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AMA - I live in Denmark and my 2 kids have been back in their education setting for 5 weeks

(27 Posts)
NyDanske Fri 22-May-20 18:48:44

Over the past few days I have seen a lot of comments about what Denmark has been doing with their childcare/school, which for day care and primary school ages has been opened for around 5 weeks. I have 2 kids (5 & 2) who have been in kindergarten/nursery in this time. I saw a similar one for Dutch school so I thought it might be helpful to do one about Denmark, considering the interest Denmark seems to have caused in Danish media (some true, some exaggerated)

As a caveat I should say I am not Danish.

Invisimamma Fri 22-May-20 18:56:39

Are they back full time? 9am-3pm 5 days per week.

Is wraparound care open? E.g breakfast club and after school care.

EnglishRose1320 Fri 22-May-20 18:59:57

How many children are in each class?

Have your children noticed any differences?

Did you as parents have a choice in them going back or was it expected?


GunungBatur Fri 22-May-20 19:01:00

How many are in their 'bubble'?

SewingWarriorQueen76 Fri 22-May-20 19:02:29

Assuming there is track and trace?
How have they dealt with any Covid cases?
I think it's been better traced in Denmark so that's why the schools can open?

How are they managing the mental health aspect for the children?

MouthBreathingRage Fri 22-May-20 19:02:41

Are these threads actually helpful? We're not in Denmark, our situation is not comparable, and to do so just ignites more froth about what we should or should not be doing in this country.

NyDanske Fri 22-May-20 19:14:04

@Invisimamma: My kids are in nursery/kindergarten. In our area they are only open part-time (8-14:30 vs 6:30-16:45 normally). To my knowledge wrap around care is not open in schools. So not full-time.

@EnglishRose1320: My kids started out in groups of 5 kids per group, and slowly this as been increasing. From next week my oldest kid (5 yo, in kindergarten) will be in a group of 15 kids, while my yougnest will be in a group of 10.

The main difference my oldest kid has noticed is that they have been smaller groups so they have had much higher levels of attention, which he's loved. Also they are outside all the time (only go inside to sleep and for the toilet), which hasnøt affected them much but then even in normal times they are outside a lot. There is also more handwashing.

For kindergartens/nursery there was no expectation (it is not required). However, school age kids were expected to go.

GunungBatur Fri 22-May-20 19:16:04

mouthbreathingrage it's always interesting to find out how others live, what their culture is like. So what if we can't implement what they're doing. People are fascinated by other people.

NyDanske Fri 22-May-20 19:21:52

@GunungBatur: THey started out in bubbles of 5 and now they are up to bubbles of 10/15. With each bubble there has been 2-4 adults assigned.

@SewingWarriorQueen76: To my knowledge there is no big track and trace programme. In fact a few weeks ago it was stated that it is the responsibility of the affected person to inform the others! Not sure what has happened after that.

There have been no Covid cases in their kindergarten. The one case I have heard of in the news where a child was affected, the child and all the kids in his bubble and the adults were sent home.

I'm not sure if it has been better traced, but probably better contained, especially as lockdown occurred earlier.

I haven't heard of any management of mental health aspects for the kids. From what I have heard the kids who are back are all happier due to the smaller groups/less focus on academics/more outdoor time/more adults around. THe main focus I have heard on mental health management is with respect to kids who are still at home (secondary ages) e.g. trying to contact them, making small groups to go for walks etc. Secondary schools are now starting soon.

@MouthBreathingRage: I'm sorry you think it is useful. If no one finds it useful I guess no one will ask questions. However I can assure you that there is plenty that happens here (both pre covid and psot covid) that would cause plenty of British parents to froth. I'm happy to elaborate if anyone is interested :D.

EnglishRose1320 Fri 22-May-20 19:40:00

Thanks for answering my questions.
Another one if you don't mind. Did the schools already have enough staff for the smaller groups? Or have they had to employ temp staff as well?

Flipflopflapflip Fri 22-May-20 19:44:52

Nydanske please believe it is really interesting and useful, thank you for sharing your experience. I find it fascinating.

I wondered whether the staff/children are wearing masks.

NyDanske Fri 22-May-20 19:58:21

@EnglishRose1320: No, there was not enough staff (at least in kindergarten/nursery - don't know about schools), so our kindergarten/nursery called in all their temps and a few new ones. The government should have made funding available for the extra resources needed.

One thing I didn't say earlier is that one reason for the restricted hours is for the kids to be with the same adults throughout (maintain bubble). However, they are also open longer hours for 'key worker kids' as they have done even through lockdown. However, the kids in this 'emergency care' as they call it here will likely change the adult taking care of them.

@Flipflopflapflip: I have seen no masks either for children, staff or parents. I don't think I have seen a single person using a mask in my town when I've been out, though I should say that I am in a provincial town and not in a bigger city.

Bladeofgrass Fri 22-May-20 19:59:25

Has there been a rise in cases in the country since the children returned to school?

Apple1971 Fri 22-May-20 20:04:51

You mentioned that children are outside all day. Is that all of them? Is there space to do this in schools in Denmark?

Are all year groups back or just several at the moment?

CastleCrasher Fri 22-May-20 20:10:21

Thank you for the thread. I've two questions - are the key worker/emergency care children in a separate bubble from other children, and if so, are they in their own year groups?

And when they've increased the size of the bubbles, did they do this by merging two bubbles at a time?

NyDanske Fri 22-May-20 20:22:52

@Bladeofgrass: No there has not been. If you go to the third graph here the red is the cumulative number of cases (pink is people who have recovered and blue number of tests). There is no big increase after mid-April. The Danes seem to be mostly interested in the number of people admitted to hospital, which is the first graph (red-in hospital; black - in intensive care; pink - ventilated).

@Apple1971: The recommendation is that the kids are outside as much as possible in general. In my children's day care there was not enough space for all the children, so what they did is that one group meets in the forest which is walking distance from the kindergarten. This is the group my oldest is in now. They have built a small 'village' there now in these 5 weeks! The risk assessments and consideration for safeguarding here though is nowhere near what I hear from UK, so from what I understand they just went off and did their thing in the forest (and got permission retrospectively!)

Only classes 0-5 of school (approximately primary) were allowed in mid-April. Not all schools opened on day 1, but they opened when the school was ready to live up to the requirements. Most opened within the week but announcement timing was quite bad as opening of the schools was announced on Tuesday evening of Easter week for opening Wednesday after Easter, when Thursday, Friday and Monday are public holidays in Denmark! The head of our kindergarten/nursery ended up calling all parents on Easter Sunday to ask if we were planning to send our children back or not.

This week 6-10 classes (approximately secondary) could start.

NyDanske Fri 22-May-20 20:26:02

@CastleCrasher: No the emergency care kids are in the same bubbles as the other kids, but join together for emergency care before and after the 'regular hours'. So they are effectively in more than one bubble.

As for merging of bubbles: In our day care they have done it by moving as few chuldren ans staff as possible, while trying to maintain the 'play relationships' between the children they wanted to strengthen, but not merging. In kindergarten they have gone from 5 to 4 to 3 bubbles, so merging was not a possibility. In the nursery level they have gone from 3 groups to 2 (starting next week).

SewingWarriorQueen76 Fri 22-May-20 21:04:08

Thank you. There is some comfort in the information you have provided. Luckily DDs school has lots of green space and is next to the Park. It could work.

NyDanske Fri 22-May-20 21:14:03

@SewingWarriorQueen76: Glad that this thread could offer some comfort. There was a lot of controversy around the time the schools were opened from parents not wanting to send thier children to school but this has now quietened down. I hope you can have the same positive experience of opening and, of course, the most important, no big increase in cases/deaths.

Bladeofgrass Fri 22-May-20 21:33:46

Thank you for this thread

CastleCrasher Fri 22-May-20 21:34:40

Thank you @NyDanske that's really helpful

NyDanske Sat 23-May-20 19:04:19

No problem! Glad to be of help

lljkk Sat 23-May-20 19:29:21

Are universities & secondary schools back too?

NyDanske Sat 23-May-20 19:34:41

@lljkk: secondary schools started this week (called 6-10 classes - here the schools are mostly all through schools combining primary and secondary together).

Universities are still not back, except for teaching and exams where it is essential that there is physical meetings (I'm thinking this is practical classes that cannot be done otherwise). Universities should be back in August as the plan stands at the moment.

lljkk Sat 23-May-20 19:41:05

So actual practicals are happening? That's good. Some labs are open for a bit of research in UK (esp. covid related), or accessed to keep the mice & flies alive, but certainly nothing like lab practical lessons in universities are happening. I understand all the exams here are being done virtually, too (I don't know how, either).

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