Preschool Playgroups – Peuterspeelzaal
April 21, 2010 | EDUCATION INFO | By Lynn Morrison
If your child is between 2 and 4 years of age and you are looking for a part-time preschool program, toddler playgroups (peuterspeelzaal) may be your best option. Toddler playgroups typically run from 3 to 5 hours per day, 2 to 3 days per week and are designed to help prepare your child for primary school. There are both public and private toddler playgroups options available in the Netherlands with varying costs. The toddler groups are run by childcare professionals and offer children the chance to interact with one another in a supervised environment through organized play and activities.
The Dutch government funds toddler playgroups as part of their before and early schooling program (voor en vroegschoolse educatie programma). This program has developed different tracks to help children build missing skillsets before they get into primary school so that they can more easily integrate into the system. The one that is often most interesting for international families is the language track. Children ages 2 to 6 who have little or no understanding of Dutch can learn it through classes and fun activities.
It is important to note that you cannot sign up for the voor and vroegschoolse programs on your own. The consultatiebureau will conduct an assessment of your child at ages 2 and 2.5 and will determine whether they apply for additional assistance. If you believe that your child should qualify, you should discuss this directly with the consultatiebureau staff. If you qualify, you will receive either additional or special peuterspeelzaal lessons at a very low cost (as little as 20 euros per month).