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Old 25.02.2008, 17:30
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Nathu Nathu is offline
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Re: Advice is needed: how to get a child to year 2 of Swiss Kindergarten?

Hello lana, I think it is important that you understand that there is no stigma whatsoever associated with joining elementary school at 7.3 years old, this is a normal age and if you wish that your daughter starts at 6.3 you'll have to prove she can handle this. You will have to wait for a couple of months to start the procedure which, like many things here, is formalised. (On the other hand it is uncommon or impossible to start with the second year of Kindergarten).

Your daughter's future isn't at the mercy of a kindergarten teacher alone, but her opinion will be factored in. The law that regulates this is cantonal and is called Volksschulverordnung,§ 40 and 51 according to an abstract I found online. You'll have to ask for it in writing, the kindergarten teacher and a school psychologist then will be asked for their opinions and based on this, the responsible authority (Schulpflege) will decide.

So you'll have to give your daughter some time to get used to a Kindergarten and her future teacher to form an opinion. What you can do now is to educate yourself as much as possible about the school system. The official information meeting for parents with children who are about to go to kindergarten has already passed in Schulkreis Zürichberg on 7 February, but if you have missed it I could point you to the same meeting in neighboring school districts of the city where it happens later.

Once your daughter is in kindergarten, there will be a parent-teacher conference (Elternabend), probably in autumn. Maybe there will be an official open doors day, too.

You have mentioned that one of the reasons you'd like your daughter to attend the afternoons is that she can improve her German faster. The city offers additional German lessons for kindergarten kids with foreign mother tongues. However they probably aren't offered everywhere and require that you inform the authorities in advance of her mother tongue. Also, even if your daughter can't attend the afternoon classes, she possibly could spend some afternoons together with her new colleagues from kindergarten?

I think it will not be easier to get a permission for your daughter to join elementary school sooner if you leave her in the private kindergarten for another year, compared with the alternative. Even if it were, this would be outweighted by the benefit of learning (Swiss and High) German sooner at a public kindergarten. At least in this concern I completely agree with your gut feeling.

Last edited by Nathu; 25.02.2008 at 19:01.
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