January 24, 2012

France receives top marks for raising Expat children abroad???

When your kids' life story uses the phrase “Then we went to…” five times, you KNOW they are expatriates.

Well, according to HSBC's Expat Explorer Survey France tops the 2011 Raising Children Abroad league table. This is news to me but, hey, maybe I should ask my kids directly? I have a little project lined up for this weekend. I am also curious to hear what the kids' school opinion is on this subject. So keep posted.

Following are the article's findings:

France tops the 2011 Raising Children Abroad league table, ranking 1st for childcare and integration and 2nd for health and wellbeing.

2nd for health and wellbeing? Hello???? (Sorry, it just popped out of my mouth!)

The country comes highly recommended by expat parents, providing a location in which children can easily integrate and experience a healthier lifestyle while offering more cost effective education and childcare solutions.

Expat parents in France are more likely to say their children are not missing friends and family at home (58%) compared to the global average (35%), perhaps due to children here being more likely to keep in touch with those back home (58% v average of 53%). These results suggest that expat children in France are less likely to experience homesickness as a result of relocating.

My 12-year old son does not agree with this statement!

Parents in France are also much more likely to say that the social integration of their children had either improved or stayed the same (89%) compared to a global average of (78%) with only Australia (93%) scoring higher.

Not sure yet. Too early to judge.

The findings of Raising Children Abroad also suggest that expat parents living in France are more likely (27%) than average (17%) to agree that they were able to spend much more time with their children in comparison to their home country. 53% also agreed that their children spent more time outdoors, 47% that their children spent more time playing sports and, 62% that they felt their children were safer since relocating.

At this point I am wondering: " Where DID you move from?"

Another reason why France performed so well this year could be down to its favourable rankings in terms of the cost of childcare and education. 44% of expats reported that the overall cost of raising children was cheaper in France than in their home country compared to just 21% overall.

They obviously were not moving from a Swiss public system which - believe it or not - costs next to nothing.

Even though France ranks 5th in terms of quality of childcare, it has the lowest average annual childcare costs - with expat parents here spending just $5,562 each year on childcare for their children, compared to a global average of $7,534.

Furthermore, while half of expats in France report a higher quality of education than in their home country, expat parents here generally spend considerably less on this aspect of raising children. Expenditure on education in France has an average annual cost of $6,780.30 compared to a global average of $11,558.94.

What is your opinion?

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