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Old Jun 10th 2007, 2:34 pm   #1
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Default Moving to Bermuda with young child

Hi,

We are thinking of moving to Bermuda. We have a young child (2 years plus) and would like to get information and related websites about the following:

1) Is it a good place to raise a child? What kind of activities for children are available?

2) Is childcare/playgroup/children activities expensive?

3) Is domestic helper/maid/cleaner/babysitter available/expensive?

4) Is it common for families to have domestic helper/maid/cleaner/babysitter? Are they local or immigrants? Are they good/trustworthy?

4) Is it easy to go out with young children around the island? Is it pushchair/pram/stroller friendly?

5) I am planning to do some courses like learning French and/or piano and/or painting. Are these available/expensive?

6) I am Asian. I would like to know are they many Asian/Chinese living on the island? Any support group? Any school to learn Chinese (for my child)?

7) Are there Asian/Chinese cuisine restaurants? Any shops selling Asian herbs (chilli, belachan, sambal, lemongrass, pandan leaves, coconut milk...)?

8) Are there any support group for mothers/families?

9) Are children products/toys available/expensive?

10) My husband is British. Are there many crossed marriage couples like us?

I really appreciate your help and advise. Please let me know if there are any other information that I need to know. Thank you!
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Old Jun 10th 2007, 2:56 pm   #2
 
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Hi there.

Sorry i cant answer any of your questions,but worked there when i was 18 and all i can say is that is true paradise,i was in paget parish which was stunning ,i dont know about bringing kids up there but i am sure someone on this site will be able to help.

Good luck!!
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Old Jun 11th 2007, 12:42 am   #3
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend View Post
Hi,

We are thinking of moving to Bermuda. We have a young child (2 years plus) and would like to get information and related websites about the following:

1) Is it a good place to raise a child? What kind of activities for children are available?

2) Is childcare/playgroup/children activities expensive?

3) Is domestic helper/maid/cleaner/babysitter available/expensive?

4) Is it common for families to have domestic helper/maid/cleaner/babysitter? Are they local or immigrants? Are they good/trustworthy?

4) Is it easy to go out with young children around the island? Is it pushchair/pram/stroller friendly?

5) I am planning to do some courses like learning French and/or piano and/or painting. Are these available/expensive?

6) I am Asian. I would like to know are they many Asian/Chinese living on the island? Any support group? Any school to learn Chinese (for my child)?

7) Are there Asian/Chinese cuisine restaurants? Any shops selling Asian herbs (chilli, belachan, sambal, lemongrass, pandan leaves, coconut milk...)?

8) Are there any support group for mothers/families?

9) Are children products/toys available/expensive?

10) My husband is British. Are there many crossed marriage couples like us?

I really appreciate your help and advise. Please let me know if there are any other information that I need to know. Thank you!

Hi there
We have lived in Bermuda for the last 6 years and have had our children here - my daughter is 4 and son is nearly one. There are so many positive and beautiful things about the island but it isn't just paradise. As many people say, you still have to live, survive, work, and do the day to day mundane things.

Let me start with your questions -

1. It is a good place to raise children - very safe, lovely weather and a reasonable amount to do. For young children there is basically the beach, the aquarium and several parks. The way that we get on is through friends with kids and networking - you have to network in order to not get bored. There are lots of activities including water sports, football etc but with young kids it can be difficult because everything costs money. There is 'Kindermusic' about $250 a term, gymnastics, $200ish, ballet $150, swimming lessons $150 (for 4 weeks) etc etc - there is lots to do if you have the money. There is a networking group called MAMA (meet a mum association) which is a really good place to start. Many of these women don't work though and I do so I found it difficult.

2. Childcare is not expensive in comparison to Britain and to the wages you earn here. It is very difficult to find good childcare though. Most people have childminders for kids up to the age of 2-3. There are a few really good nurseries but have long waiting lists. There are A LOT of bad ones. Ask around, do your research etc etc. If you are definitely moving here get your child's name down for the private schools NOW. I had my daughter's name down at 3 before she was born and still didn't get a place until she was 3....

3 & 4. Depends what you mean by domestic help. There are adverts in the paper for nannies and housekeepers and it is unbelievable what they are asked to do - cook, clean and look after 4 kids and pet as well as polish the silver etc. People often bring in Philippino ladies and pay them a pittance. Saying that, we have a local lady who cleans for us for 2hrs a week. If you want that kind of help then again, word of mouth is the best.

5. Not pushchair friendly at all. No pavements on the majority of the roads, which are narrow and busy with many blind corners. There are the railway trails which go through most of the island - we tend to go 'for a walk' rather than walk to someone's house or to town. Bus service is good if you live on a main route - if not it can be isolating. You will need a car.

6. Community service education sends out a booklet 3 x a year with really good value classes. Music lessons are usually private and I imagine expensive.

7. Not that big Chinese / Asian community. I am English so I don't know from experience. Racial mix is mainly black and white. Some Sri Lankan / Indian families and Philippino (please excuse my spelling) and these groups have grown more recently. Is quite a lot of underlying racial tension just now towards white expats mainly - don't get me wrong, you feel totally safe, people are friendly but letters in the paper, comments by the govt are generally anti-foreigner....

I've got my numbers mixed up somewhere....

Food - no where near the range you can get at home. Varied range of restaurants - mainly expensive. Chinese food here is not good. There is a Thai place - average, and one good Asian type restaurant - very expensive. There is a fantastic curry house who get their ingredients from a wholesale store which might stock Asian food / ingredients. 'Fresh' food is not always that fresh!

Children's products and toys are available but expensive. Very good second hand market through a local website. Things sell out here and it can be weeks til it's back in stock. We order online but then pay shipping and duty.

Loads of mixed race couples - great to see. On one level there is great racial harmony.

I hope this post doesn't sound too negative. We've had a lovely time here. It's great for the kids and we won't be going back to the uk. It takes time to adjust and now we just accept things and often say 'only in Bermuda' - once you accept the way of life, the pace of life and the island's idiosyncracities you'll have a great time.

Good luck with your move and please don't hesitate to ask any more questions.
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Old Jun 11th 2007, 1:16 am   #4
 
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

OOOH!! wish i was there now
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Old Jun 11th 2007, 2:41 am   #5
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend View Post
Hi,

We are thinking of moving to Bermuda. We have a young child (2 years plus) and would like to get information and related websites about the following:

...

10) My husband is British. Are there many crossed marriage couples like us?
You don't say where you are living now, but you should be aware that although Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory, you will not be able to qualify for British citizenship by residing in Bermuda (it is a separate area for nationality purposes).

On top of that, Bermuda immigration laws mean that you are unlikely ever to get permanent residence or British nationality by virtue of residence in Bermuda (your husband's British passport won't help).

If you are living in the United Kingdom now, is it an option to become naturalised British before you leave? Of course you may lose your existing citizenship but depending on circumstances, that may not be a problem.
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Old Jun 14th 2007, 4:00 pm   #6
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Thank you very much for your sharing!!! We are now busy reading all the information about Bermuda and working out the exchange rate... not sure whether it is worth moving.. it is quite scary to move to a new place especially our currently life is really good. We live in HK.

I read about this: living in a house is impossible in Bermuda as it is very expensive. How about a very small house with a little garden? I don't want to live in apartment. I will only move to Bermuda if we can afford a small house with a little garden so that our daughter can enjoy some "outdoor" childhood. HK is great but we live in a very small 3 bedrooms apartment (with club house facilities but not the same as having own garden) which costs us about HKD30K. Would appreciate your opinion. Thank you.

Regards,
Ken
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Old Jun 14th 2007, 4:33 pm   #7
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

You can rent a 'cottage' - very small house with garden. My friend has a 3bed with a large garden and pays $3k / month. If you are prepared to move 'up country' (which means the further out parishes - St Georges / Somerset) you pay less. Even though we have an apartment - it's basically an upper apartment - we have the main house with a yard the people below don't have a yard. (Ours is 2bed and we also pay $3 but our yard is concrete not grass - plenty of space for the kids though) Take a look at bermuda classifieds (I think the address is www.bermuda.e-moo.com) but not sure and you can get a better idea. It really is a great place for kids - especially if you can get a garden - take the time to look cause there are some out there.

By the way - expats have a limit of 6yrs (9 in some professions) unless your company nominates you as a 'key worker'. That's one of the reasons we are leaving.

Good luck
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Old Jun 14th 2007, 5:16 pm   #8
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Thanks for your reply. The idea of a cottage sounds nice.

May I know how much do you pay for your part time cleaner (per hour) and how much a cleaner/housekeeper/nanny costs? I look after my child myself but sometimes my husband and I would like to go out in the evening.

I noted that you had your children in Bermuda. May I know how's the hospital like there?

$3K Bermuda dollar for rental or US dollar?

Concrete yard is good - can cycle, keep plants, paddling pool and sand pit - that's nice

How far is Somerset to central or Warwick? Is it convenient to travel by bus or scooter? Are there any taxi in Bermuda? Sorry if my question sounds stupid...

Thanks very much!!
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Old Jun 14th 2007, 6:05 pm   #9
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend View Post
Thanks for your reply. The idea of a cottage sounds nice.

May I know how much do you pay for your part time cleaner (per hour) and how much a cleaner/housekeeper/nanny costs? I look after my child myself but sometimes my husband and I would like to go out in the evening.

I noted that you had your children in Bermuda. May I know how's the hospital like there?

$3K Bermuda dollar for rental or US dollar?

Concrete yard is good - can cycle, keep plants, paddling pool and sand pit - that's nice

How far is Somerset to central or Warwick? Is it convenient to travel by bus or scooter? Are there any taxi in Bermuda? Sorry if my question sounds stupid...

Thanks very much!!

Hey there again
Cleaner is $20/hr - she's ok not fantastic. My friend has one for $25/hr and she's much better! Word of mouth though...Babysitting is around $20/hr - again it's hard to find people. The MAMA group does babysitting clubs (you take turns in babysitting other's kids), I work at a school so sometimes ask the older kids or friends do us favours.

Hospital was great. Midwives were all british though! Have a lot of expats working in all areas buta lot in the hospital. healthcare is excellent - you make a docs appointment and get in the same day (unlike a week later in the uk).

Bda$ is = to us$


Nowhere is that far away. Somerset is about 1/2hr drive from Hamilton. Warwick about 20min drive. Double that at rush hr though. Traffic can get bad and there aren't sneeky alternative routes - jsut the main roads. We live the other side of the island - if you live between hamilton and the causeway you are ok traffic wise. Most families have a car and a scooter (only allowed one car per family). DO NOT rely on taxis! Sometimes you get one, sometimes you can wait 1hr + ...... (unless you're getting one from town or the airport)

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Old Jun 26th 2007, 5:43 pm   #10
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Reading about Bermuda has brought back a plethora of very happy memories. I was lucky enough to work there for just over two years on the construction of the Southampton Princess Hotel. What a magic place Bermuda was then....... should imagine it is pretty much the same now. We lived at a place called 'The Moorings' not too far away from Somerset Bridge. Used to take the short 20 minute or so drive to the hotel site on a Puch Maxi moped thingy. Tom Jones used to spend a lot of time there. He was very big with his own TV show plus hit records on both sides of the Atlantic; yet he was such a good down to earth sort of a guy. Met him in the audience at a Rocking Berries show at the 40 Thieves Club in Hamilton; also met him quite frequently at the Henry The 8th Pub wherever that was located on the way to the Southampton Princess Hotel. Could never get over how such a big name star always found time to chat and have a beer with the 'locals'. One hell of a nice bloke. The lady who did the cooking for about 15 expat builders at the Moorings was Clyde Best's mum (ie Clyde Best the West Ham centre forward). Very happy memories indeed. If you decide not to give Bermuda a go for whatever reason............ Perth is a nice spot here in good old Western Australia.
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Old Jun 27th 2007, 1:36 am   #11
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Default Re: Moving to Bermuda with young child

Thanks to all of your replies.

After some serious thoughts, we decided to stay in HK. HK is a lovely place to live too

Have a good summer holiday!

Regards,
Ken
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