Zurich and childcare

(5 Posts)
PlasticSwissie Fri 27-Jan-17 19:36:48

I'm sorry for starting yet another thread on Zurich, but none of the ones I've found while searching have quite answered my question.

DH has been given the chance to apply for an internal move to Zurich. It’s a move into a team which he works with closely in his current role, and will continue to do so if he stays here, so before he applies we need to be reasonably certain that if he were to get the job we would go. We have visited Zurich on holiday a couple of times, and he has been there for work; we know that we like the city in principle. We’re aware of the high cost of living, and have done research into rent, tax and the cost of healthcare; as a result we’re happy that the salary they’re offering would allow us to have a decent lifestyle with the skiing and travel which are a big part of the appeal for us. However, a major stumbling block is the question of whether it will be possible for me to work. We have one DS who will be 3 in a couple of weeks, and DC2 is due at the end of March. I’m aware of the excruciating cost of childcare, but what’s really spooking me is the references I keep seeing to its variable quality - it will be bad enough paying CHF60,000 a year for two children if the care is great – and lack of availability. As far as I can establish we would not qualify for any subsidy so would be paying top whack. The intention would be for this move to be permanent, or at least long-term, so the children would be going to local schools. They and I are dual UK-Swiss citizens, but as my family hasn’t live in Switzerland since 1932 this isn’t particularly helpful in dealing with my concerns!

So I suppose my questions are

Is the nursery provision actually any good? We’re possibly looking at living in Baden, as we’d like to have a house with a garden rather than an apartment and DH will be working on the north side of Zurich.

Would a two working parent family be a total anomaly? I keep seeing that the school system is geared up for a parent at home – would we still be looking at hefty costs for childcare once the children are at school? Would wraparound even be available?

I'd be very grateful for any opinions. We think this could be a great move but it needs to work for the whole family.

OP’s posts: |
beresh Sat 28-Jan-17 21:12:54

Hi, I live in a village near Zurich and in most families I know both parents work, but at least one parent works part time. A lot of dads seem to work from home one day a week or do reduced hours to help with childcare.

Wrap around care is available at the school 7am til 6pm. It is expensive, about fr. 60 a day including lunch, not sure how available this is in aargau canton. Once they get to about 10 children are often left home alone after school. But they all have a half day on wednesdays and need supervision then.


PlasticSwissie Sun 29-Jan-17 19:26:53

Thanks beresh, that's helpful. We are not completely wedded to the Baden idea so I will see what I can find out about wraparound in Aargau.

OP’s posts: |
Abricot1993 Sun 29-Jan-17 22:54:22

Hi there
I know you will think me crazy but with local schooling always be prepared to move back to private english speaking education. In Zurich at age 11-12 they have a major exam which determines which school and therefore career and whether they go to university. Many of the locals coach their children with extra tuition to pass the exam. It is even tougher if you are an expat as your child does not have German like a native speaker. Think of the old style 11plus exam ++in only the subjects German and Maths. Also note that there is a cantonal ruling that prevents locals from going to international schools unless they are bilingual german +other language schools.

beresh Mon 30-Jan-17 08:45:16

Abricot - the streaming at 11/12 is important but not passing the gymnasium exam at this age doesn't determine a child's career or whether they'll go to university. The system is really quite flexible, particularly for children in the top streams of local secondaries, whereas the lower streams start focusing on vocational options very early on.

Firstly, the gymnasium exam can be taken 2 years and also 3 years later. Many parents encourage their children to wait to take the exam, particularly if they live a long commute from a gymnasium or their children are not particularly keen on spending hours learning latin.

Secondly, it is also possible to do an apprenticeship or go to a vocational school at 15 for 4 years, then proceed to university after 1 further year of study.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in