Moving abroad and uprooting your little angels is always a big decision and choosing the perfect country to spend your life in as an expat can be a tough task. One of the most important factors to consider before making the ‘big move’ as a family is the quality of life your kids will have there. Things to look into include general children’s healthcare, education and the cost of hiring a nanny. Hopefully this mini guide to Expat Childcare in Europe will help make the decision easier for you.
The top five European destinations for childcare according to our 2013 Expat Explorer survey were:
When it comes to childcare in particular France is in pole position for cost and quality. So, if you’re looking for help caring for your kids then France is your best-bet. French nurseries, public and private, are known for their strict standard of staff training, with a diploma in childcare a compulsory qualification. If you’re considering taking your career abroad and want somewhere with quality childcare then why not think about a future in France?
In Spain you can pick from nurseries (known as Guarderias or Casas de ninos) or pre-schools (Escuelas Infantiles) for your little ones. On top of this, students regularly go to Spain to study, which means private nannies or au pairs are also available. Moving to the Spanish land will guarantee you sunny-spells if you’re after somewhere warmer; we like to call this the swallow-effect!
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Germany is the champion when it comes to the Raising Children Abroad league table overall, making it the top destination for families, not only in Europe, but globally. It scores highly in terms of education quality and cost. However, moving to a new country can be daunting for a child, which is why most international schools in Germany provide special classes for non-native speakers. Usually, children learn and adapt quicker than their parents, so you shouldn’t worry about sending them to a German school.
In Belgium many of the English-speaking international schools offer programmes for pre-school aged children, and there are usually reductions available for parents that enrol more than one child in the same crèche. So, if you’re looking for a good reason to persuade the children it’s probably worth mentioning how Belgium is the land of chocolate, producing 220,000 tonnes of the sweet stuff per year! See our previous post on Belgium to find out more.
Our last stop on our 2013 European childcare guide for expats is the beautiful country of Italy. If you’re looking for somewhere where childcare costs are reasonable, without compromising quality, then Italian life could be for you. Filled with culture, there are many attractions that make for perfect family days out – why not see the sites of Rome or visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa? And if you and your family have a sense of adventure, there’s always skiing in the Alps!
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