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When she was thirteen, Claire Delleman moved from England to the Netherlands. As a result, she knows what it is like to get used to a new culture and language. As a pedagogical coach and VE coach at Little People Childcare in Best, she is extra motivated to offer (international) children a second home.

'At Little People, we care for Dutch and international children,' says Claire. 'Their backgrounds are diverse: some were born here, others abroad, some parents are migrant workers, others knowledge workers. A nice mix.' Claire wants to make all those children feel safe. 'That is why we have organized the childcare in a homely manner and have permanent employees in each group. That makes building a bond easier.'

More confidence

Claire believes it is important for international children to start primary school with little or no language delay. 'This not only affects a child's academic performance, but also their self-confidence. That is why we are fully committed to language development. We read a lot, sing Dutch songs, practice words and work with targeted themes. And while other childcare locations offer VVE (pre-school and early childhood education) to children from the age of two, we do this in a playful manner with babies. For example, we read the same picture book every day for six weeks. Through repetition, young children discover which word goes with which picture. This way, you increase their vocabulary and sense of grammar. For children, it doesn't feel like learning, but like discovering.'

Mother tongue

Claire knows from experience how important it is to master the language of the country you live in quickly. 'At the same time, I know how relaxing it is to talk in your native language. I wish that for every child. That is why there is room for that at Little People.' Her background also means that Claire recognizes herself in the cultural shocks of international parents. 'For example, I often hear that they think it is interesting that you do not quickly receive antibiotics in the Netherlands. And that children go to school immediately after their fourth birthday. I understand very well that it takes some getting used to.'

Social safety net

The team at Little People Childcare is ready to help international parents. 'These families often live without relatives in the Netherlands; we are their safety net. We want to prevent them from getting stuck in their hair because they don't know how things work in the Netherlands. That is why we keep the lines short and help, for example, with applying for childcare allowance, choosing a primary school or finding a GP.' In this way, Claire continues her mother's mission. She started Little People after she moved to the Netherlands for love. Her goal? 'Providing a social safety net for young families, especially if they come from another country.'

Claire Delleman, pedagogical coach and VE coach at Little People Childcare:

'When I was thirteen, I moved from England to the Netherlands. So, I know what it's like to get used to a new culture and language. That is why it is extra important to offer both Dutch and international children a second home. That was also the reason my mother started Little People. By keeping the lines short, we help international parents get started. They often live in the Netherlands without family; we are their safety net. For example, we help you apply for childcare allowance. In addition, we are fully committed to language development so that children can start primary school with little or no delay. This not only affects their learning performance but also their self-confidence. We therefore encourage the use of the Dutch language but also allow their mother tongue. I know how relaxing it is to talk in your own language. I wish that for every child.'