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Help! Movin to HK in a few weeks with a family!

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    8

    Help! Movin to HK in a few weeks with a family!

    Hi. I am being seconded to HK in Feb and will be arriving with my husband, 2.5 year old and 7 month baby. My office will be in Central and I really need some help. There is no time for us to plan a visit so I need to rely on recommendations:
    1) Company is paying for accommodation. Budget appears to be in the region of 80k. They have proposed apartments in a number of areas and I have read conflicting reviews on the internet. Suggestions have been Causeway Bay, Mid levels, Kennedy Town and Tai Hang - Any thoughts? If there is an area I should be looking at, please let me know. I would love somewhere that is in easy commute of work and the school but is great for young children. I don't mind traveling a bit but think it may be difficult for a 2.5 year old!

    2) I intend for my 2.5 year old to attend Discovery Montesorri in Central. Any views?

    3) Any recommendations for a creche for my 7 month old. I really do not want to get a live-in nanny. He has been attending nursery in the UK and loves interacting with other babies.

    4) I would really like a cleaner/helper that works during the day - I understand that it is only legal if they are local. Any recommendations on where I should be looking.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Sai Kung
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    have you contacted the school already? if not, that would be priority #1.

    there are not very many "creches" as such here. that's why everyone has a helper. just because you have a helper does not negate the possibility of helper getting together with other helpers so the kids can play, or for the helper to take child to playgroups around the island. if you are wanting a cleaner/helper anyway... doesn't make any financial sense...

    regarding creches that do exist: they are generally for the very low-income families and have a very long waiting list. with a housing allowance alone of more than 4X the median household income, you would be ineligible. here is the link to one that, i don't think, has a "low income" requirement:
    http://www.hkspc.org/php/webcms_en/p...mode=published
    but you will notice that it costs more than a full time, live in helper (who also cooks/cleans)
    problems with local helpers: (1) most of them speak zero english (2) very, very difficult to find (3) charge more than what you would pay a FDH (depending on number of hours/week)

    just something to think about: if you try to recreate the life you have at "home" here, you will be miserable. things are not done the same way here. that's part of the fun of an overseas move! moving overseas is about change and adventure, embrace it! this could be an absolutely amazing experience for you and your family, if you are open to the differences! :-)


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    67

    I have sent you a private message to you inbox


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    mumofone: there are usually dozens of threads like this every month. why not post your advice on here so everyone can see it? it would be appreciated (especially if you disagree with what i've written... would love to know the alternatives! --that's where i heard about the creche that i posted---someone added to a thread i was participating in with the link, which i have now saved so that i can pass it on when someone asks).

    MovingIn07 and Lootoo like this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gold Coast Marina
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    17,970
    Quote Originally Posted by carang
    mumofone: there are usually dozens of threads like this every month. why not post your advice on here so everyone can see it? it would be appreciated (especially if you disagree with what i've written... would love to know the alternatives! --that's where i heard about the creche that i posted---someone added to a thread i was participating in with the link, which i have now saved so that i can pass it on when someone asks).
    Totally agree, plus newbies often have no clue how the PM function works.

    In terms of where to live, DO NOT make a decision before you come. Seriously, don't. Get a hotel or a serviced apartment for a month or so and look around when you get here. It cannot be emphasised enough that HK is different from other places, that you won't appreciate those differences until you arrive and that nothing online will either a) prepare you or b) actually show you what places look/feel like. With a budget of 80k a month, a serviced place is easily affordable.
    carang, chingleutsch and Lootoo like this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Pampanga, Philippines
    Posts
    20,224

    Would second the point about getting a foreign domestic helper. You will get the crap from some about slavery but ignore that. If you pay and treat fairly then there is no ethical issue. You will have to get used to having someone in your house but they isn't really a problem IMO. Only trouble is you will miss them when you move back to the UK.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Blissed out on the South Side
    Posts
    145

    For accommodation consider Bamboo Grove on Kennedy Road- large apartments within your budget and four towers filled with many expat families with young children. Very accessible from Central. The supermarket Taste ( it carries tons of international groceries and eats including the essential by Waitrose line), dry cleaners ( Clean Living), Wet Market, Starbucks, Mcdonald's all located in close proximity of the complex.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
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    2,213

    Bamboo Grove is a good recommendation for families. It's also a 'good starting' place if you are just arriving 'cold' in Hong Kong and are not sure where to live.

    I would also second some of the comments about a helper. It really isn't that much of an adjustment. I was opposed to having a live-in helper until about 15 minutes after she arrived and have been very happy ever since. Not only is there the day-to-day stuff that they will take care of, but one of the other things to note is that you are basically 'expected' to have a helper here--if someone wants a playdate with you it's usually arranged with the helpers. People will ask you out to dinner at night without even mentioning the word 'baby sitter' because it is just assumed you have help who will take care of things. Work might look at you funny when you say "I'm taking the day off because the wife is sick and I need to look after the kids". It's just part of the norm over here. With two kids doing playdate and school activities all over the island (often at the same time) you're going to want an extra set of hands.

    carang likes this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Sai Kung
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    yep, and nothing lovelier than coming home from work to a yummy home-made dinner all prepared and no dishes afterwards! lasagne tonight...delish!


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,588
    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsix
    Bamboo Grove is a good recommendation for families. It's also a 'good starting' place if you are just arriving 'cold' in Hong Kong and are not sure where to live.

    I would also second some of the comments about a helper. It really isn't that much of an adjustment. I was opposed to having a live-in helper until about 15 minutes after she arrived and have been very happy ever since. Not only is there the day-to-day stuff that they will take care of, but one of the other things to note is that you are basically 'expected' to have a helper here--if someone wants a playdate with you it's usually arranged with the helpers. People will ask you out to dinner at night without even mentioning the word 'baby sitter' because it is just assumed you have help who will take care of things. Work might look at you funny when you say "I'm taking the day off because the wife is sick and I need to look after the kids". It's just part of the norm over here. With two kids doing playdate and school activities all over the island (often at the same time) you're going to want an extra set of hands.
    The OP is female...

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