Toddlers attending the only English pre-school in Almere may very soon have nowhere to go, as Partou has informed of its sudden closure on July 15th. The parents have gathered, and are looking into all possibilities to continue running this facility. For the parents, the school is a huge success.
Parents, teachers, expats for whom this pre-school is needed in an international municipality.
This pre-school is the only English option for toddlers aged 2 to 4 years. Expat children often go through many changes and challenges; this school helps giving them stability and helps the parents to better enjoy their years in the Netherlands, since the school is also the heart of a community. It is well known in IPSA (International Primary School Almere), that kids coming from this pre-school integrate in primary school happily and smoothly.
All parents of current and former pupils agree the pre-school has brought out the best in the children and provided an excellent grounding for all who have passed through its doors. We ask you to please sign this petition, and ask the Almere Gemeente - to join efforts with the parents in finding a solution to keep the school open. The parents are willing to engage in discussing possibilities and finding solutions.
The parents of the children attending the pre-school in the premises of the IPSA (International Primary School Almere) can all attest how extraordinary the teachers have been in terms of educating, caring and nurturing our children, but we also understand the financial reasons behind this business decision (less pupils in the waiting list + a high rent), which is why we proposed the current provider, Partou, to consider these alternatives before closing the pre-school:
The 2nd teacher would be reintroduced once the desired number of students was reached. In September we have 8 children; some want to stay for an extended period of time;
Parent participation: one parent would be present at the location every day in order to assist the teacher whenever needed;
A (more aggressive) marketing campaign: almost nobody knows the pre-school exists. At the Almere Gemeente website, as an example, there is no mention of this pre-school at all. We recommended an open day every quarter, marketed across expat groups and forums, informing everyone about the school and its benefits, in order to boost applications. The first open day could be held in July before the expected end of school. The parents were willing to help advertising not only the pre-school but also the open day;
If feasible, opening a BSO at the location in the afternoons to boost profits and somehow compensate for the pre-school lowest months;
Partou believes these suggestions are good, but the rent is still too high. The parents have tried to get a reaction from the Gemeente, but haven't managed to get one yet. We do not ask for subsidies, but the Gemeente has a say in this matter. We are sure that "where there is a will, there is a way".
There are no bilingual pre-schools or centers where English can be taught to children of these ages, so we will keep on looking into all possibilities to keep this facility open.