One of the tiny little details that we never truly realise when moving to a new country is that the absence of some local family support really makes a difference. Especially when you have young kids. Even though I’m pretty sure that you’ve already figured it out, let me share with you some very common questions that usually pop-up in friends meetings, expat groups…
– I need a babysitter. How/Where can I find one?
– I’m felling very sick. My husband is working/travelling. How am I going to take care of my baby/toddler who is full-time with me?
– Both my husband and I are working full-time. Our kid is sick. Who is going to stay home?
– I need a night-out with hubby. Where can I find a last-minute babysitter?
– I need to hire a nanny to come home regularly. How do I find one and what’s the legal procedure?
To answer this and other questions, I’ve decided to do some research here and there. Please add any additional thoughts, information… in the comments box below. I’m sure it will be very useful for all of the other expat parents out there.
1. Where to find an occasional babysitter?
This is a hard one. Although it can ended up being easy to find someone, it is always difficult to trust our loved kiddos to someone else’s care, right? For me, it really is, as I’m kind of a “chicken mum” – always around the kids! 🙂
So, here are some tips:
– Ask your local friends, school/daycare, church…
– Ask your commune of residency or search on their website. Many communes have public lists of local teenagers/young adults available for babysitting.
– Ask in local expat facebook pages/groups (“Luxembourg Parents”, “Mums, Bumps and Babies Luxembourg”, “AWCL Moms, Kids & Families” (you’d need join AWCL), “British Ladies Club of Luxembourg” (you’d need to join http://www.blc.lu).
– There are also some other online resources: http://www.babysitting.lu/ or http://www.homeserviceslux.lu/accueil/garde-d-enfants/
– Depending on the age and experience of the babysitter, the average price per hour for an occasional babysitting service could be from €8 to €13 (values gathered from a random research amongst local friends).
2. How to hire a nanny (aka “live-out auPair”) or an auPair (aka “live-in auPair”) for some more regular babysitting?
If you’re looking for a part-time/full-time nanny, you should also get started by using the previous tips on where to find one. Then, you should consider the involved legal procedures and the amount you are willing to pay (don’t forget that there are minimum legal values!).
Recently, the CCSS (Centre Commun de la Securite Sociale) implemented a ‘simplified procedure’ to help you hiring a babysitter (“personne pour garder un enfant”). The only thing you need to do is to print the contract, sign it and send it back by mail. Then they’ll charge you the social security and tax contributions. Besides that, every 6 months they will send a receipt for you and for the nanny and they even provide the annual tax declaration. All information is available in their website.
If your choice goes for an auPair, then you also have all the information and legal procedures available online. There’s no need to explain the procedure here as the website is also available in english! 🙂
3. If both parents work, how does it work when a child is sick?
Although I’ve always heard that Luxembourg is a great country to raise a family… well, there are some little details you should be aware of. You know, it seems like one of the parents is supposed to be at home… Yes, true! Just take the school schedules as an example: ending up by noon or 3pm and sometimes with a lunch break in the middle? Plus, if you’re a working parent, you are entitled to 2 days, per child, per kid? Yes, exactly 2 days, with the proper declaration from the doctor.
So, forget about that parenting rule of ‘waiting 3 days before going to the doctor’, as you’ll need the paper exactly on the first day of sickness. Secondly, since when 2 days are enough??? I mean, I understand that this rule might be good for the employer, but it’s ridiculous as it doesn’t make any sense, especially if you are a parent to young kids…
Anyway, there is also a public service named “Krank Kanner Doheem” that you can use when both parents are working and a child gets sick. You just need to be registered and then when you need, just call them and they will send a babysitter (if available). Single parents have priority. The amount to be paid is based on the family income. For more information, just check the website.
4. Important final notes
Please note that there should be also other possibilities. These were the ones that I’ve looked for and got some feedback from some other experienced parents.
Well, I think that’s it! As stated before, please feel free to add any comments or thoughts. I’d love to learn more as well! 🙂