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Old 22.02.2011, 17:07
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Your opinion about daycare centers in Switzerland

I'm in the process of finding a place for my 14-month old son where he can go a couple of times a week and have interaction with other kids so he doesn't get too attached to mommy.
So far, I've been waitlisted at a few private Kitas and no one can tell me how long the waiting list actually is or any other info for that matter. I've also spoken to a few playgroup (spielgruppe) teachers, and found one of them a bit too dirty and dark.

My question is, what is your experience with daycare places in Switzerland (vs. US perhaps?) and what should I look for and pay attention to?

Any opinions of daycare places in Bern area would help too!

Thanks!
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Old 23.02.2011, 10:15
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Re: Your opinion about daycare centers in Switzerland

If your goal is to just get out of the house and interact with other kids a few times a week, you probably don't need a daycare center but more a playgroup or similar, especially for a 1 year old.

Creches/daycare is limited here, ie. not a lot available with typcially long waiting lists, and thus is prioritised. If you are not working, then it is more or less expected that you look after your child. Daycare/creches thus have priority lists, often meaning single parents have priority, then parents who both have full time jobs, then other criteria such as living in the commume, and sometimes other criteria as well such as attendance frequency, etc. Looking for a spot for a few hours here or there, a 2 parent family, and one not working will likely put you at the bottom of the waiting lists.

Around here, they also have 'garderies' where you can put your child for a few hours at a time and are more flexible. Again, I would look to something like this or a playgroup. If language issues are part of this, I'm sure there are expat organised playgroups, ie. english speaking, in most major metropolitan areas of CH. Look to find 'moms in bern' or similar to see what else is available.
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Old 23.02.2011, 10:33
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Re: Your opinion about daycare centers in Switzerland

About 15 years ago I was helping at this playgroup, it employed qualified UK teachers and as everyone helped the fees were kept very low. Maybe they now need someone again to help out? http://www.esp-bern.ch/

About 18 years ago there was a childrens' and mothers' coffee afternoon at St Ursula's church in Bern (Called Mums and Tots), maybe you could ressurect it and re-start a meeting place for young mums with toddlers? http://www.stursula.ch/who_we.html

Last edited by Ittigen; 23.02.2011 at 10:45.
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Old 23.02.2011, 10:49
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Re: Your opinion about daycare centers in Switzerland

14 months is also a peak time for 'clinginess' - I would not worry too much about him becoming 'too attached' - and go for a babysitting option instead, then you have flexible care - and a reliable carer...if you can find the right person.

In terms of looking for a 'quality' childcare centre, the key thing for me is to meet the staff/management, and sit in the room for half an hour just observing, and feel the 'emotional' tone of the room.

If it's noisy, chaotic, aggressive, scary, then it wouldn't be right for me...

Otherwise, shopping around may not be something that you can do... if you are serious about 2 days per week care, then there might not be a huge number of places that will offer anything - particularly too if you are not a 'working' mum (as in paid work) - because quite likely they prioritise familes that 'need' care, and children that will attend more than 2 days...

At the toddler age, it's not so much about 'getting a child used to be being left with someone' but also introducing them to an 'extended family' and I know being so far from home, it has really taken a lot of effort for us to create an 'extended family' for our children...

Have you read through this sticky ?

LOOK HERE FIRST for Childcare/Schooling / Family Info / Help Sites

That will help you to understand the 'system' as there is more than one sort of childcare option - Spielgruppe's are generally cheap, limited hours, with volunteer staff or low-trained staff, and low budgets...so shopping around might be a good idea...

Hope that helps a bit...
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Old 24.02.2011, 03:01
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Re: Your opinion about daycare centers in Switzerland

Have a look to this: http://www.colorin.ch/
My son is going there and is very happy
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