Frequently Asked Questions

. Can I join Message?

Message is open to English-speaking parents of all nationalities. The current membership is comprised of about one-third British, one-third North American, and one-third "other nationalities", including members from Ireland, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, and other countries.

. Will I be required to volunteer if I join Message?

There is no requirement to volunteer, although as an all-volunteer organisation, we encourage everyone to take part volunteering at some point. The volunteer opportunities range from very small time-level commitments, to more robust responsibilities. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the organisation and to meet others, and apply or develop skills. Message wouldn't exist without volunteers.

. Are all Message members Stay-At-Home-Mums?

No. Roughly  60% of our membership report working outside of the home, in salaried employment or running their own businesses. Moreover, not all Message members are mums! Message typically has activities in the evenings and at weekends, as well as on weekdays.

. I've been living in France for 10 years - how useful would Message be for me?

Even if you've lived in France for a long while, perhaps you are a new parent and would like to discover the wealth of resources available for babies and children in and around Paris. Or perhaps, as your family grows your Anglophone roots take hold and you'd like your children to know other bilingual families. Either way, Message can be of help. In fact, many of our members have been in France for years, and plan to live here forever.  

. My kids are all over 6 - isn't Message just for babies and toddlers?

The average Message "child" is 7 years old! While Message does offer many resources for pregnant mums, and opportunities for parents with babies and toddlers to get together, there are also active groups for primary school kids and tweens & teens. Parents of older children also share their experiences of raising teenagers in the Kids Growing Older Group, through the online discussion forum and via organized activities.

. I work full-time - what Message activities would I be able to participate in?

There is a variety of activities scheduled each month in the evenings, for parents (guest speakers, dinner dates in a restaurant, or meet ups in members' homes) or during the weekend, for families, (in homes, parks or museums for instance). The online, members' only discussion forums are open 24/7 and the wide range of support services are available via email. There are even regular lunch-dates for working parents in different parts of Paris. Be sure to join the Working Parents Group when you join!

. I don't have any "problems" being a parent - why would I need a "Support Group"?

Message provides a wide variety of parent-to-parent support services, which may include recommendations on where to find a medical specialist,  sharing personal experiences around a particular health issue, or giving practical help where needed. Other issues may include serious illness, divorce, or bereavement. While most members are happy to take advantage of the more social benefits of belonging to Message, it's good to know that the support network is there - if you need it.

. It's Dad who is the English-speaker in our family. Can he join?

Dads, come on in! We have a growing membership of both working and stay-at-home Dads and are always looking for new ways to get fathers together. If you're an English-speaking father, join Message and get involved.

. Will Message help my children learn English?

If you are actively bringing your children up as English-speakers, Message activities may help provide extra exposure to English as a complement to your other activities in English (e.g., speaking English in the home, bilingual schooling, English books, television, radio, etc). Message does not provide English instruction, however, other members may be able to recommend more formal English classes for your bilingual children.

. Will Message help me find an English-speaking nanny for my child?

Message does not, as an organisation, provide a formal register of nannies or sitters. However, our members-only website has a conversation thread devoted to members seeking or recommending carers, and the discussion forums provide an area for exchanging experiences on all types of childcare (crèches, halte-garderie, public and private French and bilingual schools).

. I'll be moving to France in a few months - can I join before I get there?

Yes. If you are pregnant, or planning a move with children, then Message can certainly help you plan for your stay in Paris, and by keeping in touch with other members through the discussion forums, you may even make friends who will be waiting for you when you arrive. 

. I live abroad, but come to Paris each summer with my children. Can I join?

Membership of Message is usually obtained for the calendar year. Exceptional cases are at the discretion of the President and the Treasurer and will depend on each situation.

. Are all Message members ex-pats on short contracts, passing through?

Not necessarily. Some are, but many (or even most) are not. One of the best things about Message is that you develop friendships with other parents, some of which last a few weeks, or months, others that last a lifetime. Interestingly, Message also has members who left France and remain members as they wish to remain in contact.

. I live in the East of Paris. Do you have a group in my area?

If you live anywhere in Paris, or the surrounding suburbs, it is highly likely that other Message members live very close to you. Message splits the membership into 18 different Areas for administrative purposes, and it is more likely that you will come across people who live close to you than those who don't. But wherever you live, you are not limited to activities in your own Area, but welcome to attend any, anywhere.

. I'm a single parent. Would I fit in at Message?

Of course! In fact, Message has an active Single Parent Group, to help members connect with one another about the specificities that this situation can bring. 

. Where is Message's headquarters / meeting place?

Message has no central office, and no paid staff. The association in entirely volunteer-run, with all social activities held in members' homes or in rented halls for larger meetings, with many outside activities during good weather, in parks or at museums.

. What language are Message activities carried out in?

All Message activities and events are in English.

. Can my child's nanny / grandmother bring him / her to Message activities?

In most cases, Yes, as long as you, the parent or guardian, are a member of Message and have authorised your child to be accompanied by another, English-speaking person. Attendance is at the discretion of the host, and we do ask you to confirm with them in advance.

. What types of activity does Message organise?

Regular activities and meet ups are scheduled by members at their own initiative. Members are free to organise activities and outings that are appropriate for the ages of their children or their own parenting interests. These might include: a morning in a member's home for pregnant members to discuss health during pregnancy; an afternoon with toddlers in a local park; a structured morning's activity with 5-7 year olds making a family tree; an evening with a guest speaker on bilingualism and language development; a lunch-date for working parents to exchange tips on balancing home & work life. Message has organization-wide events as well, including an annual summer picnic, a Halloween trick or treat and a visit from Santa.

. How can I advertise my product or service to Message members?

As a general rule, we are conservative about advertising and try to keep Message commercial-free. However, Message provides a variety of advertising opportunities for reaching the membership. As a non-member, you are invited to contact our Ads Coordinator (see contacts page), who will be able to advise you on rates for paid display and classified ads in the Message Quarterly Magazine. Message members may post limited classified ads on the members' only website, in accordance with the Advertising Policy. Please note that Message will only accept advertising which it deems to be of interest and appropriate to our members. 

. I forgot my user name and/or password, how can I login?

Use the password reset page and if you are unsuccessful we are happy to help! Contact

. I used to be a Message member, how can I rejoin?

Welcome back! Try logging in with your previous user name and password, and you'll automatically be directed to the renewals page. If you've forgotten your user name and/or password, hit the "Forgotten Your Password?" link and enter your email address. A new password will be e-mailed to you. If your email address is not recognized, please send an email to and we'll arrange for you to re-join. 

. I'd like to join Message but can't afford it financially. What options are available to me?

The purpose of Message is to offer support, advice and information to English-speaking parents regardless of socio-economic status. Message offers subsidized memberships to people who could benefit from Message, but for whom cost is a significant issue. For subsidized membership please go to the contact page and select 'I want to apply for a subsidized membership' from the drop-down menu, or send an email to our President at

. I will be in Paris next month on vacation. Can Message help me find a babysitter, a doctor for emergency care, and a crib rental for use during my stay?

Many of these topics are covered in the Message publication: ABCs of Parenting in Paris. We invite you to purchase a copy to use as a general reference during your stay. As Message is an entirely volunteer-run organisation, we do not have the capacity to individually answer phone calls and emails dealing with these types of information requests from non-members.

. I'm concerned about the protection of my personal data. What is your Privacy Policy?

Message takes the protection of your data seriously. Our aim is to provide a personalized and valuable service whilst safeguarding our users’ privacy. Collecting some personal information is necessary if we are to satisfy the expectations and requirements of our users and we have set out below what we will do with your personal information.

Visitors to Message website

When someone visits the Message website, we use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behavior patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is processed in a way that does not identify anyone. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this.

Security and Performance

We use a third party service to help maintain the security and performance of our website. To deliver this service it processes the IP addresses of visitors to the site.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within the Message site linking to other websites, such as those shared in forums. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Use of Cookies

Message websites uses cookies to maintain and keep track of users’ preferences and authenticated sessions, to identify technical issues, user trends and effectiveness of campaigns, and to monitor and improve the overall performance.

Disclosure of personal information

We provide optional contact details via the website for the purposes of providing a service to existing members. We will never disclose personal details without the consent of the member. Details are only held during active membership and up to 5 years thereafter.

Access to personal information & Right to erasure

Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a “subject access request” under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If we do hold information about you we will:

• give you a description of it;
• tell you why we are holding it;
• tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
• let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

Under the GDPR, members may also exercise their right to erase some or all of their personal data. Please make any such request to access or delete personal information in writing via our email address or by post to Message Paris, 28 rue Laure Diebold, Maison des Associations, Paris 75008.

If at any time you feel that we have failed to meet these standards then please contact our President at