Your interactive family guide to France as recommended by local mums | Last updated 3 months ago

Interviews

Sarah Jane Lindsay - Paris

"...every french person you meet in the street can recite the English irregular verbs but nobody can speak the language ! Re childcare I think it is a bit hit and miss, my daughter loves her creche and we are also really happy with it although the hours are not adapted for professionals ( 7.30am to 6.15 pm) . I have to leave work v early to get my daughter in time. Also there is clearly a shortage of creche and childcare places we were very lucky to get ours. I do know however that compared with the UK it is a lot cheaper here and there are considerable tax breaks" (SJL, Jan 2011)

  • Interview with Sarah Jane Lindsay

    What is your name, age and how long have you lived in Paris?
    Sarah Jane Lindsay - Solere , 35 years old , I have lived in Paris for 14 years(2011)

    Why did you decide to move there?
    Always had a love of France , just finished Uni -wanted to learn a new language and didnt want to move to London !

    What nationality are you and your partner?
    Of Irish parents, born in Africa, but British passport owner and my husband is French

    How many children do you have, what are their names and when were they born?
    1 , Thea 22 months old, born in Paris ( Hospital Diaconesses) currently 5 months pregnant with her sister.(jan 2011)

    Do you work and if so what do you do?
    I work in Advertising selling space for The Economist.

    What was your experience of having a baby/babies in Paris?
    Tough , restaurants not baby friendly - few mother/toddler groups. No equivalent of NCT groups. Metro very pushchair unfriendly. No baby changing facilities anywhere. Good park and bus system though. In fact we are considering moving to the suburbs to be able to park the car next to the house and have more space and a garden. Something I wouldnt even have dreamed of pre baby.


    How well integrated would you say you and your children are?
    My daughter attends a french creche so she is well integrated and teaching the other children some English :-). I have a mainly ex-pat group of friends.

    What language do you speak to your children?
    English, my husband French

    Do you think it essential for someone to speak French when relocating to Paris?
    If you want to be accepted and become part of the society yes. You could however get by without french, it depends what experience you want to get out of living here.

    How welcoming have the Parisians been towards you and your family?
    Much more now I have a daughter!

    How would you describe a typical Parisian?
    Busy and rude.

    What is your impression of childcare and education in Paris?
    Very theoretical - every french person you meet in the street can recite the English irregular verbs but nobody can speak the language ! Re childcare I think it is a bit hit and miss, my daughter loves her creche and we are also really happy with it although the hours are not adapted for professionals ( 7.30am to 6.15 pm) . I have to leave work v early to get my daughter in time. Also there is clearly a shortage of creche and childcare places we were very lucky to get ours. I do know however that compared with the UK it is a lot cheaper here and there are considerable tax breaks.

    What school(s)/nursery(ies) do your children go to?
    Creche in the 10th , Sq Saint Albtran

    Why did you choose this school/these schools and are you happy with your choice?
    Wanted her to be with other children and yes very happy with the choice. We didnt chose this particular creche it was allocated to us by the Mairie.

    Are there any services you’d like to recommend?
    Do use your local PMI although this is a french speaking service.

    What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a parent from the International Community living in Paris?
    There are no advantages as such but I dont think you are disadvantaged either as long as you speak French.

    Is there anything you think would improve children´s lives where you live?
    More childcare/creche facilities.

    What advice would you give for anyone having a baby or thinking of relocating to Paris with children?
    Make sure you locate near a park and somewhere with good bus links.

    What couldn´t you live without in Paris?
    Bah, Paris !

    What could you live without in Paris?
    The people and the bustle and stress

    (Jan 2011)