DISCUSSIONS

Find the answers to many of your expat questions here

View Latest Posts

You're missing out...

As a member you can enjoy exclusive info and offers.

REGISTER NOW

la rentree- la nightmare!

Posted by Europe - Created: 13 years ago
0 0
Sorry no image available

10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

Sorry no image available
Posted by Europe - 13 years ago

So, I have finally got her into the canteen-YAY!!!!!!!!!

I spoke to the headmaster and he suggested getting my (American) employer to write me a letter (in english) setting out my work hours and earnings (so the mairie can calculate how much to charge me) I then translated this into French and took it along with my contract and a "woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown smile" to the correct office in Antibes.

And, it was ok!!!!!!!!!!! true I may have overwheklmed them by bringing in a sea of paperwork to counteract their demands for paperwork but it worked.

If only someone could have given me that as an option on Thursday morning, it would have all been faxed through to them within an hour!

Sorry no image available
Posted by Humptydingo-180377 - 13 years ago

Having read all of this topic and being glad that I don't have kids, I would sum up this whole business of mountains of bureaucracy with anything we (meaning everyone one who lives in France) try to achieve as an inherent distrust of fellow human beings right throughout the country and it is ironical that those who have in the past and are currently introducing and implementing this bureaucracy are often the least to be trusted.  They've already worked out the scams because their own dishonest achievements have been an asset.  No-one can be expected to live healthly in a society whilst this inherent distrust lives on. 

Sorry no image available
Posted by Fifal - 13 years ago

Nadia, I agree with you. When you live in a foreign country, you have to try and adapt, and not complain all the time because things are different. I know what I am talking about: I am French and lived for several years in a foreign country. I think it is better to focus on the good points, be nice to the locals and make friends, and remember than criticisms seem to flow more readily when we are not at home. Nevertheless, I sympathise with the mums getting ready for la rentrée. How dreadful! Dealing with the French administration can be frustating, even for the French! Legend in His Lunch Time, who always seems sensible and pleasant, is giving good advice. Next year, get ready in June! If I were you, I would write a nice note to the headmaster/headmistress, explaining my problem. If you find it difficult to write in French, ask a friend. I would be happy to help if you don't know anyone.I am sorry about Mike's friend, who had such a bad experience, but I do not think English people are particularly discriminated against. My husband certainly doesn't feel that way, nor our English friends (although none of them are thrilled with the paperwork). They find that people are generally friendly to them and quite helpful. I think Mike's friend was unlucky to have an accident with such an unpleasant person. If he had been from Paris or Marseilles or whereever, the man would probably have said: you people from Paris/Marseilles/ Tokyo/ Nice Nord cannot drive... It might be wise not to generalise. I went to England a while ago and had a lovely time, except for the two bed and breakfast places I stayed at. The owners were snooty, very unfriendly and the accommodation very basic for the price, but I am not saying they all are like that.I hope the children will soon enjoy their bifteck hâché frites at the canteen!

Sorry no image available
Posted by yjme-181229 - 13 years ago

MikeP

I personally have a friend who works at the Mairie and she alone handles all the cantine and garderie requests, inscriptions and payments and chasing of payments. She has four schools with 8 classes in each, each class holding an average of 20 kids who stay to lunch.  Because of kids being ill and other absences, outings when lunches aren't required, holidays, days off and the like, no month can ever be calulated to an easy figure to make a standing order/direct debit work particularly with the delays with the bank, neither can she deal with the reclamations for meals missed because of all the reasons stated above, it would just be too time consuming and very complicated treating each individual case. She has recently become so 'debordé' that I received a letter yesterday saying that they were now going to bill for the cantine every two months. Easier for her and less trips to the mairie for us (except that I now have to find advance money to cover the cantine and garderie which in my particular case isn't easy, but that's the way it goes). I agree that it would be great if direct debits worked, but there are many, many people who don't like this way of invoicing - and in fact the only way that would actually work would be with the credit card in fact. I wondered why they couldn't use the collége system of paying by trimestre on a forfait basis and I expect it will come to that one day, although that rather frightens me thinking of having three lots of cantine to pay for in the middle of September, yikes......

Whilst I am here and not going off topic, I wondered what parents do in GB for garderie? How does it work when both parents work  8-5 with the school hours beign, what, 9-3.30, are there facilities? Not having been there I genuinely am curious to know. Strikes me that whatever complaints we have, France do have an excellent system of child care. I personally don't mind the odd inconvenience, but I can understand how it narks some people.




Sorry no image available
Posted by MikeP-180526 - 13 years ago

YJME

quote:I somehow don't really think that the lady at the mairie dealing with the hundreds and hundreds of garderie applications is really that interested in what any of the parents earn. I could be wrong of course......personally as a low income earner I am quite happy to give my year's earnings figure over in order to get a little bit of help. Perhaps those people with higher incomes prefer not to divulge but you can't have one rule for the rich and one for the poor.....

You are right, but surely if I choose not to disclose my income and am willing to pay the highest rate,  you'd think they'd be happy with that. I suppose that would just be too easy.

On a related topic,  I have to pay my son's lunch and garderie fees every month to the Mairie.  As it varies each month, they send a bill.  Every month.  And I have to go there and pay cash, or write a cheque and post it hoping that La Poste will deliver (60% success rate). Every month.

They don't do direct debits or bank transfers.  They won't accept a cheque for a higher amount to cover the next few months so that the credit can just be worked off. I've tried this and they've actually sent the cheque back.  So we have to be inconvenienced because of their Neanderthal approach to accounting.

 

 

Sorry no image available
Posted by Shrek 2-196274 - 13 years ago

Europe,

If both parents work legally in the system, ie pay french income tax,work for a french company it is not too complicated. Rules are in force to avoid people by passing the system, which I think is only fair. Get the right paperwork, you will need it again so it is worth spending some time getting it, at lot of info can be found on line.

Some advice...

Take the list of stationery etc to your local presse, they have it all in stock and will get it toghether and give it all to you within 24 hours. Saves the aggro of carrefour and visits to casualty after being punched in the ribs in the stationery section

Use your local marie, they should be able to help you re the canteen. FYI all canteen applications should have been in by August 1st...

Have you been to the CAF..if so you get a special payment at the end of august to cover La rentree

Work with the sytem and not against it, it is a stressful time La rentree for all now and whilst there is some anti non french feeling in some parts I would try to work with the system and not demand everything. It is the same for the french, if they do not have correct papers they cannot get things. Your employer should help you and the accountant should know of the paperwork required.

Good luck, keep your cool and enjoy, if you keep on trying you will suceed one day.

 

Sorry no image available
Posted by yjme-181229 - 13 years ago

MikeP - yes, there is obviously a maximum.

I somehow don't really think that the lady at the mairie dealing with the hundreds and hundreds of garderie applications is really that interested in what any of the parents earn. I could be wrong of course......personally as a low income earner I am quite happy to give my year's earnings figure over in order to get a little bit of help. Perhaps those people with higher incomes prefer not to divulge but you can't have one rule for the rich and one for the poor.....




Sorry no image available
Posted by orme-197181 - 13 years ago

Europe - 'surely school's there to make everyone's life easier ....'

Well, it may have that effect by enabling you to work while your offspring are there, but it's objective is surely to educate the children?  I hope you have sorted things out OK now and are less stressed.  The French bureaucracy certainly generates a lot of paperwork, but think of all the jobs it provides for the 'fonctionnaires'!

Sorry no image available
Posted by MikeP-180526 - 13 years ago

yjme,  you said

quote:Garderie fees are based on your income which is why they need to see your Avis d'Imposition......

Which is true,  but there is a maximum fee.  I offered to pay the maximum on the basis that even if I showed them my 'imposition' (never was a word more appropriate) I'd have to pay the maximum and they refused.  Have these people ever heard of privacy?

 

Sorry no image available
Posted by yjme-181229 - 13 years ago

A few points:

http://riviera.angloinfo.com/information/1/parents.asp

It's not the schools who decide their budget for stationery and books, it's the governement and they aren't interested since this involves enormous amounts of extra work considering how many thousands of schools there are in France and also puts even more work on already heavily loaded teachers and directors. And in fact most primary schools supply everything except pens and pencils and the odd file. In collége most of the work books are supplied but not the stationery.......

There are limited places in cantines  - priority is given to parents who work. This differs from school to school very simply because each school does not necessarily have the same amount of children or class spaces. There are many mothers who don't work who claim they do in order to have their children stay for lunches, which is why genuine working mothers have to go through all the paperwork process - it's a form of protection to ensure the real workers benefit. In most areas, this paperwork should have been sorted out before the holidays at the Mairie. Obviously if you arrive afterwards it gets complicated because the cantine may already be full up.

Garderie fees are based on your income which is why they need to see your Avis d'Imposition......