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Old 17.08.2009, 15:12
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Advice sought - options for irregular day care for toddler

Hi,

My family and I are moving over to Geneva next week (yikes! still lots to do!). I'm coming over as unemployed, but my old employer here in the UK has asked me to do some ad hoc freelance/project work for them while I'm looking for a permanent job. I'd love to do that, only I would then need some kind of child care for my 3-year old. I've read through several threads on child care already, but haven't been able to figure out how I would best go about finding childcare that's not contracted to a specific number of days per week. I can only afford to pay child care for the days I'm working (I'm hopefully going to work ca 2 days per week - as yet unplanned).
I don't know which area we'll live in yet, we're in temporary accommodation for the first month, once we have our new place sorted I can sign up for nursery (and wait for up to two years by the sounds of it!) or look for a maman de jour I suppose.

So, my question is if anyone knows how to find reasonably priced ad hoc child care, drop in playgroups that last ca half a day at the time or any other solution?

thanks thanks thanks
Lena
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Old 17.08.2009, 15:50
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Re: Advice sought - options for irregular day care for toddler

I had the same situation when I moved over from London - old employer wanted me to work a three-day week from home, I had a 2.5 year old boy, and I just gave up because what with temporary/permanent housing moves and the lack of available childcare places, it just seemed to be too much. However, what I learned is if you just go the garderie route, you will be disappointed as they are oversubscribed. If you can swing half-days, I would look at jardin d'enfants, as there are many private ones and they seem to have more space than garderies, and are sometimes cheaper. Most of them start around age 2.5 or 3. The drawback is they only last for two or three hours, so aren't ideally set up for working mothers. Friends have had luck with maman de jours, but it really depends on what is convenient for where you live. Finally, make sure and start thinking through the schooling aspect now before you find permanent housing - Swiss schools break for lunch and the kids go home, which isn't ideal if you are working. Many schools are starting to have programs to cover kids whose mothers work, but not all schools offer this. Private schools are sometimes a better option for working mothers, depending on your area. Finally, consider possibly living over the border in France, where day care seems to be more accessible and school starts earlier. Also consider giving your child time to adjust to the language change - yes they pick it up quickly but its a shocker when they get to the playground and don't understand anyone.

I've only been here a year so happy to be corrected (posting under my hubby's login here) but childcare seems to be a major challenge here.
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Old 17.08.2009, 17:26
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Re: Advice sought - options for irregular day care for toddler

Hi and thanks for your advice. We are thinking about moving straight to France - we had initially thought about staying for up to a year in or near Geneva, but child care and living costs suggest France might be a better bet.

I might go for the half day play groups and perhaps using occasional babysitters. As long as I end up with more coming in than going out for working!
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