First published in ACCESS Autumn 2016 e-zine
Robbie Zein, co-founder of Zein International Childcare, describes the founding of the company some 10 years ago with husband Jan van der Meijden, as “the result of our combined strengths— my background in, and passion for, children and early years’ education, together with his endless energy and entrepreneurial vision.”
The development of Zein Childcare represents their belief that there was a better way to support and develop the lives of internationally mobile children. Now, as the organisation goes from strength to strength, the couple talk about their latest addition ‘The Maples’, a new childcare location next to the European School in The Hague, that will open its doors in January 2017.
Jan explains, “We’ve been working with the Gemeente Den Haag for some time to establisha location on this side of the city. The new building, which offers almost double the amount of space per child than a standard Dutch childcare, will be styled and furnished to the highest standards, using the same homely approach as our other locations. There’s a professional kitchen for our chef to prepare warm, organic meals and we have also designed one of our signature natural playgrounds for the children to enjoy.”
Whilst Jan is busy with the practical side, Robbie remains focussed on the pedagogic and staff-planning aspects that will need to be in place when they open in January. Robbie’s own childhood expat experiences, together with the international background of the staff, plays an important role in the Zein pedagogic programme. The programme pays particular focus to each child’s social and emotional growth—a critical area for all children, but even more so for transient ‘Third Culture Kids’ and children growing up in an internationallyoriented environment.
As Robbie explains, “The quality of early years’ experiences can have a fundamental impact on all aspects of development - physical, emotional and intellectual. Our approach ensures that children feel positive about themselves, their abilities and the people around them, providing them with solid foundations for the future.”
Registration is now open for ‘The Maples’ Day Care - Zein’s latest location, by the edge of the Statenkwartier, next to the ESH. Visit www.zeinchildcare.nl for more information and to apply. «