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Old 21.04.2008, 23:10
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Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

Hello all i recently signed a contract to start work at Alstom Baden on 28-04-08. I spent some time in Baden last year so i am a little familiar with the area, this time i am looking to stay longer and bring my family. My main concern is keeping my wife and kids (all boys aged 3, 6 and 16) occupied. We have a fear of me being at work all day and my wife being stuck in with the kids. Firstly we need to locate a pre-school or kindergarten for the younger two, not sure we can stretch to expense of private school. Can anybody give us first hand experience of similar aged children going to public schools in Baden area, is it easy for them to make thr transition. Also are there any mums and tots type groups, summer holiday clubs, playgroups etc. None of us speak german at present but keen to get started. Would be good to hear from families in similar positions.

Andy & Judith
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Old 22.04.2008, 15:33
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

Hi Andy and Judith,

Welcome, to Baden. I read you message. I live in Nussbaumen just over new bridge (3km out of Baden). I am an Australian married to a local swiss. I brought my family here in May of last year and have a similar position as you guys. I have 3 children here; ( ages 5,7, and 15yrs). I am not sure fully of your situation. but this is how we went about things.

My younger children go to the local kindygarden as we very well can not afford to send them to private schooling here eventhough they did go in Australia, my children do not speak any german, but a very slowly picking it up. I was very hesitant to send them at the start and very worried that they would not understand and find friends to play with, but they seem to be ok. You most probably find the education system very strange as they will not go full time to school. Your six year old will most probably be in 2nd kindy depending on his birthday. So, that will most probably be 4 half days and 1 full day. I still am getting use to this as I am use to having my children attend full time schooling and having worked in the education system myself I always have certain desputes with the teachers and my husband about the schooling.

As for your young child there is a childcare for english speaking children in Baden called Childrens World AG. And they deal with family's who parents work for mainly ABB. That is if you need care for baby. I am not sure about their prices or they opening hours, but if you go on swisscom.ch you will be able to search for their number in the whitepages.

And for you 16 year old. Unfortunately you will most probably not be able to join him straight away into a local school. He will have to join an intergration school where foreign children, attend for at least one year, before they even allowing him to go to a local school. This give him intensive german, social skills, and familiarity to the swiss school curcilum. I had to send my child there, even though he has been in Switzerland before and attended the junior school in Baden before and knows a little bit of german. But I think as of 2006/7 the rules changed and the school council have made it that children like ours must attend an intergration school, so that our children don't push the local speaking children down with their grades and that our children can keep up with they system of learning. My son attends the one in Turgi, I am not sure where Baden send their international students, but the school coucil will tell you. Located where the library is.

I am not sure if you have thought of distance education for you oldest, but if you child is able to work independantly or maybe Judith you have time to help him through home study this may be a thing to think about, because if you are here for a while I would say this is an option to really think about. You will notice that you son with have to intergration school and then he may have to go a year lower than he is attending at this moment.
You most probably asking why Our son is not attending distant ed. well he need is butt kicked now and again as he is not academically skilled, meaning he will have to do an apprentaship after he finished his last two years a the local school, but my husbands eldest son did attend it as it was in his second final year and wanted to visit Switzerland for a holiday. But now back in Australia finishing off year 12 and has the ability to attend uni, where he could not here. So depending where you want your child to be in the future, these factures are important. Uni is very hard to even get into here in Switzerland. Your child will need a entry exam plus very high german and not many child do go to uni, only the wealth and the brainy. Sorry to say.

As for personal contact with other speaking people, well I thing I have almost given up. Yes, you will find some people who speak english, but to make contact with them is, l don't know. I have bumped into people and even given out my number, but I never get a call back. I don't know. This is very frustrating and sad. There is a community group for english people, but you will find if you are not in their catigory as in job wise, money wise etc. people don't seem to want to know. There is a fee, also to join it think. Your husband may find a few people at his working place who speak english and become friends other than that I would strongly suggest to hold on to your friends back home and they telephone numbers, because you will need them for strength. You would want to know what my phone bills like!!!! I recommend that you guys try to learn german if you are intending to stay for a while, as this will help you a lot.

Sorry guys for not so positive information, but better to know than not. I wish I did, because I would not have followed my husband out here if it was this difficult, aspecaily for the children.

Other that for the country, l love it then dry, boring Australia (Perth).
TV wise, what english chanels to keep you sane, join cable com and get digital.

Well, have to go. I hope this info helps.

Bye and good luck. Oh, and don't give up, be strong and give it a good try.





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Hello all i recently signed a contract to start work at Alstom Baden on 28-04-08. I spent some time in Baden last year so i am a little familiar with the area, this time i am looking to stay longer and bring my family. My main concern is keeping my wife and kids (all boys aged 3, 6 and 16) occupied. We have a fear of me being at work all day and my wife being stuck in with the kids. Firstly we need to locate a pre-school or kindergarten for the younger two, not sure we can stretch to expense of private school. Can anybody give us first hand experience of similar aged children going to public schools in Baden area, is it easy for them to make thr transition. Also are there any mums and tots type groups, summer holiday clubs, playgroups etc. None of us speak german at present but keen to get started. Would be good to hear from families in similar positions.

Andy & Judith
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Old 22.04.2008, 20:11
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

thank you for taking the time to send us the above information, it would be good to keep in contact particularly that our families seem very similar in size and ages.

andy & judith
jmwhitehead60@hotmail.com
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Old 22.04.2008, 20:22
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

Are you online at the moment?

Can chat in the chat room if you like
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thank you for taking the time to send us the above information, it would be good to keep in contact particularly that our families seem very similar in size and ages.

andy & judith
jmwhitehead60@hotmail.com
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Old 22.04.2008, 20:36
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

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As for your young child there is a childcare for english speaking children in Baden called Childrens World AG. And they deal with family's who parents work for mainly ABB. That is if you need care for baby. I am not sure about their prices or they opening hours, but if you go on swisscom.ch you will be able to search for their number in the whitepages.
Their website is www.childrensworld.ch. I sent my daughter to the one in Zurich and actually not that happy with the service. Anyway, she's going to the local kindergarten already in August. But my other friend who used to send her daughter to both in Baden and Zurich said that the one in Baden is better. No doubt, the price is one of the cheapest for a private kindergarten in Switzerland.
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Old 05.05.2008, 03:29
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

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As for personal contact with other speaking people, well I thing I have almost given up. Yes, you will find some people who speak english, but to make contact with them is, l don't know. I have bumped into people and even given out my number, but I never get a call back. I don't know. This is very frustrating and sad. There is a community group for english people, but you will find if you are not in their catigory as in job wise, money wise etc. people don't seem to want to know. There is a fee, also to join it think.
Sorry guys for not so positive information, but better to know than not. I wish I did, because I would not have followed my husband out here if it was this difficult, aspecaily for the children.
Sorry to hear that your experiences thus far are not so positive. Moving to a new country where you don't speak the language is very difficult. When children attend school, they make friends, but it's not so easy for the mothers. I know of a group of English speaking moms who meet in Baden for a playgroup, though I am not sure of the ages, but you could certainly go just to meet other moms. Have you heard of the Yahoo group "Expats in Baden?" Here is the link so you can join.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/expatsbaden/

I've been trying to organise breakfast at Ikea through this group, or even just meeting for coffee there.

The point is, many newcomers here are lonely, particularly the stay-at-home spouse. It takes time to settle in and make friends. Sometimes your spouse has male colleagues who are expats and it might be worth trying to see if any are married and their wives would also like to meet some people.

In the meantime, I would love to meet you for coffee and reassure you that it really does get better, it just takes time.
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Old 05.05.2008, 13:30
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

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Uni is very hard to even get into here in Switzerland. Your child will need a entry exam plus very high german and not many child do go to uni, only the wealth and the brainy. Sorry to say.
As for personal contact with other speaking people, well I thing I have almost given up.
I recommend that you guys try to learn german if you are intending to stay for a while, as this will help you a lot.
I am a Swiss Native just returned to Baden after almost 3 years in the US. I am sorry to hear that you have problems to settle down in the Baden region. I was wondering that you have such troubles to find english speaking contacts here, as there are many expats in Baden and area. There is at least one other english speaking playgroup in Ehrendingen and there is a english speaking mothers meeting in Baden http://www.karussell-baden.ch/
I would also ask your husband to check with Alstom if they have some programs for spouses. Of course meeting people who fit you is a strenuous thing and needs a lot of effort, but unfortunately the nature when moving to another country. I strongly recommend learning some german (being aware that Swiss german is again something different and more difficult) but it cannot be wrong to speak the language of your new home country at least a bit . That's also why I think it's the best to send your children to a public school/Kindergarden, where they will very quickly learn german.

But I have to disagree with you about only the wealthy and brainy attending Swiss Universities. You do not need a lot of money for attending University, average cost per year may be around SFr 3000 for tuition and books. Normally, you attend Kantonsschule when you are 16 years old, which you finish with an exam called Matura (which at least used to be quiet easy if you managed the 4 years of school). This is your entry ticket for university. If you do not attend Kantonsschule, you have to do an exam, which is more difficult than Matura.
The difference to many countries is that you do not go to University to study teaching, for example. You go to another school called Fachhochschule. And you do not go to University to become a photographer, for example, but you make an apprenticeship. I guess that's where your idea of the brainy comes from. Anyway it's a good idea to think about the future home of your child and to try to harmonize his education here with the recognized certificates in this place.

Wish you both all the best!
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Old 05.05.2008, 17:32
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

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IBut I have to disagree with you about only the wealthy and brainy attending Swiss Universities. You do not need a lot of money for attending University, average cost per year may be around SFr 3000 for tuition and books. Normally, you attend Kantonsschule when you are 16 years old, which you finish with an exam called Matura (which at least used to be quiet easy if you managed the 4 years of school). This is your entry ticket for university. If you do not attend Kantonsschule, you have to do an exam, which is more difficult than Matura.
The difference to many countries is that you do not go to University to study teaching, for example. You go to another school called Fachhochschule. And you do not go to University to become a photographer, for example, but you make an apprenticeship. I guess that's where your idea of the brainy comes from. Anyway it's a good idea to think about the future home of your child and to try to harmonize his education here with the recognized certificates in this place.
I have to agree with your comments on this, although looking at my nieces and nephews now I am inclined to think that they have made the Matura harder than it used to be (or maybe I'm not as clever as I used to be!). Your comment about costs was also spot on, university in Switzerland is very affordable for Swiss taxpayers (and the children thereof).

The one difficulty perhaps is gaining entry to Swiss universities if you have a foreign high school diploma. Even with an International Baccalaureate the requirements for entry are quite tough (minimum number of points). So, it may seem that Swiss unis are only for the academically gifted if you are trying to gain access with a foreign diploma.
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Old 05.05.2008, 23:43
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

Hey Welcome to Baden and Alstom!! wish you ayw good start with new job and the whole family enjoys their new life here.

I did not have enough time to read through all the posts, but for the schooling, the best will be to contact the local geminde so that they could arrange it for you, but from what i have seen from other colleagues, for the kids who are already in the middle school, it will be quite difficult to catch up the local school here, so maybe you need to think about sending him or her to the international school.

anyway, good luck!
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Old 25.08.2008, 16:31
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

Hallo there,

We are living in Nussbaumen for the past three years and have two lovely daughters 6+ and 2+, if any one would like to meet up for a play date do let me know. We are from India but we speak fluent English.
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Old 26.08.2008, 00:10
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Re: Pre-school, Kindergarten Baden

Hallo!!!

Ok so i am giving my opinion on 1st hand knowledge!! I as an english person would not recommend childrens world at all!! I am a nanny for a family here in Baden and my and the mother of the children went to look at this nursery (for a bit of relief time for me!!) and we happened to show up on the 'english afternoon' where we found the 'english' teacher who was swiss and actually couldn't communicate to us very well in english,speaking swiss german to the child in front of us.
I didnt think it was a very good set-up and im not a great fan of montessori either.

For those new comers...drop me a line,either on here or to my email jenny291183@gmail.com im shocked and saddened you have struggled to find company here in baden and surrounding areas. I have been here nearly 3 years and have always found people extremly friendly. I am nanny for 2 children (5 and 3.5) and i also have a 6month old son of my own,we go to the friday english speaking moms group,we're a brilliant group of friendly moms and your more than welcome to join us.

Hope to hear from you
Jenny

P.s...if you just say to people 'do you speak english' you will be surprised by the amount of people that can and want to speak english! I have got to the point now where i will just speak in english to someone and you can usually tell by the funny face they pull at you if they dont understand!!!
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