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Advice desperately needed from Dublin mums

(10 Posts)
andypandypuddle Mon 15-Aug-11 19:08:30

DH been offered an attractive job in Dublin centre (banking district). We would need to over there from the Midlands in 2 months. However, slight issue is that I am due to have my 5th DC in 1 week!! I am trying to fit all this into my head, worrying about schools, settling 5 children under 7 into life in Ireland, whilst also prepare for labour etc...

So.. I am searching for any advice from Dublin mums. I know basically nothing about the place. We would rent initially for I guess a year (until we were able to get a mortgage - I am told will need to build up a credit history first). No help with rent costs from company so I guess budget is approx £1000 per month (havent converted to euros)

We live rurally here in the midlands but have easy access to several cities when we wish - I am keen to stay rural in Ireland but I guess everything is governed by schools which is my main concern. Would need school places for DS1 (year 3 in uk) DS2 (Year one uk), DD (preschool in uk). They currently go to an Independent school here which is lovely and we have been very happy with it, however, financially it has been a real strain and I am not so bothered about continuing independent schools in Ireland. From my brief research, it seems that it isn't as common to find many private primary schools anyhow? I guess I am just thinking about me too (selfishly I know). I am leaving behind all my lovely child based friends and I want to make sure that I move into an area where there may be other possibly expat mums in my situation.

So.. in summary.. where should we look? rural ish, good schools (with not years long waiting lists! - state or private as long as fairly reasonably priced), houses to rent with 4 - 5 beds for just over £1000 pm???

Grateful of any advice...

lalasmum11 Mon 15-Aug-11 22:09:56

Very few private primary schools here - school places are a bit of problem though and best to see can you get school place before deciding where to live. If you are used to rural, then I would recommend North County Dublin. I live in a place called Donabate - its on the train line, would be 20 mins on the train for your husband into work. Rent for a 3/4 bedroom house would be about 1k stg or less ( lots of room to bargain at the moment with the economy). You would need to check out the schools though.

Its a village by the sea - two lovely beaches and surrounded by farms. ( And 10 mins from the airport)

Other places to check out would be Malahide, Portmarnock, Skerries ( a bit further out but lovely)

Any other questions just ask

andypandypuddle Mon 15-Aug-11 22:37:40

Lalasmum - Thanks for your reply..Some good suggestions as to where to start our search. Do you have any recommendations of primary schools thought to be well regarded? Similarly, pre-schools? I wondered if pre-schools tend to be linked to schools or mre like play-group over in UK?

Out of interest.. did you move from the UK? How have you found the transition?

Many thanks

lalasmum11 Mon 15-Aug-11 22:54:05

Am Irish orginally - lived in London for five years and Scotland for five though. But had my kids here. So no transition as such. There are loads of UK people here. I would not have thought it would be too major a transition - very similar people even though some Irish would not like to admit that.

The health system here is crap though - you will need health insurance and even then won;t guarantee anything. Doctors have to be paid for , about 50 euro a go. Medicine the same. And avoid A&E at all costs.

There are four types of primary school generally - the local catholic, educate together which in non-religious, local protestant school and gaelscoil where the kids are educated through the Irish language.

In Donabate for example we have three schools, the catholic boys, catholic girls and the edcuate together. All three have two junior infant classes, etc - with about 26 in each class.

Pre schools are not attached to the primary schools. All children aged 3 by end of the June are entitled to a free pre school year from Sep to June - generally montessori. Lots of those places around, so easy to get in there.

Child benefit is €140 a month per child, with an extra 27 for the third child and 37 for the fourth. For five kids you will get about 800 euro so something to work into your calculations.

andypandypuddle Mon 15-Aug-11 23:04:16

Where would you go instead of A&E if needed? So we have to have a bupa type of thing then for healthcare?

I had looked on the educate together webpage and thought it looked interesting. Without knowing much about it, seems to be the philosophy I would go for in a school. We aren't catholic, we are C of E, kids all been baptized etc but I think the educate together would possibly suit us. Do they have a decent reputation?

Sorry for the multiple questions! I'm supposed to be packing my labour bag but I'm on here instead :-).. let's hope baby doesn't appear tonight!

lalasmum11 Tue 16-Aug-11 08:56:55

If you really needed A&E you would go - just waiting time of 12-18 hours are not unusual, or taking a few days to get a bed in a ward.

There are a few private clinics for broken bones and the like.

Hopefully you would not need it. The kid's hospitals don't seem to have the same problems thank god.

Educate together have a good reputation alright. Can be a bit of a waiting list - heard of some people putting down their kids names from the maternity ward. But might be easier to get into the later classes.

Hope you got your bag packed!!

tibradden Fri 19-Aug-11 22:18:31

As a southsider, would have to recommend somewhere like Greystones or Bray both on the dart (train) line with easy access to Dublin city.

They are both beside the sea with the Dublin mountains right beside them.
I know there is a large choice of good schools in Greystones and it has a lovely village feel.

Educate together schools are very popular and enrollment in our case was at 6 days old as it is first come first served. However in my DC school, Rathfarnham Educate Together I understand there are places in classes other than junior infants (reception).

Our local Church of Ireland schools are very good and would recommend them.

The school classes start at junior infants age 4/5, senior infants, then first class through to sixth class at primary level. So your dc1 would be starting second class and dc2 senior infants.

Websites to look at for housing are www.daft.ie, www.myhome.ie.
And a site for mums called www.magicmum.com where i know there are people with probably a lot more information than I!!

Best of luck.

andypandypuddle Sat 20-Aug-11 12:37:30

Thanks Tibradden - Greystones has been mentioned to me before - I have looked at Daft but struggling to find a 4/5 bed house in our budget in that area. The educate together schools seem to be just what we are looking for - interesting to hear your school may have places. Have you been pleased with the school so far?

tibradden Tue 23-Aug-11 09:00:55

Yes, we have been. It suits us, the ethos, communication, parental involvement.
I know of 2 children starting from other schools.
But could not confirm there are places
HTH

SiamoFottuti Tue 23-Aug-11 14:41:08

I have never waited anything close to 12 hours in a&e with children, let alone 18! And I've had fabulous care for my children there, couldn't complain at all, apart from when I got the bill that is. I've also had very good and prompt care for myself as well, don't go believing all the horrible stories about the hospitals here.

I'd say go northside, you get more for your money and transport links are better , as well as better chances to get into schools. Plus its just better. Donabate is fabulous, very leafy and pretty,my sister lives there and the new ET school is opening in 2 weeks, brand new buildings and spaces available. V close to town on the train too. Also look at Skerries, Rush & Lusk, Balbriggan...basically the north dublin coast on the DART line.

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