Bilingual (English-Dutch) Option

Following around 15 years of experience in providing a specially designed internationally-oriented approach to childcare, Zein has been offering parents a choice between fully English-speaking and bilingual (English-Dutch) groups for several years now.

Bilingual upbringing and its advantages
This provision aims to meet the desire for such a service amongst the growing number of expat families choosing for long-term assignments and even lifetime careers in the Netherlands – as well as the ever-increasing number of internationally-oriented families in The Hague region who recognise the many advantages a bilingual upbringing can offer.

Research into bilingualism shows that children raised bilingually (or multilingually) are more open-minded, have better problem-solving skills and adapt better to different environments than their monolingual counterparts. Bilingualism is the perfect complement to Zein’s international community of children, parents and staff – where worlds come together, and its programme which focusses on growing up in a world with fading national borders and celebrating different cultures.

The programme

Similar to our English-speaking groups, the bilingual groups follow Zein’s unique Early Childhood Curriculum (click for more info). To completely immerse the children in both languages throughout each day, songs and nursery rhymes during meal and clean up time are conducted in both English and Dutch, while the main activities of the day and the twice daily circle times are delivered in either Dutch or English as per the schedule below.

Morning Circle Time:  English

Morning Activity: 
Toddlers (ages 0 – 2.5 years):  English
Pre-Schoolers (ages 2.5 – 4 years): Dutch

Afternoon Circle Time: Dutch

Afternoon Activity: 
Toddlers (ages 0 – 2.5 years): Dutch
Pre-Schoolers (ages 2.5 – 4 years): English

Outdoor Play: The main language spoken by the teachers will be English to ensure integration and meaningful interaction between the children from different groups. Children are free to communicate in any language of choice.

Balancing English and Dutch in an international environment

We aim to carefully balance the nationalities of the children and the language(s) they speak at home to ensure a truly international environment where one language doesn’t take consistent predominance over the other.

Our teachers follow the one-teacher-one-language approach. While teaching, developing and caring for the children, one teacher consistently speaks English with the children whilst the other consistently speaks Dutch – similar as you would find in a bilingual household. On the group, each teacher speaks the language they have fluent ownership of, whilst also being proficient in the language owned by their colleague.

The group set-up

Available to children aged 0 – 4 years, our bilingual group offers a Vertical Group Integration approach that mimics the home environment where siblings co-exist side by side and happily interact and learn from each other – building natural cross-age relationships, while developing at their own pace. This grouping approach is integral to our programme and helps to ensure that each child feels happy, loved and at home.

Contact Details

Complete the registration form for your child by clicking here.
Registration is possible for one to five days per week.

Bilingual provision at Zein locations

Three of our four Day Care locations currently offer bilingual provision: The EstateThe Little Castle and The Willows.

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