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Old 27.11.2011, 10:56
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Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

Hello Everyone!
I am in a need of advice and would appreciate any, especially from experienced parents out there.

We just have been surprised by my doctor who congratulated me with 2 babies. After the first shock and some days of research on internet I think I start finally getting used to this new situation and get an idea of what to expect.

From what I understood there is no way I will manage to cope myself and with no help to expect from the family I am down to only hiring help. Now here is where I am lost - how much help is necessary/reasonable, how much will this cost, nanny or krippe to look for (I assume I have to start searching already now?), do I better quit my job completely, go to 80%, 60%, etc.

I guess what I need is a calculation of different scenarios taking into consideration the increased costs vs. decreased income. I don't want to sound purely materialistic and of course I want to give as much attention to my future babies as possible, but can we at all make it with only one salary of 100K for example?

The idea for one child (we did not even think of a possibility of 2) was krippe as of 6 month and me keeping 100% work, with a cleaning lady coming once a week after the baby is born and occasional babysitters. Now this just does not sound enough somehow. Or am I just panicing?

Thanks for any replies.
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Old 27.11.2011, 11:03
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

Congrats! Double Happiness ...
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Old 27.11.2011, 11:09
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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From what I understood there is no way I will manage to cope myself
Congratulations !

Now where did you read that rubbish ?
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Old 27.11.2011, 11:16
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

Congrats and yes childcare in Switzerland is very expensive.

The krippe cost on average runs about 95 to 120 per day per child.

The cheapest option is an aupair (average 800 per month) but she lives with you and are typically allowed here for up to one year only.

Also krippe's here differ from each other greatly when it comes to care and depending on where you live it might take you 1.5 years to get them in so sign them now just in case.

However I believe that little babies up to two years require extra attention and they don't get that in a typical Swiss krippe. The krippe workers are on average 16 to 18 y.o. and have very little time for the youngest once since they are dealing with the older kids which require more supervision. I have seen it and I would not want that for my child.

In the US the little babies have their own rooms and are seperated from the toddlers, this is not the case here.

Good luck...not an easy country to be an employed parent.

I forgot to mention, if you need more specific info you can contact me offline. I have researched this topic inside and out with having two kids myself.

Cheers

Last edited by vwild1; 27.11.2011 at 11:58. Reason: merged 2 posts into 1
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Old 27.11.2011, 11:29
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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Congratulations !

Now where did you read that rubbish ?
I have difficulties imagining looking after 2 newborns at the same time and managing things like cooking, cleaning, shopping. I guess it is possible with only 2 hands and limited help from the working husband... and I would seriously appreciate to hear about such experience... but if you can make your life a little bit easier and if you can hopefully afford it, why not? Staying sane would be my priority for the first year .
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Old 27.11.2011, 11:47
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

I'd imagine the cost of childcare would outweigh the advantage of going back to work (and every time the children are sick, you'd have to take a day off!)....

So, plan b, plan c, plan d....

There are actually some really good support services for women in Switzerland. I would suggest starting to find those now...you may be eligible for some subsidised childcare, home help after the birth, extra support with breastfeeding.

I would also consider 'downsizing' your lifestyle if you can. Babies don't need much - somewhere safe to sleep, care and attention, a few toys. My sister in law's twins would not sleep unless they were together - she ended up with them both sleeping in the same cot and later they always shared a bedroom until they were maybe 10 years old...

Certainly, it's a steep learning curve with a new baby, a first baby, and to have twins first time around will be a lot of work! - grocery shopping can be done online, delivered to your door, definitely get a cleaning person, and stock up on meals that are easily reheated. For the first year we took turns cooking/eating - one parent got to eat their meal warm, whilst the other held the baby...

There are some great twins forums online. I suggest you find a few now and see if you find those helpful. In your home country there are also probably clubs and organisations which have an online presence, and can provide a link for you to information in your own language...
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Old 27.11.2011, 11:51
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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Congrats and yes childcare in Switzerland is very expensive.

The krippe cost on average runs about 95 to 120 per day per child.

The cheapest option is an aupair (average 800 per month) but she lives with you and are typically allowed here for up to one year only.

Also krippe's here differ from each other greatly when it comes to care and depending on where you live it might take you 1.5 years to get them in so sign them now just in case.

However I believe that little babies up to two years require extra attention and they don't get that in a typical Swiss krippe. The krippe workers are on average 16 to 18 y.o. and have very little time for the youngest once since they are dealing with the older kids which require more supervision. I have seen it and I would not want that for my child.

In the US the little babies have their own rooms and are seperated from the toddlers, this is not the case here.

Good luck...not an easy country to be an employed parent.
Thank you!
I did some research on krippe topic as well and came to a conclusion that hiring an individual to look after 2 kids at your own home is probably the same cost, but guarantees more attention to your kids. If I am not wrong, krippe would be close to 4000CHF for both, will nanny cost the same then? But in case of nanny you probably save time on getting your kids ready in the morning, driving them to and from krippe... Now to cover these costs I need to be working at least 80%. Does a nanny work for stricktly 8h/day or less here?
Financially an au-pair sounds good, but firstly, we have only 2 bedroom appartment, secondly, I have heard it is very difficult to get one in Switzerland (if the idea is to learn German - we don't speak it!). Living with someone else at your home does not seem to be very appealing either.
What did you chose at the end?
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Old 27.11.2011, 11:57
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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Hello Everyone!
I am in a need of advice and would appreciate any, especially from experienced parents out there.

We just have been surprised by my doctor who congratulated me with 2 babies. After the first shock and some days of research on internet I think I start finally getting used to this new situation and get an idea of what to expect.

From what I understood there is no way I will manage to cope myself and with no help to expect from the family I am down to only hiring help. Now here is where I am lost - how much help is necessary/reasonable, how much will this cost, nanny or krippe to look for (I assume I have to start searching already now?), do I better quit my job completely, go to 80%, 60%, etc.

I guess what I need is a calculation of different scenarios taking into consideration the increased costs vs. decreased income. I don't want to sound purely materialistic and of course I want to give as much attention to my future babies as possible, but can we at all make it with only one salary of 100K for example?

The idea for one child (we did not even think of a possibility of 2) was krippe as of 6 month and me keeping 100% work, with a cleaning lady coming once a week after the baby is born and occasional babysitters. Now this just does not sound enough somehow. Or am I just panicing?

Thanks for any replies.
Hi and congratulations,

I would suggest that you stay at home with them for the first year and then try to find a nursery, because the nurseries in CH are very different from the rest of the world but still when the children are one year old they love to play with other children but before that they need mummy all the time

There is the integrationsburo maybe they can help you and I sure that you can find some help from the goverment, with one salary and two children you will need and if you need some help and live in Zurich send me a PM

I have a daughter and I know how awful is to be with a newborn alone in this country, even someone to talk is nice good luck with everything.
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Old 27.11.2011, 12:13
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

You are correct about the Krippe cost, it would be about 4000K full time unless your town provides daycare financial assistance for certain income levels, but with two working parents you wouldn't qualify anyway. I think it tops at 120K.

AuPairs are easier to get than you think, my area is full of them and if they come from EU countries you don't need a working permit for them. They are cheap and majority are not here to learn German (that's what I thought as well). They do however have weekends off.

They are mainly here for the experience and the money but having a stranger live with you in a small apartment is the biggest issue which my husband never overcame.

I don't know how much nannies cost but they are usually the once who decided to stay here after their AuPair gig ran out.

My kids were toddlers so my solutions was part-time krippe. I had to give up my traveling for work lifestyle but they don't stay little forever and I don't regret my decision. I will be working for the rest of my life once they are in school, so few years of staying put is actually a nice break.

Good luck and let me know where this research takes you.
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Old 27.11.2011, 12:31
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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I'd imagine the cost of childcare would outweigh the advantage of going back to work (and every time the children are sick, you'd have to take a day off!)....

So, plan b, plan c, plan d....

There are actually some really good support services for women in Switzerland. I would suggest starting to find those now...you may be eligible for some subsidised childcare, home help after the birth, extra support with breastfeeding.

I would also consider 'downsizing' your lifestyle if you can. Babies don't need much - somewhere safe to sleep, care and attention, a few toys. My sister in law's twins would not sleep unless they were together - she ended up with them both sleeping in the same cot and later they always shared a bedroom until they were maybe 10 years old...

Certainly, it's a steep learning curve with a new baby, a first baby, and to have twins first time around will be a lot of work! - grocery shopping can be done online, delivered to your door, definitely get a cleaning person, and stock up on meals that are easily reheated. For the first year we took turns cooking/eating - one parent got to eat their meal warm, whilst the other held the baby...

There are some great twins forums online. I suggest you find a few now and see if you find those helpful. In your home country there are also probably clubs and organisations which have an online presence, and can provide a link for you to information in your own language...
Thank you for the reply!

As for the subsidies, I have a semi-private insurance, which offers some benefits. I have also learned that an employer is obliged to pay 200-250 CHF per child, just did not figure out if it is only one or both employers. The taxes will go down slightly as well. Unfortunately, there is no big difference in taxes when only one parent will work.
Downsizing is defenitely considered, but only after "upsizing" our car .
Forums for twins are found and joined as well .

However still a valid question - what are the costs of 2 kids? Baby food, pampers, necessary stuff, clothes, medicines/vitamins, I don't even know what else... I figured out insurance is about 100CHF per kid.
I mean if to consider quiting job for some time, I need to make sure we can at least cover our costs.
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Old 27.11.2011, 12:36
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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I have also learned that an employer is obliged to pay 200-250 CHF per child, just did not figure out if it is only one or both employers.
Only one.

Tom
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Old 27.11.2011, 12:42
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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Only one.

Tom
thanks!
well, so only 400-500CHF extra... Is that enough for pampers for instance?
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Old 27.11.2011, 13:06
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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thanks!
well, so only 400-500CHF extra... Is that enough for pampers for instance?
If you go to germany they are very cheap, baby food, etc as well, is worthy to go every two months and can have the tax free too.
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Old 27.11.2011, 13:46
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

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If you go to germany they are very cheap, baby food, etc as well, is worthy to go every two months and can have the tax free too.
Yep, plan to do so.
And yet, how much does this all cost per month?
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Old 27.11.2011, 14:15
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

I have had nothing but great experience with my son and krippe (he has been in Krippe since 7 months) which according to anheli is bad as they should be with their mothers until 1

I would rather my son be in a krippe with an experienced person and maybe some young girls taking orders and guidance from the experienced people than being left with an inexperienced young Au Pair who is here for the experience more so than the job and the love of kids

I might be wrong but i struggle to grasp the Au Pair concept with young babies and toddlers.

But it depends on how much you enjoy/like to work. If working is important to you then I know many who work and the majority of their earnings pays for child care but being at work helps them stay sane, gives them a life and also keeps their career going. But if you don't care so much for working and there wont be much left from your salary once child care costs are paid then i'd maybe take a break from work and maybe look for a nanny a couple of hours a day to give you a break

I have a few friends who have had twins exclusively breast fed and have managed (but granted they have had family nearer by) can you get family members to come and stay for longer stretched at a time in the first year?
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Old 27.11.2011, 14:36
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

I totally agree with Nickers!

My baby started daycare at 4mo. The oldest kids in her group are 2.5, but the babies are kept separate from them, on their very own playmats in special part of the nursery where the older kids are not allowed to go. The teachers are all highly experienced, age range from 25-40.

The teachers take very good care of her, are very available. I think I would be worried if she was alone with a nanny, where there's no supervision, no possibility to communicate and share ideas between adults if a problem arise.

More or less anybody can be a nanny, whereas several years of specific studies and a diploma are required to work in a state-funded daycare.
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Old 27.11.2011, 15:06
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

The reason why I am not in favor of a krippe anymore is that I think I could hire a certified nanny for the same money (assuming it is 3500-4000 CHF?) and spare my kids time being sick. I also think I better spend extra hour with them in the morning waiting for a nanny rather than getting them ready and driving them somewhere. Seems to be less stress for the same cost.

Now to actaully afford a nanny I would have to keep working at least 80%, which means little time for my babies , so I am also considering leaving job completely and hiring only minimal help around house or occasional babysitters, but my main worry in this case is that we won't cope financially.

That's why I am here asking for advice.
I am still eager to see any numbers on monthly child costs ... Did any of you out there calculate how much you pay for your happiness?
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Old 27.11.2011, 15:14
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

If you work 3 days I wonder how much a nanny would cost for 3 days? I think full time will be way too tough on you. I think 3 days is a good compromise (would you go back after 6 months) there's also day mothers? Maybe you could get one close by? I understand and agree with the time travelling to krippe etc. I think nanny sounds like the best option. And you work a few days a week if you do want to still work

But you say financially it will be tough if you give up work. Will it not still be equally as tough if the majority of your salary goes on childcare costs anyway? But I suppose giving up 100% plus paying for help is added cost so maybe the working 3 days would be best option. You get a break for three days. Salary pays for childcare and maybe cleaner. Abd your days off you will saviour your quality time with your babes and wont need/want help for those two days

Sorry about my ramblings, just trying to get my thoughts into your shoes
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Old 27.11.2011, 15:45
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

Congratulations!

I have just given birth to twins also. Initially I was adamant that I could do it all on my own, but after the first few months spent crying more than my twins, I finally got rid of the guilt and hired a nanny to assist me. She works full time and our costs are around CHF 4,500 per month inc. social security etc. We will keep her on full time for a few months and then she'll work part time next year on the days that I go back to work. For me, this works out well as she comes to my place and I don't have to worry about getting the twins to childcare. I also like that the twins are getting one on one care at this early stage. It also allows me to sleep during the day as I don't get much at night!

Health insurance is approx CHF 100 per month for each. I buy nappies, formula and pretty much any big item like our pram, cots etc. from Germany where it is a lot cheaper.

All the best, and please pm me if you need any other advice!
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Old 27.11.2011, 16:00
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Re: Expecting twins - what are the costs of hiring help?

I would have to agree with Nickers here, part time work would be an ideal solution for you. It would keep you employed and enjoy your children.

Reading other comments I realize that Krippe care for babies differs here.The first krippe my children attended would not separate babies from toddlers. In theory there was supposed to be a main teacher per classroom but this was never the case. They kept on employing these young teenagers and pay them nothing as it was simply a business to them.

This particular krippe has number of branches throughout Zurich, so if you decide to go the krippe route just make sure you talked to other parents and visited it on days not officially scheduled for parental visits.

I had a nanny when my first child was a baby. I didn't have to worry about drop off and pickups and was not going crazy at work whenever I was working late.

If your full time salary would go mainly to childcare, I would say it is not worth it. Find a part time job and enjoy being a parent.

As far as other fees, Germany is a good options for cheap diapers and baby food. Clothing you can buy second hand from this forum/yahoo groups or used clothing stores in the area.

Last edited by monigue; 27.11.2011 at 18:34.
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