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Moving to the US

(7 Posts)
Bunkups33 Sun 24-Aug-08 09:16:30

Hi we are moving to Iowa in about a month as dh is being seconded for 2 years. Would be very grateful for advice!

Am looking forward to it but a bit anxious as pregnant and a bit concerned about having a baby (no.3) without any family or friends around!

I am hoping we'll find some kind of temp live-in childcare for the time of the birth. Has anyone ever done this?

Also dd1 (4) would be starting school in Sept and is more than ready for it. Will we be able to find a decent (affordable) preschool to keep her occupied ?

My other concern is that we will need 2 cars and I don't know how we'll afford this as I gather leasing is not an easy option. Are cars generally cheaper than in the UK?

Any other tips on a hassle free move greatly appreciated!!

LittleMissTickles Mon 25-Aug-08 01:25:09

Hi Bunkups! We moved to the US when I was 7 months pregnant with DD2. I remember being very stressed about childcare for DD1 for during the birth (didn't know anyone, and DD1 very sensitive to change). This resulted in a induced birth as only way to 'plan' childcare. FWIW I was hoping to have water birth in UK. BUT, it all worked out fine, neighbours etc were so kind (I think the belly really helps to draw people closer) and the birth was fantastic - luxurious one could say wink.

Childcare is quite easy to arrange, and much cheaper than UK, cars certainly cheaper too. Don't buy a large SUV at the moment, as even here fuel prices are up and their re-sale is not good. There are plenty of 2nd hand car dealerships to chose from, you can have a look at carmax.com for instance.

Preschool may be a challenge, but just keep calling all the ones in your area. Like everywhere, people move and spaces do become available. If not, you can find many little classes like Gymboree to keep your DD1 busy while you wait for a spot. Do start looking at schools for Kindergarten next year in your area asap, many will be enrolling now until Oct/Nov.

Bring children's toothpaste (they don't do minty here) and your children's favourite flavour medicine with you. EVERYTHING else will be cheaper here (you may not be able to find good grobags for baby). Your TV, kettle etc probably won't work here, but as I said many times now, you will not believe how much cheaper everything is here!

anorak Mon 25-Aug-08 01:59:12

Hello Bunkups. I suggest you post on this thread. It's where all the US mumsnetters chat.

alipiggie Mon 25-Aug-08 03:01:49

Bunkups come and join us on the other thread. I'm another Expat too and moved here nearly three years ago. Look into Montessori schools - they have a great pre-school system, but it's not very every child. If you're near a university (or even part of it) they always have great childcare programs. You will need to do your driving test within 90 days of arriving by the way. Target is the store you need for all your other supplies, great cheap and fantastic clothes for kids. Get a Costco card too and for great food (mainly organic) Whole Foods.

One word of warning. Car Insurance is blardy expensive if you don't have a US driving licence be prepared to pay up to 700 pounds for six months. As for other tips, come to the other thread.

SuperBunny Mon 25-Aug-08 03:45:27

Hello Bunkups, we'll be neighbours! I'm in Chicago, about 3 hrs from Dubuque & the Iowa state line.

Where abouts in Iowa will you live? My BF went to grad school there so I can ask him for any info if that helps.

I think Iowa, being rural, will be quite affordable (well, compared to here, anyway)

Childcare varies so much from place to place it's hard to comment. I am linked with a big University and they do NOTHING to help. Others are great. Good luck.

Cars are cheap to run and insure. Carmax is a good place to look, like LMT said. Insurance is horribly expensive - we were paying $600 every 6 months when we had UK licenses (and that was on an 10 year old car), about 3 years ago. Check the Iowa DMV (dept of motor vehicles) website for rules on driving on a foriegn licence. Some states let you drive for up to a yr on a foreign one.

Come and chat on the thread Anorak linked to.

Califrau Mon 25-Aug-08 06:21:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SqueakyPop Mon 25-Aug-08 07:12:01

You need to find out what kind of financial package you are getting from your company.

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