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Old 21.03.2011, 17:16
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Schooling in Ticino

Hey there,

we're just facing a kind of strange problem. Our daughter is turning 3 in June and we live in Malcantone, in a very tiny village in the mountains. She would have to go to the pre-school/kindergarden where we live, I know that. However, they have very strange opening hours with no additional childcare before and after, which is impossible to handle with two parents working 100% (one parent being away during the week). I was told I can take her into Lugano but none of the kindergardens there wants to take kids not living in Lugano. I'm really worried...what to do? I mean now she is in a nursery but they will only have space for her until she turns three then she has to leave the nursery. Does anybody have a good suggestion for us (moving is not an option)? I would even consider paying TASIS, does anybody have any experience with the TASIS pre-school, is it hard to get in? I'm happy for any suggestions but I don't want to give up working, neither does my husband. We're the only family with a small child in our village, nobody there speaks anything apart from Italian and our Italian is improving but not good enough to have conversations with strangers and I don't know any other mums around, we just moved there in January.

Cheers
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Old 21.03.2011, 17:50
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

It would be helpful if you could give some more information - what do you mean by 'strange opening hours'? If you mean something like 8:30 - 11:30 and then 14:00 - 16:30, it's my understanding that this is fairly standard, not just in pre-schools but throughout the early education system. The Swiss seem to expect that someone will be there to give the children lunch at home. Have you thought of looking for a childminder?

Just a disclaimer, I don't have any children, but I used to work in a pre-school here, and I have friends with small children, and this is how it works for all of them (I live in Vaud).
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Old 21.03.2011, 17:59
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Plus, the first year is mornings only as I recall (it's been a while, my youngest will be 18 at the end of the month).
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Old 21.03.2011, 18:08
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Yes that's what I mean, how can these opening hours be fairly if you have to work 42hours a week? Well, we're obviously not Swiss, and have no family around. I'm not really willing to give up my job, neither is my husband, well it's also a question of being able to afford to give up one job. Please don't get me wrong I would do everything for my little one and one of the most important things is her education. I looked for childminder, daycare, other mums etc. it just seems impossible here. I could try another nursery but it would be the 4th one for a three year old I really want to try to kind of get her settled, that's why it is so important for me. I don't really want her to go to another nursery where she can stay until she is four and then she needs to change again...it hurts me as a mum to see her always needing to adjust again and again. Well I guess it's rather a personal problem, I know I don't need to live her etc. and i definitely don't want to critize the school system I'm just looking for ideas to solve my personal problem. Therefore, I would be happy if only people could reply who can be of real help in this situation....
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Old 21.03.2011, 18:26
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Unfortunately, the only solutions here in Ticino would be to get a nanny, or find a private school.

Some towns may offer lunch at school, but most do not, and beyond the 1/2 day for the first year thing, normal school also involves going home for lunch in most places.

Tom
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Old 21.03.2011, 18:29
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Hi,
That's a complicated sitaution...the after kindergarden care is normally the job for the nonna, so all the mothers who don't have one are let down and on their own
Have you thought about getting an au-pair?
She could bring your little one to the kindergarden in the morning and take care of her afterwards...
They are not too expensive and if you hire an Italian speaking one your daughter will learn the language way faster
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Old 21.03.2011, 18:37
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Hi,

I'm sorry if you felt my reply was unhelpful. Unfortunately, the short school hours are a part of the Swiss culture - no-one on here can change that. My post wasn't intended to reflect on your and your husband's choices, but simply to explain that fact. Even when your daughter goes full-time she may still have Wednesday afternoons off.

Here is someone looking for a Nanny job on the English forum:

http://www.englishforum.ch/jobs-want...lable-aug.html

You could also post an advert in the Jobs offered section.

Many babysitters advertise their services on a classified ads website. Try this one: http://www.luganoannunci.ch/

If you click on 'Lavoro' and type in 'babysitter' there seem to be plenty of adverts. I'm afraid my Italian is non-existent but google translate is fairly good. If you wanted to post an advert, you could probably do so in English - in the classified ads in Vaud there are often adverts for babysitters in English.


Hope that helps!
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Old 21.03.2011, 18:38
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

In this situation, I would also go for the private childcare option, such as an au-pair or nanny. Note that this person does not necessarily has to live in your house. You can rent a separate place in or near the village, or find somebody who is commuting daily from (for example) Lugano. Good luck!
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Old 21.03.2011, 19:23
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Another thing occurred to me on the way home.

Here the schools close from mid June until early September, so you will also need to consider this.

Tom
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Old 21.03.2011, 21:59
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate all of your help. I guess we do go the private way probably for private schooling. We live so far up in the mountains that I think it's a bit unfair for a young girl coming to our place for being an Au-pair, we have a big lovely house but all she would find is woods and mountains and you really need to love both to live up here. It's lovely that's why we don't want to move down. Once again I really didn't want to complain about the Swiss system I chose to live here so I am aware that I need to go with the system I really just wanted some 'help' thinking and all of you helped a lot. I didn't even know that schools are closing for such a long time over summer! Great for the kids, bad for working parents but we just have to find a way to work around such things. The strangest thing for me is to think of schools when changing nappies... that seems so weird.
Thanks again to all of you!
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Old 21.03.2011, 22:04
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

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I didn't even know that schools are closing for such a long time over summer!
Yes, I thought that might be the case.

I don't know where you are from, but if you are not from Ticino, Italy, France, or the USA (and probably some others), then this is perhaps quite different, so I wanted to mention that., as even TASIS is closed over the long summer! http://www.tasis.ch/uploaded/documen...ar_2010_11.pdf

By the way, I love the Malcantone, some of my favorite local motorcycle roads!

Tom
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Old 21.03.2011, 22:16
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

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We live so far up in the mountains that I think it's a bit unfair for a young girl coming to our place for being an Au-pair, we have a big lovely house but all she would find is woods and mountains and you really need to love both to live up here.
Actually, nowhere in the Malcantone is more than 1/2 hour or so by bus from civilization!

Tom
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Old 21.03.2011, 22:30
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Yes that's true and there are buses (!!! regularly and not only twice a day) but funnily enough everybody in Lugano is like: 'Oh my God! That's so far away, why do you live there?' I personally don't agree with that I drive 10 mins to the next train station and have 20min into Lugano that's great. Some people in London would call that living next door to your workplace Fortunately, some time in summer we be can covered by University facilities.... they have already been really helpful but couldn't solve our problem either....it's tricky because I really don't understand why I shouldn't work as a mum or why I should only work 40% or so..I couldn't do anything in 40% next time you drive through stop for a coffee!
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Old 22.03.2011, 00:39
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

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'Oh my God! That's so far away, why do you live there?'
That's because nobody who was born here actually ever leaves. Paris? Why would I go there?! I live in Lugano! The Grand Canyon? What would I want to see that? I live in Lugano!
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Old 22.03.2011, 00:46
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

Usually the kinds in Kindergarden in Ticino stay in school for lunch (which is not the case for the german part of CH). It does not start too early in the morning (8.30-9.00) in but it goes through to about 3.30pm.

Have you tried to find a local woman (madre diurna/Tagesmutter) that looks after your child before she goes to kindergarden in the morning and picks her up again at the end of the day? Your child would so be able to attend the local kindergarden and later school, which will facilitate the integration.

Ask around, i think there are still staying home mums/women, especially in small towns, that might be interested in taking care of your child during the hours before and after kindergarden.

Good luck and all the best.
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Old 22.03.2011, 09:56
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Re: Schooling in Ticino

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Usually the kinds in Kindergarden in Ticino stay in school for lunch
Depends on the town, around here (Ponte Capriasca) they go home.

Tom
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