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Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Old Nov 11th 2012, 8:52 am
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Default Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

We are a family of 4, with 2 kids aged 5 and 2 and my husband has the opportunity of a job based in the Warrens area. I am trying to research what our life might be like before we commit, so have come on here for some help! Please bear with me, I have lots of questions (in no particular order):

(1) Schools (again, I know, sorry). Our daughter is currently year 1 and is a bright girl who is quite advanced for her age. We would be looking for a school that offers an all rounded approach, not just to the academics but with sport, languages etc. She currently attends a British curriculum school. What schools should I start with and what kind of fees are payable? Do most companies pay school fees or part school fees?

(2) Children's activities - for example is there ballet or gymnastics or football etc Do these generally exist as after school activities within the school grounds or what children's clubs are there?

(3) Our son will be 3 in July, when should he start school or nursery? Where we currently live children start the September after they are 3 in a foundation year, they then do a nursery year aged 4 and into 'proper' school at 5. This normally happens all within the same school.

(4) Where to live. We have a reasonable accommodation budget as part of the package but where is best to live? Hubby will be in Warrens, St Michael and we are not sure where school will be. I have read that the south and west coasts are best but where would you recommend for a young family to be based bearing in mind I really do not want to spend all day in the car?

(5) Cost of living is high I know. If we had a 3 bed house, what kind of utility bills would we be expecting for internet, tv, electricity, air conditioning, phone?What would an estimated weekly shop cost for a family of 4?

(6) Healthcare. Again partially covered by the package on offer but how does this actually work. Do most companies offer direct billing or is it a pay and claim back process. If so are most things covered or is it a fight with the insurance company every time? Is the standard of medical care generally ok?

(7) Car / cars. We will probably need 2 cars I am assuming as hubby will be going to work and i will have to do the school runs. I read in a very old thread that a 4 door saloon could be hired for 1200 per month. Is this still the case? Do most people hire or buy?

(8) Housekeepers/gardeners/pool maintenance people - do most people hire this type of help and is it expensive?

Thanks in advance for any help that you can offer
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Old Nov 12th 2012, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Hi there,

Not sure how much I can assist with your questions but I'll do my best!
Similar to what I said to Sherry in another thread, my advice is to check out the PYP Programme and if it compliments your ethos, contact The Codrington School. Otherwise, I'm sure other posters can help you with alternative schools.

If your husband is going to be working in the Warrens area, then my advice to you would be to move to the West Coast. Depending on your housing budget, there are some really nice properties. If you end up on the South Coast, your husband will have to tackle traffic going to Bridgetown every day. I recommend working it out so you get around this if possible.

Looking up the Holetown and Mullins areas will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Check out www.cariblist.com for potential properties to see if what you envisage is reflected in the prices. Electricity is expensive here, but it's down to how much you use. Cutting down the number of times you use A/C can half your bills.
Internet's around 150 a month, TV is around 200/250, depending on packages you choose. Some places already have internet installed or included, but if there isn't, be prepared for a lengthy wait to get connected.

If you are here for at least 6 months, I recommend buying a car. Car hire is rather pricey. But again, this depends on your level of financial comfort!

Last edited by natalienoo; Nov 12th 2012 at 4:01 pm.
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Old Nov 12th 2012, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Fairyprincess welcome... As you have so many questions that would take someone a lot of time to answer I would suggest a good trawl through many of the previous posts on here as you can do a search on key words most of your questions will have been answered numerous times
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Old Nov 13th 2012, 2:25 am
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Thank you Natalienoo, what you have provided is very helpful, particularly on the areas to live and bills. If it happens Barbados will be our second expat posting and very different to life in Dubai where we currently live, so your input is much appreciated

Originally Posted by natalienoo View Post
Hi there,

Not sure how much I can assist with your questions but I'll do my best!
Similar to what I said to Sherry in another thread, my advice is to check out the PYP Programme and if it compliments your ethos, contact The Codrington School. Otherwise, I'm sure other posters can help you with alternative schools.

If your husband is going to be working in the Warrens area, then my advice to you would be to move to the West Coast. Depending on your housing budget, there are some really nice properties. If you end up on the South Coast, your husband will have to tackle traffic going to Bridgetown every day. I recommend working it out so you get around this if possible.

Looking up the Holetown and Mullins areas will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Check out www.cariblist.com for potential properties to see if what you envisage is reflected in the prices. Electricity is expensive here, but it's down to how much you use. Cutting down the number of times you use A/C can half your bills.
Internet's around 150 a month, TV is around 200/250, depending on packages you choose. Some places already have internet installed or included, but if there isn't, be prepared for a lengthy wait to get connected.

If you are here for at least 6 months, I recommend buying a car. Car hire is rather pricey. But again, this depends on your level of financial comfort!
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Old Nov 13th 2012, 2:30 am
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Thank you Serendipidy. I have searched through previous posts and true some people have asked some similar questions. What I was really after was some more current answers as some of the threads and their answers are quite a few years old. I will however try to find further information myself. Thank you

Originally Posted by Serendipidy View Post
Fairyprincess welcome... As you have so many questions that would take someone a lot of time to answer I would suggest a good trawl through many of the previous posts on here as you can do a search on key words most of your questions will have been answered numerous times
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Old Nov 14th 2012, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Hi Fairy very little ever changes in Barbados... most of the previous answers wont have changed
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Old Nov 14th 2012, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Living here, I would have to say that is a fairly accurate statement Dipty..
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Old Nov 15th 2012, 2:05 am
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Ok, thanks again Sererndipity and also to you Sunniebgi. Have a nice day
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Old Nov 15th 2012, 2:57 am
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

(1) Schools (again, I know, sorry).what age is your daughter.. when you say year 1, I'm not sure what age that is. schools start at age 4 to 11yrs in primary and from 11yrs to 5th form and 6th form for secondary. All schools following the ministry of education curriculum except for Codrington School, which is an IB school. Most schools teach a well rounded curriculum, however, testing is primarily done for maths and english (as they teach to the 11plus exam for secondary school admissions). you may want to check out a few before making a decision. Costs will be different for an ex-pat ( non-citizen, non caricom). each private school varies slightly with these rates.. I would have to say from about 2500.00bbd per term (approximately 3 months) to upwards of 6000.00 per term plus. some employers do pay for school fee's for expats but you would have to ask them and is usually built into the contract.

(2) Children's activities - many schools offer in school activities such as sports, ballet, drama, karate etc after normal school hours.. these are not usually run by the schools themselves but by tutors that come in. many of these same tutors have their own locations elsewhere..

(3) in Barbados, there are pre-school montesorri schools around. Mostly the children are taken at 2 to 2 1/2 years until 3/4years.. some "proper" schools (St. Gabriel's, St. Angela's) take students at 3 years and they following into the 4 year reception program from the nursery program.

(4) with your husband working in Warrens, you could live just about anywhere.. the choice will be.. do you live 20-45 min from his work and closer to activities, or do you live closer to his work. I live in the middle of the island, in St. George.. and I find it a good happy medium to living and working anywhere else on the island.

(5) Can't really help with the cost of living.. I know we pay about 400.00 in electric per month and don't use AC, but do use fans.

(6) (sorry, can't help with this one.. as we no longer have health insurance) Healthcare. Again partially covered by the package on offer but how does this actually work. Do most companies offer direct billing or is it a pay and claim back process. If so are most things covered or is it a fight with the insurance company every time? Is the standard of medical care generally ok?

(7)regarding cars, it would be better for you to check directly with the car companies.. mostly Courtesy, Simpson Motors or McEnerney.. would be your best bet.. these are car dealerships and maybe able to arrange a lease option for you.

good luck and let us know how you get on.
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Old Nov 15th 2012, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

on number 6, when we did actually have health insurance.. it was pay and claim back through your company..
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Old Nov 18th 2012, 2:28 am
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Thank you so much Sunniebgi, what you have provided is really helpful. Re the school question, my daughter is 5 years old, born 14 August.

I am gradually piecing together all the information I need and I am talking with a few of the schools.

It's such a life changing decision, especially with kids, I just want to make sure I have all the facts before we make a final decision
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Old Nov 22nd 2012, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: Help with our decision to move to Barbados, please

Originally Posted by Fairyprincessfp View Post
We are a family of 4, with 2 kids aged 5 and 2 and my husband has the opportunity of a job based in the Warrens area. I am trying to research what our life might be like before we commit, so have come on here for some help! Please bear with me, I have lots of questions (in no particular order):

(1) Schools (again, I know, sorry). Our daughter is currently year 1 and is a bright girl who is quite advanced for her age. We would be looking for a school that offers an all rounded approach, not just to the academics but with sport, languages etc. She currently attends a British curriculum school. What schools should I start with and what kind of fees are payable? Do most companies pay school fees or part school fees?

(2) Children's activities - for example is there ballet or gymnastics or football etc Do these generally exist as after school activities within the school grounds or what children's clubs are there?

(3) Our son will be 3 in July, when should he start school or nursery? Where we currently live children start the September after they are 3 in a foundation year, they then do a nursery year aged 4 and into 'proper' school at 5. This normally happens all within the same school.

(4) Where to live. We have a reasonable accommodation budget as part of the package but where is best to live? Hubby will be in Warrens, St Michael and we are not sure where school will be. I have read that the south and west coasts are best but where would you recommend for a young family to be based bearing in mind I really do not want to spend all day in the car?

(5) Cost of living is high I know. If we had a 3 bed house, what kind of utility bills would we be expecting for internet, tv, electricity, air conditioning, phone?What would an estimated weekly shop cost for a family of 4?

(6) Healthcare. Again partially covered by the package on offer but how does this actually work. Do most companies offer direct billing or is it a pay and claim back process. If so are most things covered or is it a fight with the insurance company every time? Is the standard of medical care generally ok?

(7) Car / cars. We will probably need 2 cars I am assuming as hubby will be going to work and i will have to do the school runs. I read in a very old thread that a 4 door saloon could be hired for 1200 per month. Is this still the case? Do most people hire or buy?

(8) Housekeepers/gardeners/pool maintenance people - do most people hire this type of help and is it expensive?

Thanks in advance for any help that you can offer
Hi Fairy,

I hope you are coping with the stresses of relocating!!
The most important thing for me is the school placements for my two aged 9 yrs and a baby aged 17mths. Providence, St Gabriel's and St Winifred's seem to be very well thought of. I didn't get a chance to see Providence school but loved the other two schools.
Unless your car hire fees are paid for, I would recommend purchasing a car.
Housekeepers are affordable and in that heat if you can afford one I would tick that box for sure
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