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Back to school – navigating the new school year and beyond

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The new school year is exciting for children and their parents and the settling into the new school year can bring about challenges for the whole family. The team at Zein International Childcare share their top tips to ensure a smooth beginning to the school year for your family.

Create a time capsule listing what your child is looking forward to:
Include photos of their first day at school, a painting they have done, and other keepsakes that record your child’s hobbies, preferences, and development at that moment in time. Open it up at the end of the school year together to see how they have changed and what they have learned! View this activity guide, designed by Zein International Childcare to create your time capsule!

Establish a new routine for before and after school:
We all know that most children thrive on routine; predictability gives kids a sense of security and peace of mind. But we also know that new routines can be hard to adjust to, even for the most settled children. Finding the right tricks can help to keep everyone on track and the day running smoothly, especially if your family routine has been more relaxed throughout the pandemic.

You may, for example, need to adapt your morning routine until it works for everyone in the family. Find creative solutions to problems that arise and remember it is what works best for your family that matters.

Create a simple, well-defined routine for your child with clear steps to follow. Design a timetable (with pictures!) that engage your child and provides a visual guide for what they need to do next. Include things like homework, teeth brushing, getting dressed, putting pyjamas on, and other daily tasks you want your child to do independently.

Ensure you have time to connect with your child in the day:
Try to create an open space where they know they can share their feelings with you – this will be helpful going through the inevitable ups and downs of school life. For younger kids, use these quiz cards designed by Zein International Childcare as conversation starters about school life. Turning this kind of discussion into a game helps children to open up – and is a lovely screen-free activity that you can use to connect with your child.

Find an after school club:
After school care is a great option if you need regular childcare and want to ensure a stable routine for your child from the beginning of the academic year. After school care provides the opportunity for your child to explore activities, sports, cookery, music theatre – together with friends.

Plenty of space to play. Photo: Zein International Childcare

Consider factors such as programmes, daily structure, language(s) spoken, nutrition, quality of facilities, and parent-teacher communication to find the best option for your child.

Working in partnership with international and Dutch schools in The Hague and Amsterdam, Zein International Childcare’s After School Care recognises the uniqueness of each child and their need to relax, refresh and engage at the end of each formal school day.

Caring and experienced educators motivate and engage children in a fun range of creative activities, alongside a sporting and recreational programme that encourages them to exercise, relax, and explore the outdoors.

Book a holiday camp to look forward to:
Holiday Camps are a great solution for the many holidays throughout the school year – whether you need full-time care or want your child to have a holiday to remember!

During the holidays, Zein offers range of different Multi-Activity & Themed Day Camps featuring an array of exciting sports, crafts, games and activities – aimed at ensuring your child will have great fun, learn new skills, discover new talents…and make a few new friends along the way. Zein’s camp leaders are trained childcare professionals, with extensive pedagogical and safety training.

The Pines, one of Zein’s many locations. Photo: Zein International Childcare

Brush up on language skills:
For the families looking for childcare in two languages, Zein offers English only and bilingual (Dutch & English) day care and after school care at multiple locations across The Hague and Voorburg.

With at least two teachers, one speaking Dutch and the other English, and a schedule that balances both languages, the aim is to familiarise children with both languages. Zein launched bilingual care in response to requests from both long-stay expat families and internationally-minded local families who increasingly recognise the benefits of a bilingual upbringing.

Good to know:
As a registered childcare provider, Zein services are covered by the Dutch childcare allowance system. Considerable refunds are available to families where both parents (or a single parent) are working or studying – irrespective of nationality or length of stay.

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