“Expat and international families value the extra support and attention we give. The personal bond we build up with non-Dutch parents is greater. We’re far more involved in helping them in raising their children. So, trust is essential. We develop a really strong connection and work together to discover what’s best for the child.
Based on 8 years’ experience, Eveline has one important tip for parents who are considering day care for the child for the first time:
“It’s important to prepare any child before they start at day care. And this is even more so the case with children who have recently moved to the Netherlands from another country. Children need to know what’s going to happen. Don’t hide the fact that you’re bringing them somewhere new.”
Of course, for many parents, Dutch childcare is new to them too. “That’s why we invite parents to come for a tour of our childcare centre,” Eveline explains. “We also hold an intake meeting and encourage children to come for trial visits of part of their settling in period. With toddlers, it’s important for them to come on the tour too. And for parents who are currently living outside of the Netherlands, it’s possible to be shown round with a live webtour.”
“Once you’ve said goodbye, keep it short,” Eveline advises parents. “I know it’s hard, but it’s best not to keep coming back. This is confusing for the child and can make the process of saying goodbye unnecessarily upsetting.”
For this more light-hearted section of our newsletter, we ask our teachers and other members of staff to share little anonymous anecdotes about things the children have said. Here’s a gem from the after-school group of 3-7 years old.
Child: Papa and mama are at work.
Teacher: That’s right. And you can come here to play.
Child: Why don’t you ever go to work?