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Summer Vacation Countdown Calendar

Friday, July 15, 2022

Click the below poster to enlarge and print. 

Summer vacation countdown calendar for children. English.

Simple Summer Summer Scavenger Hunt

Monday, June 21, 2021

Click the below poster to enlarge. 

Summer childcare activities for home. Outdoor fun for school children.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies Recipe, tried and approved by the chefs and children of Zein! 

These delicious oatmeal cookies taste as good as they smell!  

Ingredients for 24 cookies: 

  • 3 cups of oatmeal flour or oatmeal flocks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 4 big bananas 


  1. Preheat your oven at 190°C and line a baking tray with parchment/baking paper. 
  2. Start by mashing the bananas in a large bowl. 
  3. Add the eggs, the vanilla extract, and then the oatmeal flour to the bowl. If you only have oatmeal flocks you can blend the flocks a little bit smaller in the blender. The pieces don't need to be too small, keeping them a little bigger gives a nice crunch to your cookies.
  4. Stir until the cookie dough is perfectly combined.
  5. Take a piece of dough, shape it into a cookie shape, and place it on the baking tray. Once all the dough is portioned out on the baking sheet, use your fingers to flatten the dough as the cookies won’t flatten as they bake.
  6. Put the cookies in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Once you remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes. As a fun extra, you can decorate the cookies with yogurt and some fresh fruit. Enjoy! 

Healthy Oatmeal Cookie recipe for children

Zein at Home: Nature Art Bunny Mask

Saturday, April 17, 2021

This long holiday weekend provides the perfect opportunity to appreciate the changes we see in spring by making a Nature Art Bunny Mask!

Download Bunny Mask Printable

Instrictions on how to create a nature art bunny mask

Welcome to The Hague - Zein Childcare Features in The Hague International Centre Video

Monday, January 24, 2022

The Estate, Zein International Childcare BenoordenhoutWe are excited to share The Hague International Centre's 'Relocating to The Hague' video which shows why The Hague is such a great place to live and work for internationals.

From career opportunities to charming neighbourhoods, and from international education to leisure activities. The video exhibits what the city has the offer and how The Hague International Centre can help with your relocation.

You might spot a familiar Zein location in the video, too!

The Estate, our flagship location, is situated in Benoordenhout and is a stunning listed building with over 3000m2 of landscaped gardens - designed specifically for the different age ranges of the children in our care. The Estate offers Day Care, After School Care and Pre-School services available to local and international families and has both English language groups and a bilingual option for families who want their children to be exposed to both English and Dutch.

To watch the video, click here and to book a tour of The Estate, click here

December at Pre-School: Learning about festive traditions and stories!

News Type: 
Monday, December 20, 2021

Themed learning through water play activitiesSince September, our Pre-Schoolers have enjoyed learning about the animals that live in the world around us, but as we moved into December it was time to start looking at festive traditions and stories. Our themes have been: Sinterklaas, Traditional Tales, Seasonal Baking and Magical Celebrations.

All of the children at Pre-School were so excited when Sinterklaas week arrived. We learned all about the tradition, enjoyed crafts - including making our own Sinterklaas hat and everybody proudly walked around the class in them. Together, we learned a Dutch Sinterklaas song “Sinterklaas kapoentje”.

All children love listening to stories, which is why the Traditional Tales theme was so popular with our pre-schoolers! We read and enjoyed some timeless tales including The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Sleeping Beauty. We are excited for them to share their favourite tales with their family and to continue their reading journey! As part of their literacy development, in December we looked closely at the letters: “S” for Sinterklaas, “H” for House, “D” for Decoration and “W” for Winter. We also practised making a number line and learned the numbers 11,12,13 and 14.

One of the most famous seasonal bakes is gingerbread! This week gingerbread made it to the craft table and we each made and decorated a gingerbread house. During this craft, we counted the tiles on the house and talked about opposites (e.g. up/down, fast/slow, day/night, hungry/full.) Naturally, we baked our own delicious gingerbread men too!

Our Pre-Schoolers love to create decorations and this month gives us the best reason to do so! The children created some holidays seasons decorations and we were so proud to see how their skills have developed this term! We also learned many holiday songs, one of the group favourites’ was “Jingle Bells”. The children sang this wonderful song whilst playing on the instruments, - how fun! We ended this term with a festive dress-up party week and even received a healthy cake from our chef!

It is amazing to see how far our pre-schoolers have progressed this term, and we look forward to supporting them in their development throughout the new year.

You can read more about our Pre-School curriculum and we are always happy for families to visit our locations so you can see the environment for yourself. If you would like to arrange a visit, please fill in this form and a member of our helpful team will be happy to arrange a suitable appointment date for you.

A New Year at Zein International Childcare

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

At the end of the year, we look back at what we're thankful for, as well as to the new year. Although we are still living in uncertain times, we have enjoyed so many precious moments with the children in our care throughout the year, and there are many achievements for us to celebrate and fond memories for us to look back on.

In early 2021, we opened our first bilingual (Dutch-English) After School Care groups at The Estate, Benoordenhout, and extended our popular bilingual Day Care provision. We were also able to celebrate opening The Palms, our first location in Amsterdam, and have completed two successful rounds of the International Talent Programme. Other highlights include a week of winter wonderland at the beginning of the year, seeing our Pre-Schoolers and Day Care children graduate before going on to big school, and seeing smiles every day at our Summer Camps! Of course, none of this would have been possible without the families who entrust their children in our care, and our wonderful teachers who are committed to supporting Zein children in their development. When parents leave, they often share their heartfelt thanks for the care and support given to their families during their time at Zein. 

"The teachers at Little Castle are amazing!!!! Our daughter misses them a lot, she keeps talking about them and about what she has learnt at Little Castle. As a parent, I felt understood and supported by Zein. My daughter's transition to big school was so easy because she had been well prepared by the teachers at Zein."  Little Castle Day Care parent, 2021

"Zein is absolutely the best!" The Estate Day Care parent, 2021

"It helped her to develop and grow and become the person she is - caring, sharing and kind. I loved how you encouraged her love of cooking and baking. I love the choices system. You all made a tremendous difference." The Estate Out of School Care parent, 2021

"A big thanks to the teachers!"  The Maples Out of School Parent, 2021

"My daughter had a great time at The Oaks and for sure will remember it with affection and love." The Oaks After School Care parent, 2021

"Our son felt at home and happy from day one. Right from the start he was thriving and learning so much, singing all of the songs he had learned at pre-school, and talking about the experiences with his teachers and the other children. The teachers were absolutely lovely and warm, our son felt safe and loved." Pre-School parent, 2021

"I just wanted to acknowledge and thank the staff who were instrumental in making my daughter's experience a safe, fun and inclusive experience despite her allergies and associated complications around such. They were all fantastic! " Holiday Camps parent, Summer 2021

As we look forward to the new year, we offer our heartfelt thanks to our Zein staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the year, navigating many hurdles with resilience and an exceptional work ethic. Our staff are our greatest asset in ensuring every child feels safe and at home during their time at Zein.

We hope the entire Zein community has a restful and joyful festive period, and we look forward to seeing more of you in the New Year. 

Zein at Home: Warming Winter Milk Recipe

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A healthy alternative to hot chocolate, your kids will love coming inside to enjoy this warming drink after playing outside on a cold winter’s day! 


 8oz milk of choice - whole milk or oat milk are best for frothing!
 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Prepare your milk by either:
    • heating it gently in a stainless steel steamer cup or steamer appliance; 
    • using a blender or a handheld frother to create bubbles as you warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat till just beginning to bubble, or;
    • using a latte machine/steamer, swirl the stainless steel cup at an angle for about 1-2 minutes until the milk is heated through. Continuously moving the cup in a steady, circular motion at this angle will help to get the milk nice and frothy.
  • Pour into a mug and top with cinnamon and vanilla extract.
  • Stir with a spoon and enjoy! 


November at Pre-School: learning about animals that swim

News Type: 
Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Themed learning through water play activitiesSo far this quarter, our Pre-Schoolers have enjoyed learning about the animals around us - how they move, what they look like and where they live! Last week, we made a splash and focussed on animals that swim.  

Splish splash splosh! Last week we learned all about animals that swim. We are lucky to have a fish tank at our location so children were able to start the week by looking at the aquarium where many colourful fish live. We identified the colours and also counted the fish, but it was difficult as they wouldn't stop swimming. Our Pre-Schoolers usually enjoy counting games, but this was particularly fun because we had to keep restarting as we couldn't remember which fish we had already included! This was a great opportunity for children to test their short term memory and spatial awareness as they practised their numbers. 

After watching the fish swim, we were interested in how different animals move in the water. We discovered that one of the fastest animals is an orca, one of the slowest animals is a seahorse and that eels can even swim backwards! We mimicked all different kinds of movements, pretending to be an orca who moves very fast, then a very... slow.... seahorse... floating... around... and we even practised walking backwards, which was so much fun! Though we had to be careful not to bump into each other! 

We learned the letter “F” for fish and even practiced fishing with our magnet aquarium game. At the craft table, the children made a colourful fish, and learned about the different colours they were using. We looked closely at the skin and scales of different animals that swim and discussed many opposites: wet/dry, hard/soft, bright/dark, smooth/prickly.

We are excited to see next month's activities as our theme for Pre-School is Fantasy & Fairy Tales which is always so popular! Keep your eyes peeled for more updates on our Latest News page and to learn more about the Pre-School curriculum click here

Welcome to our International Talent Programme Trainees!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Day care children enjoy themed learning opportunities at Zein International Childcare. Our Autumn 2021 International Talent Programme recruits have started their in-house training and are looking forward to what they will achieve at Zein. 

Each time we run the International Talent Programme, we invite passionate, caring and experienced childcare professionals (both Dutch and international!) to  obtain the necessary qualifications to work in childcare in the Netherlands. Our candidates follow an in-house training scheme and receive on-the-job training under the guidance of experienced Zein professionals. This combination enables them to gain the experience and training required to work in international childcare at Zein.

Erdem Karal, Zein International Childcare's Recruiter, says: "We were pleased with the competency and skill of applicants to the Autumn 2021 ITP. We are excited to welcome eight new childcare teachers to Zein and wish them the best in their journey in international childcare.".

The ITP trainees come from diverse backgrounds and bring a wide range of experience and specialisations. We spoke to them to find out what they are looking forward to achieving during the ITP:

  • Ana, Phillippines: "Facing new challenges & helping to create a happy, safe place for children."
  • Vesna, Bosnia and Herzegovina: "I am looking forward to new challenges and helping to create a happy and safe place for children with a team of equally enthusiastic people."
  • Maxine, UK: "Supporting colleagues and children at Zein, whilst further developing my own knowledge."
  • Maria, USA: "Creating safe spaces for children and parents."

To our ITP trainees - good luck! We look forward to seeing you grow professionally and personally throughout the programme. If you are interested in joining the Zein as an ITP trainee, find out more here