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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I was wondering does anyone know if the child must be fully potty trained when entering french preschool? What about the creche do they have any requirement like that?
 

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Not sure about the crêche, but my understanding is that the maternelle does require children to be "clean" - i.e., fully potty trained. The little boy next door just got turned down for the maternelle for this year, as he has a little ways to go yet in his training.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Useful info!

How easy is it for a non-native speaker assimilated into ecole maternelle? Also, how old are children when they start school?

My son is 3 and starts kindergarten in Austria next week but we want to be in France before he starts school. Ideally we'll be there so he can have a couple of terms in playschool so he can move up with children he already knows and can have a decent amount of French before his formal education starts.

All fairly irrelevant to your potty training question, but thought you may know with kids of a similar age.

Thanks and good luck with potty training - we're mid-way through with sorting #2 out at the moment, she's doing pretty well slowly!

Lucy
 

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AFAIU, the maternelle is not playschool. It's school (though not quite as arduous as, say the lycée).

I've been told the starting age varies according to the area but can be anything between 2 and 4.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Ah I see - so much like Kindergarten here. A couple of hours every day of the week?
Maternelle is all day school. At least now they've done away with Saturday morning classes. Most schools meet four days a week - there's usually no school on Wednesdays. But even the Maternelle runs from 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning to 4:00 or 4:30 in the afternoon.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Dim memories, but I'm pretty sure that it's six hours a day at the maternelle. No school on Wednesday. Used to be able to start at age two.

How easy is it for a non-French 3 year old to cope? Very easy in the great majority of cases.
 
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Not directly related to the Maternelle, there is an excellent parents' guide to primary education (6 years up) in France in pdf format here. It's in French though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks

thanks all,
I was also wondering do you know anything about the creche or supposably there are also certified nannies, forgot what the french word is, who take on 3-5 kids, sort of like a private childcare, does anybody know if they cost alot?
I'm trying to potty train my son intensively now but if he won't be fully potty trained what are my options?
 

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thanks all,
I was also wondering do you know anything about the creche or supposably there are also certified nannies, forgot what the french word is, who take on 3-5 kids, sort of like a private childcare, does anybody know if they cost alot?
I'm trying to potty train my son intensively now but if he won't be fully potty trained what are my options?
Depending on where you're located, there may also be a "halte garderie" in town, which usually takes kids aged 0 - 3. Most of the ones I know seem to want to you sign up for a regular schedule, but it can be one morning a week. The price is very reasonable, and often is set based on family income, if that's a concern.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hiya

I have a nearly 5 yr old in the grande section of the maternelle and an 11 month old.

In the year that a child turns 3 they can start the petite section of maternelle - school is not obligatory until the age of 6. The passarelle classes which are from 2.5 yrs are being phased out this year.

Our school is 0820/1120 and 1320/1620hrs and if you are little you can just do mornings only for the petite section... there is even a garderie from 0730 to 1800hrs (payable Euro1.50 a go) and a cantine (payable Euro3.60 a day)

It's mostly play - but lots of singing / reading / sport / learning to get on with other kids / being polite and so on... we can write our name now and other kid's names and count to 39!
Yes you have to be 'clean; to go go maternelle - but there is a teacher and an ATSEM who helps with toilet visits and blowing noses and so on. For the petite and moyen sections naps can be had on little beds - for the grande section we have a lie down and a story now.
No school on Wednesdays or Saturdays now

Creche can be from 6 weeks and is based (for municipal creches) on your salary and is all day every day. Halte garderie is creche but for only 2 or 3 half days a week - again payable.

Shout if you have more questions...
 

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Hiya

I have a nearly 5 yr old in the grande section of the maternelle and an 11 month old.

In the year that a child turns 3 they can start the petite section of maternelle - school is not obligatory until the age of 6. The passarelle classes which are from 2.5 yrs are being phased out this year.

Our school is 0820/1120 and 1320/1620hrs and if you are little you can just do mornings only for the petite section... there is even a garderie from 0730 to 1800hrs (payable Euro1.50 a go) and a cantine (payable Euro3.60 a day)

It's mostly play - but lots of singing / reading / sport / learning to get on with other kids / being polite and so on... we can write our name now and other kid's names and count to 39!
Yes you have to be 'clean; to go go maternelle - but there is a teacher and an ATSEM who helps with toilet visits and blowing noses and so on. For the petite and moyen sections naps can be had on little beds - for the grande section we have a lie down and a story now.
No school on Wednesdays or Saturdays now

Creche can be from 6 weeks and is based (for municipal creches) on your salary and is all day every day. Halte garderie is creche but for only 2 or 3 half days a week - again payable.

Shout if you have more questions...
Wendy, thanks so much - that is incredibly detailed. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hiya

I have a nearly 5 yr old in the grande section of the maternelle and an 11 month old.

In the year that a child turns 3 they can start the petite section of maternelle - school is not obligatory until the age of 6. The passarelle classes which are from 2.5 yrs are being phased out this year.

Our school is 0820/1120 and 1320/1620hrs and if you are little you can just do mornings only for the petite section... there is even a garderie from 0730 to 1800hrs (payable Euro1.50 a go) and a cantine (payable Euro3.60 a day)

It's mostly play - but lots of singing / reading / sport / learning to get on with other kids / being polite and so on... we can write our name now and other kid's names and count to 39!
Yes you have to be 'clean; to go go maternelle - but there is a teacher and an ATSEM who helps with toilet visits and blowing noses and so on. For the petite and moyen sections naps can be had on little beds - for the grande section we have a lie down and a story now.
No school on Wednesdays or Saturdays now

Creche can be from 6 weeks and is based (for municipal creches) on your salary and is all day every day. Halte garderie is creche but for only 2 or 3 half days a week - again payable.

Shout if you have more questions...
Yes, do you know if halte gardien or creche also accept older kids like 4yrs old, or are their programs just for smaller kids?
 

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Yes, do you know if halte gardien or creche also accept older kids like 4yrs old, or are their programs just for smaller kids?
Our halte garderie accepts kids of 3 yrs old that have just slipped that year (ie due to go to maternelle next year)

Why not put them into the maternelle petite section?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Our halte garderie accepts kids of 3 yrs old that have just slipped that year (ie due to go to maternelle next year)

Why not put them into the maternelle petite section?
Yes, that's what I'm planning to do, but he is in the process of being potty trained right now, I do hope that by sept. he will be fully potty trained, just exploring options! Do they nap in the maternelle? Do they expect the child to not wear diapers durring napping as well?
 

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they have to be totally 'clean'.

Yes for the first two years my little girl had a nap in the afternoon... ie petit and moyenne sections..
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
they have to be totally 'clean'.

Yes for the first two years my little girl had a nap in the afternoon... ie petit and moyenne sections..
I just recently read somewhere that if a parent wants their child to get into a halte garderie program or creche there is a long waiting list! is this true? Can I put my son on a waiting list from abroad, before my arrival?
What about maternelles? Do they accept all kids, or do they get sometimes full as well?
 

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Yes that is correct about creches and halte garderies - especially if you are in a big town - you generally subscribe from March - May onwards - finding a place in August to start in September is a nightmare - you have to be able to show proof of residence to book a school / creche space.

Maternelles can be full... not as bad as creches in say, the middle of Montpellier - I've never had a problem for a maternelle in a village outside the city though. The mairie of Montpellier HAS to find you a school place if your child is of school age - but it won't necessarily be the closest to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes that is correct about creches and halte garderies - especially if you are in a big town - you generally subscribe from March - May onwards - finding a place in August to start in September is a nightmare - you have to be able to show proof of residence to book a school / creche space.

Maternelles can be full... not as bad as creches in say, the middle of Montpellier - I've never had a problem for a maternelle in a village outside the city though. The mairie of Montpellier HAS to find you a school place if your child is of school age - but it won't necessarily be the closest to you.
Thanks a lot for all the info!
I guess my only choice is to try and find something once I get there! I will have my husband with me to help out just in case i won't be able to secure daycare. We'll be staying in Paris, so I can see the difficulty securing a place there!
 
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