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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, My 15 month old son currently attends nursery in the uk 3 days a week and loves it. He gets a lot of benefit from all the interaction with other kids and the varied activities the carers do with them.
When we move to the Biarritz area in a few month I would really like him to be able to continue attending a nursery, but I have heard that nursery's in France usually have long waiting lists.

Does anyone have any advice as to how we go about getting a place?
Should we pick a nursery first, then a house to rent, or is it easier the other way round?
I general are French nurseries much different to UK nurseries?

Thanks for any help or insights.
 

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It depends on the town you're living in, but the situation isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. Here, it's usually the towns that run the various child minding services. There are "crêches" and "halte garderies" where you can sign up for a set number of days a week (usually either mornings or afternoons). Their cost is usually dependent on your family income, but they are generally open to all town residents.

Best thing to do is to inquire at the mairie (town hall) once you get settled.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I posted a reply on this subject somewhere else but can't remember where - sorry! All the French forums I searched at the time said the waiting lists were very long for commune creches. In fact, no exageration, the mothers put their names down when they are pregnant! You can use pagesjaunes.fr , creches, to find out the telephone numbers and give them a ring and ask how long the waiting lists are. Priority is obviously given to working parents in commune funded creches.
 

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I've never been sure what the difference is, but if there is a "halte garderie" in the town, it may be easier to get a place there. The halte garderie seems to be limited to one or two days a week (which sounds like what you're after) - so you're not competing with the working mums for a place. (But all towns don't necessarily have a halte garderie.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your advice ladies.
I think we will find a house we like first, then I will make enquiries and see if I can find him a place somewhere.
As you say Bev, even just a couple of days a week would be great.
 

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"halte garderies" do sometimes have places available for some slots. You should get the list of possible child care services from the mairie of the town. They list all, and could be helpful.

And I had a question related to halte garderies:

I had assumed the price per month is calculated based on the last years income (the net impossable income); however my halte garderie has taken my monthly salary X 12 as the reference - which is higher - since I worked only 6 months last year (thus my net impossable is lower than what they are calculating).

Any ideas whether it is based on net impossable (total revenue for last year) or monthly X 12 and then calculated.

I looked at a price simulator - for a creche and it requires the last year revenue as opposed to the CAF simulator which requires the monthly revenue!?
 

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As far as I know, the local halte garderies are allowed to figure the income however they choose to, whether it's back pay slips or with reference to your avis d'imposition from last year.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hello,

In need of help again - from Halte Gardarie to a Creche!

Now this is the background:

a) Last year 2012 I applied to the local Mairie for a place in Creche for my son.
b) I also applied directly to a number of creche that are listed but accept direct applications.

In June 2013, I did not receive any response from the Mairie and on checking was told I don't have a place, though one of the creches I had applied to directly did provide a place for me in their Halte Gardarie for 30 hours a week (3 days a week) - which I readily accepted and signed the contract.

I still followed with the Mairie requesting for a full time creche - now they have provided me with a place in a creche very close to my place from October.

My trouble now is having signed a contract with the other creche can I just tell them I have gotten a place through the mairie - I am just afraid they might make trouble.... or do I just say I made alternate arrangements? Knowing that the contract runs for a year, and it is not easy to cancel...except if you are moving etc...

Any ideas???

Thank you.
 

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What does the contract say? If it's a private creche, I suppose the worst possible case is that you'd have to pay out the rest of the contract while putting your child in the creche run by the mairie.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi Bev,

Thanks for the reply!!!

The 3 day per week contract I have is with a creche which charges based on the salary, it is not a private creche. The contract says the contract can be cancelled if you are moving, change of situation, and if the kid is not regular for two weeks and so on. (Though my wife started univ this month, and I had asked this creche for a change of days - to sync when my wife is at univ; but they didn't budge.)

My other worry is that this creche shouldn't complain why did I follow with the mairie after they had given me a place in their halte gardarie - or complain to the mairie (is that possible, given that my application in the mairie is in place from 2012); so do I even mention getting a place from the mairie? Any ideas?
 

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In France, when all else fails, the best approach is often just to go and explain the situation, without making any suggestion as to what they could or should do. Basically, lay the situation in their lap and then ask their advice about what you should do. It doesn't always work, but if you acknowledge the "power" of a fonctionnaire sometimes they can be quite helpful.

Oh yes, preface your pitch with "I have a problem. Can you help me, please?"
Cheers,
Bev
 
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