1. The Pregnancy – what to expect
France has an amazing social security system, if you know how to navigate it.
5 months of paid maternity leave, free monthly check-ups and exams, and, under certain conditions, 100 hours of housekeeping and domestic help. As George Clooney says, what else?
2. Nanny hire – it takes a village
Ok, the baby is here and your hands are more than full. You might need to go back to work in a few weeks, or just want a few free hours per week to keep your sanity.
Define the criteria for your new Mary Poppins, draft an approximate schedule, check the minimum wage and the contract requirements for the two main systems, Pajemploi and CESU, and have a look at our blog post.
3. Daycare search – yesterday is too late
What if a nanny is not your cup of tea? The good news is that Paris has great options (Montessori, microstructures managed by parents, public or private, bilingual…). Bad news is that these wonderful options have 20 applications for one spot. The keywords are good intel, patience, and perseverance (a letter to your Mayor can make miracles happen, especially if elections are near). Also, don’t wait! Start applying as soon as you enter your second trimester.
4. The Admin maze – level 1, beginner level
You had a wonderful Franco-Othernationality baby: congrats! In addition to growing-up bilingual (and mastering the r roulée) your offspring will get a French birth certificate, a livret de famille, a French ID.
Start with the birth declaration issued by the hospital/clinic and head to the next stop: the townhall for the birth certificate. All these documents will be very handy very soon! With them you’ll be able to easily survive the following ordeals with your employer(s), CAF, CPAM, tax office and private insurance declarations.
Did you know that starting from July 1st 2021 the paternity leave for French employees hits an astonishing record of 25 paid days? Good thing you’ve collected all the documents!
If neither you nor your better half has Pasteur’s nationality, but you were well set in France before giving birth, you’ll be in the more-complicated level 2 below, but stay positive!
5. The Admin maze – level 2, upper intermediate level
You’ve had a wonderful bi-nationality baby (bonus points if one or both are non-EU counties), and/or delivered abroad, and/or you just settled in Paris: ok, this is Jedi level, but you can make it!
Your Consulate/Embassy will be involved, and you might have a longer grace period for the formalities. You won’t qualify for French maternity leave unless you comply with certain requirements but your private insurance and/or social security from the country of last residency may foot the bill.
What if you miss the window for birth-related formalities? Pentalties may apply, and the procedure will switch from French administration to the French court system: not fun. Don’t be late! Give us a call if you need a hand with this marvellous, but complicated, journey.
What if you feel lonely, lost, overwhelmed? If you need to vent, to ask for help, to find the yummiest brunch spot near you, to book a playdate or to pick one of the incredible child-friendly activites Paris has to offer? Join the best Facebook community in the world: ESM – English-Speaking Mums/Moms living in Paris. Because it takes a village, and ESM are the one you were looking for.
Born in Genova, Italy, and adopted by la Ville Lumière, I’ve been a corporate lawyer in London and Dubai, a burnt-out mum in Singapore, and an event manager in the fanciest art galleries and boutiques of Paris.
Now I’m here to help you avoid the cortisol-infused nightmares that my previous 9 relocations have been.
The sunrise over the Oman desert, the sunset in Bali, a pint in Notting Hill or a Martini on a New York rooftop: I wouldn’t trade a croissant in Latin Quarter for any of it!