French School Holidays

School holidays in France are set by the French Ministry of National Education (Ministere de l’Education National in French). Throughout the year French schools have five holidays: All Saints’ holidays, Christmas holidays, Winter holidays, Spring holidays and Summer holidays

The breaks are normally about 2 weeks each, aside from the summer holidays from initial July to early September, which lasts about eight weeks. French Secondary Schools Typically follows the same holiday dates as other schools, although some variation can exist within the schools. Search for full information with your child’s kindergarten, to be sure.

In France, school holidays are seen as an occasion for families to get together for celebrations such as Christmas, take a break or enjoy day trips, or organize fun activities for children. Other festivals like Bastille Day can also take place during school holidays

In the year France has 11 public holidays, some of which fall within the school holidays. The only official paid holiday in France is Labor Day (1 May). For other public holidays occurring on school days, you’ll need to consult with your school to see whether this is being handled as a break. Other school-specific days may also be spent off throughout the year; These could include staff training, development days, or book days for pupils. Check with your school again, so you can plan for these ahead. You should also watch when others post annual calendars on the school’s website, such as the Notre Dame International High School. For general knowledge on public holidays, see our guide to French public holidays

France has a strong childcare system available to working parents, especially when compared to many other countries. There are state-supervised and controlled recreational facilities available for working parents of school-age children in holiday centres (centre de Vacances en français) providing accommodation, or also in leisure/recreation centres (centre de Loisirs en français)Costs differ from area to centre, though discounts are available for low-income citizens. Offering daycare. Consult with your local school or regional department of education for specifics of what’s available in your town, when, and how much.

Private camps are more expensive than state provision, but they can be a good place for kids to meet other kids from different countries and learn/improve their own French. A Private Holiday Camp is another choice. Providers include Viva Sans Frontieres, which offers ex-pat children between 6 and 17 years old the opportunity to have fun and learn French with local children, and Jeunes DiplomatesIt runs camps in the French Alps in summer and winter.

In France, there are also many professional maternal assistants who can provide childcare either at home or at their own premises, as well as au pairs and babysitters.

See our French child care guide for information on available choices.

French school holidays are the times of a break for schools in France, and for all the pupils in it. The dates are set by the Ministry of Education for a three-year period nationwide.

Holiday dates are given as an “after class” Saturday date, as some schools have Saturday morning classes, and return on a Monday morning.

The fixed dates can lead to overcrowding in tourist resorts such as the Mediterranean coast and the ski resorts, and price increases and travel and accommodation availability problems

To mitigate this difficulty, the February and April holiday schedules for the “winter” and “spring” holidays are staggered by dividing the country into 3 regions, respectively.

Nonetheless, the coordinated school holiday schedules also cause some crowding effects as families go to famous holiday destinations, particularly in the summer at the beginning and end of the July and August months when traffic jams become a frequent feature of the news

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