New teachers, new classmates, new friends – when parents move, a different school or kindergarten is on the timetable for their children.
People moving with their kids and all their worldly goods into the Ruhr can be happy with their choice of a new home, since there is plenty happening in child care in North Rhine-Westphalia.
With the start of kindergarten year 2011/12, a space in a pre-school – whatever the sponsoring institution – is free of charge during the last year before entering school. And child-care spaces for under three-year-olds are being continually expanded as part of the “U3 support program.”
Its ambitious goal is to create 44,000 new spaces for one- and two-year-olds by August 2013.
To assure qualified care by skilled staff, North Rhine-Westphalia has launched a special program for professional internships in child-care facilities.
And there is more: a large portion of the day-care facilities for children have expanded into so-called family centers since 2007.
They are meeting places in the neighborhood where parents receive help on questions and problems with raising and nurturing their children.
A great deal has been done in the schools as well. The state government has agreed to introduce a new form of school, the comprehensive school.
This new type of school is for pupils from ages 10/11 to ages 15/16.
The school does not have an upper level and is designed to especially favor a common learning experience for all children in the lower age groups.
It ends with a certificate of secondary education, a mid-level certification or - in cooperation with a high school or vocational college - a diploma. Offerings of all-day-schools are being further expanded based on need.
In addition to the current types of school, foreign and German parents have the opportunity to send their children to one of the international schools in the Ruhr.
Thus, Heiligenhaus International School, St. George’s The English International School Duisburg and the new Ruhr International School in Essen prepare students for internationally recognized diplomas such as the International Baccalaureate.