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Mum & toddler groups

Question

Hello all (again). My wife is quickly going stir crazy at home with our brood of 1, 3 and 4 yr old. Are there any toddler groups in the La Hulpe area she could contact. She is still plucking up the courage to drive the car but I’m sure this would serve as a big incentive if it meant she could get to a group and avoid cabin fever. It’s only week 2 for her here in Belgium (week 4 for me) so early days. Any advice would be warmly received. Many thanks, Ian. PS - not looking specifically for “expat” groups, just mums of any nationality!

Answer
abc123 Nov 14, 2017 18:45

Has she found out about the BCT ?

http://bctbelgium.org/social-life/local-groups/

They run events for mum's and children, but are also a great source of info for newly arrived mum's.

If your wife can access French, there might be other things, but as a lot of Belgian children are at school by the age of 3, the events in the day time for that age group are limited.

Are the children going to go to school/nursery? And if so which language - some of the international schools have active parents associations, but if a local school, the parents there will be aware of what facilities there are locally.

Answer
becasse Nov 14, 2017 21:28

Although there is no compulsion (yet, there probably will be from 2019) for children of 3 and 4 to attend school, most Belgian children of that age do attend maternelle four and a half days a week. You should certainly consider registering yours as it will materially aid both their linguistic and social skill abilities, as well as preparing them for the time when they have no choice but to go to school. It will also ensure that they gain local friends of the same age.

Answer
Paul McNally Nov 14, 2017 23:05

As mentioned above, most 3 and 4-year-olds in Belgium are in school.

For a free, multi-lingual, multi-cultural drop-in playgroup for children up to 4 (and for parents to mix...), I'd recommend Baboes (www.baboes.be). Search the Bulletin site for Baboes and you'll find a write-up.

Answer
I Nov 14, 2017 23:10

Baboes is very far, completely impractical. There are in any case far note options in Brussels than babies but it s quite political to advertise only Flemish things here.

Stick with bct and consider maternelle.

Do you have to live in LA hulpe?

Answer
becasse Nov 15, 2017 00:10

School will be compulsory anyway for your 4 year when it turns 5, as you are a family where the home language is something other than French. The rule is intended to ensure fluency in French before Primaire is started at 6.

Maternelles should restart after the Christmas/New Year holiday on January 8, so now is the time to get the two elder kids registered, the commune will give you details of available schools. I would normally advise choosing the closest unless there are good reasons not to.

Answer
CC_R Nov 15, 2017 10:04

Ignore the people about school yes manny tots dongo but certainly not all. I would agree with first post above tell her to join the BCT they have lots of local groups and she will find friends this way who live locally or if she goes to their bigger groups from other communes. They are not only brits but mainly English speaking

Answer
J Nov 15, 2017 10:52

You'd be mad to turn down the free Maternelle facilities that are available to every child over 3. So beware - that's the sort of people you might well meet - nutters who don't trust the mainstream.

Answer
I Nov 15, 2017 12:26

Schooling is compulsory and not school. It is compulsory from 6 years in Belgium.

Answer
I Nov 15, 2017 12:28

And the commune does not arrange school places. You go to schools.

Answer
I Nov 15, 2017 13:04

There is no rule about having to go to school age 4 or 5 to get in to primaire aged 6.

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