Disadvantaged toddlers to start school at 2.5 years in new experiment

Experiments involving sending toddlers with disadvantaged backgrounds to school from the age of 2.5 are to start this summer in around 20 areas, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.

A number of councils, including Rotterdam, have expressed an interest in taking part in the trials, education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt told the paper.
‘A child has more opportunities if a language disadvantage is eradicated in the important years before formal education starts,’ the minister said. ‘Every child deserves that, but a child who start off well is an advantage to teachers and fellow pupils.’
Although schools will be responsible for the teaching methods, the emphasis will be on play and the experiment will be carried out together with crèches and playgroups.
The government has set aside €1m to fund the project, which will run for three years.
Last year, a report from the education council suggested that all three-year-olds should be allowed to play and learn in an ´educational setting´.

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