Childcare options in Paris

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Childcare options in Paris


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Old 16th February 2016, 11:32 PM
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Default Childcare options in Paris

Hi,

I will be moving to Paris in a couple of months from now. I have 2 kids - 8 and 3 years old. Both my husband and I have full time jobs and he travels quiet a bit.

While I understand from searches online that there are several options for childcare - nannies, au pair, after school child care etc, I would like to understand what is the most common option that most families with working parents find convenient.

We have lived in the US for 10 years where we were totally comfortable with the day cares and after school child care with the occasional baby sitter for date nights etc.

For the past 3 years we have been in Singapore where having a full time, live in helper at home is a norm in almost every household.

Thanks for taking the time to read and help

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Old 17th February 2016, 06:21 AM
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The "usual" route for this sort of thing is very often unavailable to expats. The French school day is long - kids get out of school at 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon - and very often working Mums simply tailor their hours to fit with the school hours. (With maternelle available for children "as soon as they are clean" - meaning once they are potty trained and can get by without diapers.) For school holidays and Wednesday afternoons, the grandparents are called into service.

With the change in the school hours last year, many towns have Wednesday afternoon activities you can sign the kids up for and these tend to be administered by the schools. But that still means you have to show up around 4 or 4:30 to pick the kids up (or from the bus stop if they take the bus to school).

Past that, you have to improvise. Au pairs are popular (though we've had a few au pairs through here trying to change families, due to poor treatment or misunderstandings), and some families pool resources with another family where they have child care (a parent or other family member) after school.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 17th February 2016, 08:48 AM
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You have a few options. For the kids going to school, schools usually have a garderie that you can leave your kids at before school and then pick them up after school (each region is different I believe on hours, at my sons school the garderie is until 5:30pm and you can drop the kids off starting at 7:30am). You'll also have to find out about the school schedule, again each region seems to be different now. Here the kids are off Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon, with Thursday afternoon offering activities (that you must sign up for in advance). But there is nothing for Wednesday.

You can hire an assistante maternelle also, these are childminders. They can take your kids to school, plus pick them up and take them home with them, for you to pick up later in the day. They can also keep the kids during school holidays.

You say your youngest is three, the 8 year old will definitely be in school. The 3 year old should also be allowed in school if he/she is potty trained. It is not mandatory at that age, but it is convenient for the parents and is nice for the kids. But if your child is not ready, you can also hire an assistante maternelle for that child to keep all day. The prices will vary, so I cannot quote a price for Paris. But you should get CAF to help pay for it, but I am not completely sure because I don't know your status.

As for creche (or daycare), I believe that this is reserved for kids 5 and under. The norm is kids from 3 months to 3 years. But you may be able to find a halte-garderie, which is like day care for bigger kids and used like the garderie at school.

When you arrive, or when you know the area you are living in I suggest calling the local RAM (Relais Assistante Maternelle) or the PMI (Protection Maternelle et Infantile). Actually call the PMI first, they will help you choose the best options for your needs and set you on the right path to finding the right care provider. You can also reach the PMI through the Conseil Generale in your department.

Good luck!

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