Catching up with our bilingual After School Care teachers
Since we opened our first bilingual After School Care groups at The Estate in April 2021, we have heard so many great things about children’s experiences from staff and parents. So we decided to have a catch up with the teachers in the groups to find out more!
Our teachers are all dedicated and caring childcare professionals. While interacting with the children, one teacher consistently speaks English whilst the other consistently speaks Dutch – similar to what you would experience in a bilingual household. Each teacher speaks the language they are fluent in, whilst also being proficient in the language owned by their colleague. The kids at after school care build strong relationships with our teachers - when asked what the best thing about Zein is, Kieron (5 years) answered: "Playing with friends and talking with the teachers because they are the best in the world!"
Are children enjoying being in the bilingual group?
Yes! The kids love being in the Bilingual After School Care groups. Those who joined recently have settled in well and all of the children really enjoy the activities from our programme and they love the variety of speaking both Dutch and English each afternoon.
Have children from local Dutch schools settled into the groups well?
The kids from the Dutch schools are settling in really well. Once we are in the room, neither staff nor the children notice a difference between the schools - we are all one.
What do the children enjoy most about being in bilingual groups?
The variety of the activities in different languages and different dynamics during each afternoon they are with us.
How do the children express themselves in English / Dutch?
Most of the time children will instinctively express themselves in the language they are most comfortable in, but when we learn new words during an activity, we hear children repeating those words throughout the whole day.
How do parents feel about their child's experience in the bilingual groups so far?
We can see that the parents are really happy when their children come out of an after school care session saying words that they learned that day. It’s especially fun to watch these exchanges when the words sound strange to the kids and they go up to their parents eager to show them what they have learned!
The demand for bilingual care at Zein has grown in recent years, as long-stay expat families residing in The Hague and internationally-minded local families increasingly recognise the benefits of a bilingual upbringing. Learn more about our bilingual care provision for after school care and day care!