So it’s been a busy couple of weeks in the Tribble household.
Our little girl has started preschool (Förskola)!
In Sweden it is common for children to start preschool at 1 while compulsory preschool starts at 6 years and school starts at 7 years.
So why do so many children start at 1?
- It is very affordable and means tested on income (maximum of ~£200 a month) so it is worth going back to work as you will still earn a considerable amount
- Sweden is pretty good when it comes to gender equality with men and women being able to share parental allowance. The parents get 360 days, 90 of which are reserved specifically for the father.
- A lot of people I have met take 6 months and then swap so that the father takes 6 months before Förskola, I think it’s so nice seeing fathers looking after their babies, you see them with prams everywhere!
- It gives women the chance to carry on building their career.
- The level of care is great, the child to teacher radio is usually around 4:1 which is good.
Why we chose to start at 1:
- We want Eleanora to gain confidence and mix with more children and adults
- We think it will be really good for her to be learning Swedish at such a young age because she will be absorbing all of the words like a sponge!
- They take the children to the park every morning, and on Fridays they take them on a school trip! She absolutely loves playing in the sand so I’m happy knowing she will have so much fun.
- They cook really good nutritional lunches
What is inskolning?
Inskolning means ‘induction’. You don’t just take your children and hand them over here, parents go to school for the first 2 weeks with them.
It is variable but it goes something like this,
Day 1: 9.15 until 10.15 just a couple of new children, their parents and the teacher.
Day 2: 9.15 until 10.45 just a couple of new children, their parents and the teacher. Having a snack, painting and then free play.
Day 3: 9.15 until 11.00 just a couple of new children, their parents and the teacher having a snack and playing but joined by the older children for quarter of an hour at the end.
Day 4: 9.00 until 11.00 in the park.
Day 5: 9.00 until 11.00 free play with all the children, parents leave the room for half an hour or so.
Parents gradually leave for longer and longer…
Day 7: 9.00 until 11.45. Stay for lunch, parents are sat in another room for the morning.
Day 8: 9.00 until 2.00 go to the park, stay for lunch and nap. This time parents go out but are in the vicinity incase they get a phone call.
Day 9: 9.00 until 2.00 – this is today! She’s been to the park and I’m going to pick her up soon.
Yesterday when I left her she cried a little but the teacher rang me after they got back from the park to say she was happy and enjoyed herself. When I picked her up I couldn’t believe it, the teacher said she just woke from her nap!!! I was astonished – I had told them there was no chance she would nap there as it takes me so long to get her to sleep. But apparently she did! And she ate most of her lunch, amazing 😊 the teacher showed me photos of her on the swing and playing in the sand with her friend.
I was so nervous about her starting school at such a young age so I’m over the moon. A couple of people have also commented how much more daring and confident she seems already ❤️