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Old 21.11.2017, 18:14
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Early childhood and Primary teacher

Hello,

My family and I are considering moving to Switzerland from the UK but not for at least a few years. Just starting my research now and I'm getting confused with the education system. I would be planning on getting a job as an early childhood or maybe a primary teacher. I could possibly still be working towards my BA degree (online), would I be employable while working towards achieving the degree in a school? I have 2 children age 3 and 2 and one on the way (due in march). What are the hours of work for an early childhood and primary teacher? Are they flexible with taking your own children to school? Do you get to go home when they have the 2 hour lunch break that I've read about? If we do come over the eldest would be anywhere between 6-9, would she be able to go to public school if she only speaks English?
My husband is working towards his Health Sciences degree, he should be able to get a decent job by the looks of things. Any info on this would be great too

I have been trying to research all the info online but not having any luck!
Any other info you think may be useful would be grateful.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 21.11.2017, 18:32
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

You might be best aiming for international schools. Do you speak any of the Swiss languages to near-native fluency? If not, I wouldn't fancy your chances in the state schools.

For your own kids, the general rule of thumb is that age 9 is about the maximum age a child can be to comfortably fit into state school and pick up the language as they go along.

If you are planning this for a future venture, though, perhaps you can already start your kids off on a language programme somehow?

For the education system in general there are loads of relevant links/threads on this forum for people moving here. Just use the search function.
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Old 21.11.2017, 19:04
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

State schools will be out unless you speak a Swiss language fluently. Maybe international schools. What teaching qualifications do you have or are aiming for?

What you also have to consider is that Brexit will mean (so far as we know at the moment) UK nationals will become non-EU nationals which means you'd be last in the hiring queue behind Swiss/EU nationals and any employer would have to prove why they want to hire you instead of one of them. The non-EU hiring rules are here:

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

There are also quota limits on the number of permits available so unless your skills/experience are outstanding this may not be an option since it costs employers time and money to apply for the permit and they won't do it unless they believe they have a good chance of success.

Though the question has to be why Switzerland? Would you not do better to look at Canada or Australia?

For schools here, children usually go to the school nearest to where they live - if you work at a different one, well too bad. Maybe an arrangement could be made, maybe not. For internationals schools it's still going to cost you a fortune for each child - average fees are around CHF20,000 each per year - whether any deduction could/would be made because you work at the same school I don't know.
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Old 21.11.2017, 21:01
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

http://www.edk.ch/dyn/11553.php will provide you with information about the Swiss school system. You have already been told that English is not one of the Swiss languages and you need proficiency for teaching.

I've heard of Swiss students with a foreign language as a first language who had no chance to study Pedagogy because their German was not idiomatic enough. Especially if one wants to teach Kindergarten till end of first cycle (2nd grade). Young kids need teachers who speak the language perfectly.

Kindergarten is taught from four years onwards for two years - four lessons per morning - and it is mandatory. The second year students are schooled at two afternoons for two lessons.
I'm teaching Kindergarten and since you are more or less alone with up to 25 kids you'd be happy not to have your toddlers around... it is not allowed anyway.

I also teach DaZ "Deutsch als Zweitsprache - German as a second language" in Kindergarten. I teach about 15 kids who have to learn German to be able to succeed at school. Those lessons are for kids who speak one or two other languages with their parents. Those lessons are paid for from the government.

Kids go home for lunch or go to Hort for lunch and might spend the afternoons there - but the parents have to pay for this service. Not cheap, though.

Last edited by marischi; 21.11.2017 at 22:07.
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Old 21.11.2017, 22:53
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

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Hello,

My family and I are considering moving to Switzerland from the UK but not for at least a few years. Just starting my research now and I'm getting confused with the education system. I would be planning on getting a job as an early childhood or maybe a primary teacher. I could possibly still be working towards my BA degree (online), would I be employable while working towards achieving the degree in a school? I have 2 children age 3 and 2 and one on the way (due in march). What are the hours of work for an early childhood and primary teacher? Are they flexible with taking your own children to school? Do you get to go home when they have the 2 hour lunch break that I've read about? If we do come over the eldest would be anywhere between 6-9, would she be able to go to public school if she only speaks English?
My husband is working towards his Health Sciences degree, he should be able to get a decent job by the looks of things. Any info on this would be great too

I have been trying to research all the info online but not having any luck!
Any other info you think may be useful would be grateful.

Thanks in advance!
Do you have a teaching qualification ?
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Old 21.11.2017, 23:09
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

https://phzh.ch/en/Education/general...hing-diplomas/
Recognition of foreign teaching diplomas
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Old 21.11.2017, 23:12
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

In case you haven't discovered www.ch.ch yet, I recommend it as a very useful resource, linking through to all sorts of government information, some of which has kindly been translated into English.
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Old 22.11.2017, 10:36
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

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Hello,

I would be planning on getting a job as an early childhood or maybe a primary teacher. I could possibly still be working towards my BA degree (online), would I be employable while working towards achieving the degree in a school?
It seems that you don't have any degree at this moment and with - almost - three small children I doubt that you'll have the spare time to work at your education right now. No chance to get into a regulated system like public school without a recognized degree.

Alas, you have some time to ponder over what direction you should take if you really want to work in Switzerland. Montessori is quite popular over here, maybe you'll get yourself into that. Since Montessori-schools are always private schools, they might be happy to have someone who speaks English in the classroom.
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Old 22.11.2017, 14:53
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

@Nightshade
Good for you for looking ahead, and considering your options.

If you are in that delicious dreamy phase of first considering emigration, then I agree with Medea that you include other countries in your research.

However, if you are already sure that your country of choice is Switzerland, for example because you have close friends or family living here or because you belong to an organisation which is based in Switzerland, then you'll need to prepare for the specific conditions here.

If Switzerland is your aim, and since you appear (are we right in deducing this?) to have no formal qualification, I'd say that two central things you could do now, are to read, read, read (this forum has a wealth of information, especially if you plough your way through the sticky threads) and to find a way to learn a Swiss language. Choose one.

Naturally, your focus now is your new baby and your other two children, so I wish you health and enough sleep. Whenever you have a moment, in between, you could try to learn a bit of vocabulary.

I'd like to encourage you to perservere. Going to school while small children are at home is a challenge. If you can't manage that, it's okay, and realistic. You might try to find someone who lives near where you are now, of German, French or Italian mother tongue, perhaps another young parent, or an adopted grandparent, with whom you could practice the basics of the language.

Just in case you mentioned teaching only as one possible option amongst others, I'd like to add this: If you are not already set on teaching, you might consider nursing. I mention this because it is one area in which there is a long-term shortage of staff, here in Switzerland, so easy to get a job. Also a part-time job, which can be a good thing for a parent.

Nurses with foreign qualifications can't automatically transfer into the system here, but the standard procedures for recognition are known and set out. If this interests you, search for "nurse" or "nursing" on this forum. Nurses who do their training abroad anticipating the Swiss procedure, who reckon, from the start, with having to do those extra Swiss top-up courses once they arrive and who set aside the money for them, and of course who gain a command of the local Swiss language, can be up and running in their profession after a relatively short time (by which I mean about one to two years).
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Old 22.11.2017, 16:34
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

For financial reasons, I would go for primary school teaching (it pays a lot better than early childhood!) but I doubt an online qualification will be recognised.

You need at least a 3 year bachelor's degree in primary school teaching, a C1 in German , French or Italian, and to prove that you have at least 5 subject areas that match the Swiss curriculum, to be approved as a Swiss Primary School teacher.

For an 'international school' position, it varies greatly but job security and career flexibility can be quite a challenge.

For Montessori, you would be best advised to get an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Diploma, which is not offered by distance, and for 6-12 is rarely offered in the UK (Maria Montessori Institute London).... *and* a recognised degree....

Whilst there are some who 'slip through' with Montessori AMI Diplomasm without teaching degrees, ultimately it cuts your career options right down - you'll need to get your degree eventually.

With three kids, the cost of childcare would probably take most of the 'shine' out of wanting to work in early childhood - most settings are long-day-care and you'd work long hours for the 'privilege' of paying someone else to look after your kids....

Is it worth it ?

Well, it all depends on what it offers beyond your current opportunities where you are now...or within the UK or rest of Europe...
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Old 22.11.2017, 17:57
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

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For financial reasons, I would go for primary school teaching (it pays a lot better than early childhood!) but I doubt an online qualification will be recognised.

You need at least a 3 year bachelor's degree in primary school teaching, a C1 in German , French or Italian, and to prove that you have at least 5 subject areas that match the Swiss curriculum, to be approved as a Swiss Primary School teacher.
I have friends who have young children and studied the whole "first cycle" or "Kindergarten only" who had a very tough time to survive energetically and socially. It is a challenge. Not to be taken lightly.
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Old 22.11.2017, 20:18
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

I have been studying for the past 3.5 years for my primary degree, almost finished now, and yes, it has been very tough, and my children are teens, and German is my mother tongue.
You can work in early childhood education, it is what I did whenI first came to Switzerland, but salaries are very poor, especially if you do not have a Swiss qualification.
As for a 9 year old joining the Swiss system, doable, but if you are planning ahead, put the kids in some German classes before hand, they will be glad of every little bit when they arrive. Without German the first 6 months are really hard on the kids.
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Old 22.11.2017, 22:13
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

Congrats, swisscanmom! Are you already teaching? Did you do the Quereinsteiger?

I had it easier, studied at Kindergarten-Seminar - which was more like Gymnasium but with a lot of practical training. Still living at home and not burdened with having to earn money or using up savings.

When entering the workforce of teachers, I was not even of age, which was 20 years then!

I was the youngest of my class. At the time, you had an entrance exam and 120 hopeful girls went to the entrance test. I was told that being so young, I would never get in, they would take only 40 students. And on top of that, I had never been in Kindergarten, because we lived out in the sticks and Kindergarten was not mandatory yet.

I went to the test anyway - was prepared to do the test again next year and took it easy because I knew I would not be accepted because of my age. Loved the week of testing which seemed like a vacation from my internship in an orphanage, which was very tough. And then I was told I had the best results of the flock, so they took me in in spite of my young age, just scraped 16 years when starting seminary.

But my first salary for a full job as a Kindergarten -teacher was only 2500.- My friends who made an apprenticeship made more than me. This has changed, thankfully.

Last edited by marischi; 22.11.2017 at 22:37.
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Old 22.11.2017, 23:22
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

Thanks. Yes, I am teaching full time. Just finishing up some assignments and have to redo an exam in January that I failed Hoping to get my diploma in March 18. Oh and no,not the Quereinsteiger, no longer existed at fhnw when I started, I did the flex program with less days required attendance per week at the ph.
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Old 23.11.2017, 10:59
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

There are many English speaking international schools in CH. Mine in particular was recently desperate for supply teachers. My advice is to get on some supply lists and a permanent position may come from that. Most international schools recognize teaching certifications from most countries.
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Old 23.11.2017, 11:02
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Re: Early childhood and Primary teacher

Ah, just realized the OP is still working on bachelors. My reply still goes for teaching assistant positions (and supply lists) in the same schools. They don't pay well, but will get your foot in the door.
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