French Education

Topic has 24 replies.
Print Search Sort Posts:

3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

Hi all, first time posting so do excuse me if this has been asked before. My husband and I are just starting to look into moving to France in the next year or so and I'm doing initial research. We have three children aged 3, 3 and 2. I think as I understand it they'd all be entitled to free places at the ecole maternelle (please correct me if this isn't the case!) but from what I've read places seem difficult to come by - is it likely we'd struggle to find places? If it helps we haven't settled on area yet but have mostly been discussing rural/coastal Aquitaine. Any help or info on schools/childcare etc would be very gratefully received as with three children the difference between free and paid childcare is the difference between moving and not! (I don't know if it's relevant but we own a small business in the UK and would initially be reliant on that for income). Thanks!
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: 3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

Lots of info on the service public website about this. And the education nationale website too.


You mention ages, but all depends on when their birthday is in the french school year.

The schools are not obliged to take two year olds, they have to have sufficient places, they have to be ready and toilet trained.

All your children also have to be vaccinated, the main three, diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

French babies also have a lot of vaccinations there is a list on the ministere de la sante, maybe the school would want to see they have been done too. Mine were born in France so all was straight forward for me, but that was a long time ago.




   Report   Reply Quote

Re: 3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

Thank you for the pointers, I'll have a look at those websites. The girls were all born in April, twins in 2014 and the youngest in 2015. Vaccinations not a problem, they'll all be fully up to date and realistically we won't be moving until around their next birthdays at the earliest by which time they will all be toilet trained (if it kills me, which it might), two down and one to go on that front!

   Report   Reply Quote

Re: 3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

" the difference between free and paid childcare is the difference between moving and not! (I don't know if it's relevant but we own a small business in the UK and would initially be reliant on that for income)."

While you're at the doing-the-sums stage, hopefully you are also working out the difference between the NI contributions you and your OH currently pay in the UK, and the cotisations on your income that you'll pay in France to belong to the French social security system. Hopefully Macron will have reduced the burden by the time you move. But at present, the difference is very significant and folk do sometimes underestimate this. (Well - I did...)
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: 3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

Also, make sure the school you find in is going to stay open. Some rural villages are finding that their schools are being closed and amalgamated with ones further away. The threat hangs over many. You might want to check what facilities are available on the transport front too. We are three villages combined into one school system (Regroupement Pédagogique Intercommunal (RPI) ). This worked very well for our two boys, we lived in a village so the bus which shuttled the kids between the three schools was only a short walk away. College bus too. Better than short car runs every day.
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: 3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

It sounds to me that you are moving to France on a tight budget.

Further to what ET has written, don't underestimate also the cost of living in France.....especially with three children. It is very expensive. You need a minimum of 4k euros per month to survive.

You said that you will initially will be reliant on a UK income. Does that mean you will looking for work in France ? If so, I would not raise your hopes in that respect.

Think carefully if moving to rural France is really a good idea with kids. I would argue it is not.
ner ner nee ner ner!!
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: 3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

Reluctant as I am to add to what might seem to you negative replies, I'd just add that you need to be aware that the exchange rate is forecast to get worse for sterling.  Important if you are reliant on an income from the UK.

N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
   Report   Reply Quote

Re: 3 children to get into ecole maternelle...?

alittlebitfrench wrote : You need a minimum of 4k euros per month to survive.


If you are renting then you just possibly might need that much with 3 kids but many, many French families already live on much less - and they live well !
We rented - OK we are only a couple - for many years and needed around 2K/2.5K euros a month.
And my husband plays that horribly expensive game (here anyway) of golf. Also as 'inactifs' we had no health cover from the UK so we were paying our way for that to URSSAF on top of everything else.

Sue
Computing - it's another world
   Report   Reply Quote

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine