if needed
optional cultural=* * In case of a cultural nursery, further information about the culture/language can be added
optional religion=* * In case of a religious nursery, further information about the religion can be added
optional service_times:childcare=* <opening hours syntax> The time children are taken care of. If service_times:childcare isn't tagged, the fallback value is the one tagged for opening_hours. service_times:childcare always has to be a subset of opening_hours=*. In case service_times:childcare are (wrongly) overlapping, opening_hours=* weights more. So if service_times:childcare states the facility is "open" and opening_hours states it is "closed", it can be interpreted as "closed" overall.
optional opening_hours=* <opening hours syntax> The time the facility is opened. Not necessarily the same time as service_hours (For example different office hours).

Distinction from amenity=social_facility

A nursery might be considered in the middle between social_facility and educational facility. I personally would go for educational facility, since a nursery is for children without special needs and will address a wider public, like school will do. Therefore, I would not code amenity=social_facility and social_facility=crèche since again, it adresses a larger public and should not go in this group.

amenity=nursery vs amenity=kindergarten

A kindergarten, at least in the german speaking countries (well, that's where the name comes from), is clearly a pre-school-like education facility, which covers several hours, but not an entire day, where children normally do not eat. It covers normally a age from 5-6 (Switzerland) or 4-5 (Germany). Never a three month old baby would go to a kindergarten. A kindergarten addresses a whole other public. At least in Switzerland, nurseries are often private, and even if they're public, the parents have to look for it on their own, and will need OSM to find them. A kindergarten normally is in the area where you live and the child will be assigned to a kindergarten by the local government.

nursery vs. childcare

Childcare seems to me being a more general term.

  • Where this concerns special needs e.g. for children with disabilities it should go under amenity=social_facility.
  • Where this is a childcare centre to take care of children after school: if it's a service annexed to school (as it is mostly in Switzerland), it should go like school=childcare, if it's really a seperate institution really like a nursery, but for older children, amenity=nursery and min_age=* + max_age=* would probably be appropriate.
  • If we're talking about private, individual childcare (e.g. "Tagesmutter"), there is probably no sense of mapping it, since it will change often and might be to much interfering with privacy.

nursery vs. after-school

  • a nursery is not annexed to a school, and after-school probably is.
  • a nursery is for babies and younger children before they enter school or kindergarten
  • an after-school should be mapped as a part of the school it belongs to.

Relevance: Why do a proper tagging?

It seems to be relevant enough to do a proper tagging, currently, there are about 2000 nurseries in Switzerland, and their number is quickly growing. I do not know about Germany and Austria, but I suppose the numbers being there important as well. Another reason: Knowing where nursery are located is an important information. Some use-cases:

  • I'm looking for an apartment. The choice will depend on available crèches in the surroundings. So having a quick overview where they are and getting contact information based on geolocalisation is important.
  • Grandmothers and godfathers who occasionally pick up the kid need driving instructions


I'm still in the draft phase