Since we didn't get a place at the public nursery, nor the private ones we tried we decided to find a nanny.

I truly believe that in France there are not enough public places at the nurseries to help the registered nannies. They have a great system for those families that decide to employ someone like a nanny, a so-called Assistante Maternelle.

The nannies have to pass an exam and they have periodical controls. They have to register and based on their place they can take care of 1 up to 4 kids. It depends on the size of their house and if they have their own kids at home at the same time.

You can also get some financial benefits from the states and your local community if you are employing a nanny which should help to cover the higher costs compared to the public nurseries.

We went to see a couple of them and it was really hard to choose. Nurseries tend to have a reputation, you can ask around in your neighbourhood but here you find yourself lucky if you get a place.

Nannies are different, you can go and see a lot of them and you have to trust them. I have to admit we found them to be very bad salespersons.

They have to sell themselves but the ones we saw haven’t even tried. When asked what they are doing on a typical day the response was ‘nothing special’… but wait, what? Sure they have a daily routine with the kids? Do they go out? What do they do during the day? Play outside, sing, draw, arts and crafts? Do they learn new words together? There are so much stuff to do with little kids, they must have a system by now but they do not share it with the parents? It was very strange for us…

I also saw one place where the house wasn’t baby proofed. Which can be ok, we haven’t put in much effort in that at home, just covered the electrical sockets and taught Pixie what not to open and what is dangerous. But it was strange to see a place where kids spend their entire day, but when you have a look you wouldn’t notice that.

I expected something different, more space dedicated to the kids, more toys. Pixie wasn’t allowed to touch anything in the living room, but then what she supposed to do during the day? Sit in the corner?

It was also strange to me that you cannot visit them during the day when kids are there. Ok, I do understand that strangers shouldn’t be allowed in when they are taking care of the kids, but you’d want to see how they interact with your child and not only conduct a sort if formal interview…

We ended up choosing a nanny whose apartment was a bit messy which might not be the example I wanted to show Pixie, but as a person she was perfect. She is kind and cares about the kids, plays with them during the entire day. Since Pixie goes to her place she understands much more French.

It was a very tough decision but we are happy with our choice I think Pixie learnt so many new things and she likes her nanny which is the most important!

I certainly understand now those people who don’t even try to get a place ant a nursery but choose a nanny instead.