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Old 21.11.2010, 14:50
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integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

Hi all,
I hope someone can give me some good suggestions-
Currently I am working full time and my two children, 13 months and 2 1/2 years are in creche five days a week. They are both settled and in a great routine. My 2 1/2 year old is in Montesorri and is learning lots-
However we are moving to Basel in early January and while I won't be working immediately I hope to be working within a few months.
What would you suggest is the best plan for my babies?
Should I enrol them somewhere 2 days a week so they remain used to going a daycare and get some exposure to the language?
I am totally confused because I don't really know what the child care situation in Basel is like.
Everyone is telling me they'll adapt easily, but will they really? What are your experiences of moving with kids in tow?
Thanks in advance,
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Old 21.11.2010, 14:58
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

I think younger they are, easier they will adapt. You are now in Ireland, right? So, unless you already have a spot in creche in Basel or in a little Montessori school, you have to make sure there will be places for your bubs. Basel might be better than where we are, but there is currently a 3yr long wait list where we live through our registry, the local jardins are better. I would contact the local registry child care place, to find out what price and what times are available to you, just to have an idea, then you mull it over and decide what you need. I think I'd enroll the 2yr old 3 times a week, mornings, to support the separation process, and the little one maybe once a week, to expose her. Then, on your own, research playgroups and cheap or free ways to socialize, to get your kids used to the lingo, since if you want to enroll both of them full time, you might end up paying thousands a month, and all that before you even find work. On the other hand, one really needs to have the daycare already up and rolling when you want to look for work, since it is usually not so available, flexibly enough, when you find a suitable job and start looking for daycare after.
Basel gang is strong here, I am sure somebody will chime in with some good tips..
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Old 21.11.2010, 15:09
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

There are a couple of things which might be of use to you here in the Sticky on Childcare and Schooling and more general stuff in this Sticky for folk new to Switzerland.
It's well worth looking at Stickies in other Forums too. Good bedside reading...

And you don't really want to know what it's like moving with small children, do you?
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Old 21.11.2010, 15:19
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

Yes I do want to know what its like moving with smallies- I am going to be doing just that after all- .
Thanks for the replies- some good advice there- I suppose when I don't know where we will be living just yet I can't really research properly.
My hubby will be working ( we're moving for his job) so maybe I could look for resources near his place of work??
The confusion- we are moving after Christmas- seems like a mammoth task to me at the moment.
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Old 21.11.2010, 15:22
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

I was living in Spain for a year before I moved to France. My daughter attended a nursery there from around age 22 months and was there for 1 year. So she was used to going every morning. We then moved to France. I didn't start her in a creche immediately as my accommodation was only temporary and after 4 months the company was liquidated . So that meant another move, I live on the French side of the border so it's slightly different from Basel. The local creche was full and she wasn't able to start school until the September, so for 1 year approx she was out of a nursery routine. She is now nearly 4 and started school in September. For the first week she was a bit wobbly and didn't want to go, but now she loves it and asks to go even on the weekend.

As yours are slightly younger either option won't be a big deal. The separation anxiety will be the same now or in a few months time. It will be new faces and a new environment. So I wouldn't worry too much about it and, give yourself time to get adjusted to the move and settle before stressing about creche. Good luck

Last edited by Fidgety; 21.11.2010 at 15:52.
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Old 21.11.2010, 15:46
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

I think the kids will not have any problem to integrate here. The person who will have the worst time to ajust will be you. As a stay at home mom trying to find a job, learning the language, etc.

Here, daycare is crazy expensive! You can plan a budget of 2000 to 2500 chf/ month per child for full time daycare,

Good luck for your move. We should get in touch, I have a daughter same age as your oldest and I am expecting a second one.
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Old 21.11.2010, 15:53
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

I have not been able to find a job here and even if I did I could not take it because of the lack of child care here . Where I live, I have not been able to find a nanny. When we first moved here summer 2009 my younger was 10 months old. I signed up for the local creche and waited 3 months for a place. Since then ,she goes there 3 days a week and it costs over 600chf a months. The fees depends on the household income. we are considering leaving the country because of the lack of working opportunities for me. If you enjoy staying at home, Swizterland will be a fantastic country for you and your kids..
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Old 21.11.2010, 16:01
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

But they could choose to the French side like me, I live in a small village 10 mins from Basel. Ecole Maternalle is free + I have an au pair. It works fine. There are plenty of other families in the village that are Frontaliers. Depends on whether you want city life on your doorstep or not. Property is cheaper and I have a house with a garden, if I lived in Basel it would be a small flat.
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Old 21.11.2010, 16:09
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

I think the most important thing you can do when you arrive is quickly seek friends in the community with children of a similar age. You can arrange outings and playdates with them, so your children are not too isolated. These people will become your lifeline, trust me you will need the support. Research schools in your area and make contacts and visits from the beginning. Possibly get on waiting lists. You might need a bit of flexibility when searching for a job; for interviews and such. So, you might plan to enroll them a bit ahead of time...but give yourself a few months to adjust to the new environment and then take the plunge. Good Luck!
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Old 22.11.2010, 21:35
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

Thanks for all the advice and taking time to reply to me.
I suppose I've been putting myself bottom of the list for adjustment- I will probably be crying every day at first. Nil- you may have to save me.
We should have our temporary address in mid December so realistically it will be January when I start exploring childcare options. I will def need to have them enrolled somewhere for (fingers and toes crossed) interviews. I thought childcare was expensive in Ireland - so maybe I'll be a stay at home Mum afterall....

I'm feeling very afraid- anyone have some positive stories of settling in for me?
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Old 22.11.2010, 21:44
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

Hi there - I am positive about moving and so is my colleague and his wife. I have a 5 yo though and he goes to Academia - he is a changed boy since moving and going to this school - it has been excellent for him.

I work full on full time after being a stay at home mum so it was a mega worry for me - a complete change of life for my son, in absolutely every way possible.

My colleague started the same day as me and his wife has found a local nursery for their 1 yo a few days a week no problem. PM me and I will try and find out from her - they live a bit closer to Basel than us. Her little one is v. happy.

I worried about location and travel, but my husband drops son off the other side of Basel and it takes 15 mins! Tiny city! It used to take me longer to get to the next village school.!!!

Did you also know that the NCT equivalent is here in Basel? Great for you I think.

For families it's great around this area - friendly, safe, polite. Don't be scared - plenty of people on here in the same boat to share experiences with.

The only sad thing is missing the Christmas Markets by moving in the New Year!
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Old 22.11.2010, 21:49
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

I think you've already made a big step in the right direction in that you are not expecting it to be easy at first.
Everything is strange. The language is odd and the people are odd and the trains run on time and you can't find the sugar because you are looking for Tate and Lyle and its packet is blue and Swiss sugar is in a white packet and there isn't any self-raising flour and everybody still talks funny and the children are a bit stressed because everything is new and Mummy is not herself and when you buy something in a shop they say the total so fast that not even a native can understand it and they cover the till so that you can't read it either and the money is odd and when you want to buy a train ticket they say 'hansiehalbtax' and you haven't a clue what they are talking about..

And then one morning, the world stops going too fast, the sun shines, you recognise a two-franc piece first time and one of the children says a Swiss German word and you laugh and this is home.

Read the Thread about Trailing Spouses. Brilliant ideas and lots of laughs. Plenty of us have been through it and survived. Chin up and good luck.
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Old 22.11.2010, 21:50
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

We moved when my daughter was two. To start off with we went to some English-speaking playgroups. This was a lifesaver as it enabled me to move into a wonderful network of women in exactly the same situation and my daughter the opportunity to make new friends.

Later on I found a Kinderkrippe (nursery) for my daughter for two days a week. This was wonderful as it gave her a great introduction to the language and different ways of doing things, and gave me the time to do some work.

Now she's in kindergarten and loving it and both of us have lovely circles of friends.

To be honest, in some ways I think having small children makes it easier to move to a new country, because if you make the effort to join different playgroups etc you will meet other people. Of the women I first met a few year ago, some are no longer in Switzerland, some are working full or part time and some are not working at all, and all are from a range of different countries. But we all recognise how valuable those first connections were and the difference they made to our lives and the lives of our kids.

By the way, my daughter is completely happy now speaking the local lingo and considers Switzerland to be just as much her country as it is anyone else's.

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Old 22.11.2010, 22:57
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Re: integrating a one year old and a two year old in Swiss life

Thankyou Kurbee, longbyt and tildaoz for your replies.
Your reassuring stories mean alot to me. I should remember that I'm not the first woman ever to do this. I will suss out the trailing spouses post and join in.
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