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Old 22.12.2013, 15:39
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Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

Hi! We are moving to Zurich with our daughter (3) and son (1.5) in Feb. I d like them to settle down smoothly and make new friends in their language ( French and English) and learn German too (they are already fluent in Swiss German). Any recommendation would be highly appreciated. Are there any groups of expats mums meeting up as well with the kids, on a more informal way? And eventually, any chance that my kids could play in the same group ? Last and least for today, what kind of child care would you recommend for 2 or 3 afternoons a week? Thanks a lot
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Old 02.01.2014, 17:40
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

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Hi! We are moving to Zurich with our daughter (3) and son (1.5) in Feb. I d like them to settle down smoothly and make new friends in their language ( French and English) and learn German too (they are already fluent in Swiss German). Any recommendation would be highly appreciated. Are there any groups of expats mums meeting up as well with the kids, on a more informal way? And eventually, any chance that my kids could play in the same group ? Last and least for today, what kind of child care would you recommend for 2 or 3 afternoons a week? Thanks a lot
Where in Zürich will you be settling? I know of one in Bülach, 30mn North of ZH. I would get in touch with the cityshall, they usually have this kind of info. Best,
Aline
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Old 02.01.2014, 19:52
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

Hi Stephanie,

Do you know where in Zurich you are moving to? I know of a new French playgroup starting this month in Gattikon and there are a couple of options in the Thalwil/ Adliswil area I know of but if you are going to be on the other side of Zurich it would be abit far.

Regarding your afternoon question, you will find it difficult to find a playgroup for the afternoon. Most playgroups/ spielgruppes are only in the morning and most day care places are for all day. This does not mean it will be impossible but there is not a great selection. Your best plan for afternoon care is either to find a babysitter to watch them at your house or find a tagesmutter who will look after them at their house.
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Old 03.01.2014, 03:46
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

Thanks a lot Aline and Pepper for all the precious info! we are still looking for an apartment in Zurich, so I ll keep your tips in case we are ending closed to one of those places
Morning are not an option yet as my son is napping, but I am looking into the Mums' meetup too. I am still shocked by the prices of the playgroups I found on internet, about 50 CHF an hour! I guess I ll have to mentally adjust to the prices of Zurich.. Still time to wish you a very happy new year to you and your fam! Cheers
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Old 03.01.2014, 07:29
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

I'm not sure which playgroups you have looked at but 50chf an hour is extremely expensive. I pay 50chf for a three hour English playgroup and 22chf for a two hour Swiss German playgroup.

One other point to consider is many playgroups will not take children until they are two and in some cases three years old. It is generally the krippes (daycare) who will take younger children but then you are looking at all day care and anywhere between 120 and 170chf a day (and long waiting lists in many places).
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Old 03.01.2014, 08:54
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

When my daughter was a toddler I took her to the Canterbury playgroups in the centre of Zurich (based in the hall of the St Andrews Church near Stadelhofen but not affiliated with the church).

The beauty of these groups is that they were run by the parents, with parents taking it in turns to organise snacks, tea etc and a craft activity. It was a great way for both my daughter and for me to meet new people, and six years later I'm still good friends with people I met then.

I don't know if this info is still up-to-date but you could try these contacts for the canterbury groups and others:
http://motheringmatters.ch/playgroups_zurich/

I also took my daughter to the preschool at the WAC: http://www.wac.ch
The WAC is in Uster, but we used to get the train from Stadelhofen (10 minutes) and then a very short walk.

The WAC also has lots of parent and child groups in the afternoons, which would be worth checking out.

Later on my daughter went to a Swiss Kinderkrippe for two days a week. This was fantastic, not just in terms of language, but also in terms of immersing my daughter in the culture, which was very different from what we were used to. By this I mean the level of independence children have, the songs they sing, and all the little rituals that were new to us.

If you want groups in Swiss-German, you could try the local music school, which will probably run music groups for kids up to the kindergarten age. Also try your local Gemeindezentrum (community centre) which very likely offers a range of groups for kids of all ages: http://www.gz-zh.ch

These centres are a wonderful resource for the whole family, and a great way to hopefully meet some locals.


I wouldn't worry about High German yet, especially if your kids can already speak Swiss-German. This is the case for so many local kids anyway, and they all end up speaking fluent High German very quickly once it is introduced in school.

My daughter (now in the third class) is fluent in both after starting from nothing.
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Old 03.01.2014, 08:56
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

Thanks again Pepper! Really appreciate all the info. One last question (for today at least In those playgroups, Mums are staying with the kids, right? I would love to get info about the one in English, could be great for my daughter of 3+. She has attended the British nursery here in Thailand for 1.5 years and I really want her to keep on practicing.
I think the best option for me to be able to spare a couple afternoons for my studies would be to find a great baby sitter. Now the challenge will be to find one I can understand, English or French speaking (at least for a few months).
Thanks again and have a sweet day
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Old 03.01.2014, 16:46
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

You have a choice of playgroups where you would stay and both children would be able to attend. I was thinking more about groups where you leave the children and then they generally can't start until about 2 years old (in my defence it's coming to the end of a two week holiday and I need a break from my kids lol!)

The list from the Mothering Matters site that Tildaoz linked to is probably the most up to date so you can see the different groups on there. If you end up moving to the silver coast (Kilchberg, Thalwil, Horgen side of the lake) then let me know and I can send you the link for a facebook group which organises lots of playdates at different parks etc.

If you are looking for a babysitter then I recommend babysitting24.ch. It's about 30chf for 3 months membership but I've had a lot of success on there.

I'll PM you the info about the English group my son attends.
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Old 07.01.2014, 10:52
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Re: Playgroups in English, French and German in Zurich

Thanks so much for all the info. I would not mind a play group where kids can have fun without me for a few hours Will definitely check on those options next month, and let you know where we are finally based. Have a nice day!
 




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