Preschool education in the country is free. About 90% of children from 2.5 to 6 years old go to Belgium kindergartens. The state allocates for education one of the most impressive budgets in Europe – about 6.5% of the country’s GDP.
Preschool education system
Paying attention to the education of preschool children in Belgium, we can see a system that consists of two types of institutions:
- nursery, where babies are sent from birth to 2.5 years of age;
- schools for toddlers – institutions for children from 2.5 to 6 years old.
For the most part, preschool education is free. Only entertainment events that take place outside are paid for. These include:
- visiting sports complexes (swimming pools, gyms);
- visiting cultural centers (museums, theaters);
- other cultural events.
The cost of entertainment is strictly controlled by the state and regulated by the kindergarten charter. The cost part does not exceed 20-30 Euros per child. Of course, there are also paid kindergartens in Belgium, the price for services which can vary from 4000 to 9000 Euros per year.
Kindergartens in Belgium: features of education
No more than 15 children are in one group, but no more than ten go regularly. There is one permanent teacher, one visiting teacher, and a physical education teacher working with children. Twice a month, classes with a psychologist in the form of games and tests are required. This is necessary in order to understand the situation in time if the child’s behavior changes.
The class in the toddler school is divided into learning and play areas, where groups of 3 to 5 people are engaged. Children spend all breaks between classes in the air.
All kindergartens in Belgium use a single developmental program in the game. It includes physical education, music education, mother tongue, environmental studies, and the beginning of mathematical knowledge. Each kid is given a special folder, where a weekly plan of activities, texts of poems, and songs are put.
Once every trimester, the teacher meets with the parents and discusses the dynamics of the child’s development. The teacher tells how and what the child did, and listens to the suggestions and wishes of the parents.
Children walk a lot and in any weather. Often this is a common courtyard surrounded by a metal fence. Here the kids are left to themselves, no one entertains them. There are schools with good play equipment and special playgrounds. And there are those where children just run back and forth, pushing each other.
Children of all classes of toddler and primary schools can run and play at the same time on the playground, sometimes 120 fidgets under the supervision of one teacher on duty.
It is no coincidence that children are brought together. Firstly, they communicate with each other, and secondly, the elders, with the right approach, develop a respectful, caring attitude towards the younger ones.
This principle works great. When the bell rings, all the children line up, but first, the kids enter the school, and then all by seniority. This is also an unspoken rule that is followed between children there.
The most popular fee-paying kindergarten in Belgium
Below you will find a list of the most popular international and bilingual educational institutions that focus on parenting from an early age. There are English-speaking childcare facilities that welcome children of all nationalities between the ages of one and three years. They offer a caring, happy and stimulating pre-school setting, which is recognized for its high-quality indoor and outdoor learning environment.
In order to make this information as useful as possible to you, we have included contacts and prices:
Address: 59 Avenue Emeraude
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32 2 736 8981
Annual Tuition Rates: €5,900 – 17,000 per year
It offers the English National Curriculum to English-speaking children aged 2 to 11. It has separate infant and junior departments. The school provides education based on the English National curriculum for children of more than 30 different nationalities.
Address: 23 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt
1050 Brussels Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 648 43 11
Annual Tuition Rates: between 15.900 – 24.300 euro per year
It is situated in beautiful buildings in the heart of one of Brussels’ most desirable areas. Children learning English and children with learning needs receive additional support. French is taught as a second language from the Early Years and the development of the children’s Mother Tongue is encouraged. They benefit from PE and swimming, Music, and ICT lessons all of which are taught by experienced specialist teachers.
Address: Boulevard Saint-Michel 83
1040 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32 (0)2 732 53 76
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school
An English-speaking international private school, this institution is within reach of the European Institutions, NATO, embassies and business districts. Pupils are between 2.5 and 11. The course of study is based on the English National Curriculum. French is an integral part of the curriculum and is taught according to ability. Children who do not have English as their first language are offered a structured program to develop their skills. The pupils wear school uniform.