Giardia duodenalis is a common intestinal parasite infecting children attending daycare centres. This study aimed to verify Giardia occurrence and the genotypes of isolates infecting children aged 0–6 years and workers at a daycare centre in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The families of children who tested positive for Giardia, were asked to provide stool samples from household members and their dogs. Samples (123 children, 14 centre employees, 44 household members, 19 children after treatment, and 20 dogs) were examined for intestinal parasites using concentration methods. DNA extracted from all samples was submitted for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and the amplicons generated were used for multilocus sequence typing of beta-giardin (bg), triose phosphate isomerase (tpi) and glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) genes. Giardia was detected in 15·9% and 28·6% of the 220 samples by microscopy and PCR, respectively. Analysis of sequences retrieved from 29 isolates revealed both assemblages A (31%) and B (69%). Sub-assemblages AII, BIII and BIV were identified and the alignment of the bg, gdh and tpi sequences revealed the presence of some single nucleotide polymorphisms, especially in assemblage B sequences. The higher predominance of assemblage B and the identification of the AII type support the view that anthroponotic transmission appears to be an important route of transmission in environments that concentrate children at an age when poor hygiene practices make them more vulnerable to such infection.