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Moving to Brussels August 2013 - nurseries!

(20 Posts)
belgiumbun Sat 18-May-13 16:31:20


We are moving to Brussels this Summer. I have a job in Vossem starting in September and my husband will be working in the centre from July. He is French so we are therefore looking for a French commune. We have 2.5 yr old. I need a crèche for my son and from reading several threads it seems as though I need to get my skates on. We are going for 1 week end of May to find the area we want to live in. I'd also like to arrange some maternelle visits. We are thinking that Woluwe St Pierre looks like it might suit our needs but this is based on a brief drive through on my interview day this week and reading mumsnet threads! We are ideally looking for somewhere near a park with local shops and restaurants that you can walk to. Basically what we have here in London!

What I'm asking for in this thread is ideas of other areas that could be interesting for us as well as names of local schools with maternelles so that I can arrange (hopefully) visits.

Thank you in advance. I'm totally new to mumsnet (this is my first post) but hopeful that a few regulars from the Brussels posts will help me out!

belgiumbun Sat 18-May-13 16:32:30

Creche turned into a scrambled word. Can you edit your posts?

lozzyblue Sat 18-May-13 20:06:41

I'm not one of the experts - hopefully they will be along soon, but don't rule out wezembeek - oppem and kraainem. Flemish communes but with French speaking facilities. our kids go to a French school here in Wezembeek.

Also if your child is 2.5 you don't need a creche as school here starts at 2.5

lozzyblue Sat 18-May-13 20:08:39

Stockel has everything you're looking for but I believe stockel covers not only WSP but wezembeek & kraainem also.

Portofino Sun 19-May-13 08:39:37

Yes- you will need to look for a school - not a crèche! And quickly too. I agree that Stockel is a very good area to live. I would be ringing ecole communale de Stockel and Ecole Sacre Coeur de Stockel on Tuesday to see if they they have spaces for September. La Fermette in Wezembeek Oppem and Diabolo in Kraainem also worth a try. Don't sign any rental agreements before you have a school place.

Marchmad is away for the weekend, but will surely be here on Monday evening with her expertise.

Portofino Sun 19-May-13 08:43:59

All he communes in Brussels are officially bilingual. Kraainem and Wezembeek Oppem are official Dutch but the reality is a bit different, and both offer a French speaking school.

Portofino Sun 19-May-13 09:06:42

If you are looking for some childcare in August, maybe have a look at the stages run at La Fermette. I have used Toboggan for years - the groups are small and dd has always enjoyed it.

Portofino Sun 19-May-13 09:08:27

Ha sorry for repeating what you already said, Lozzy. <<waves>> I need more coffee.

belgiumbun Sun 19-May-13 13:16:00

Hello and thank you for your replies. I've had a look on the map at Stockel and the other areas. Thanks also for the nursery info. Toboggan looks really useful. I think we've decided that being really close to a park is our main priority, alongside easy access to vossem by car for me. My husband will ride his scooter to work so is flexible. I'm a teacher so I've got August to sort out as much as possible before term starts but I understand that you have to catch the schools before they finish for the holidays.

What is the part of wsp that is by the large pond with pedalo boats and swans?

Also, are there any maternelles that you would steer clear of? Perhaps better to answer that one by PM!


Portofino Sun 19-May-13 13:50:57

I think it is chant d'oiseaux one side of the park, and Joli Bois, the other. I don't know much about the schools in that area, but you also bordering on Auderghem there. I don't know how much you know about Belgian education but maternelle is definitely school as opposed to nursery. One teacher etc. They don't start formal reading and writing til primary but the days will be very structured compared to a UK nursery school.

Portofino Sun 19-May-13 16:50:43

You really do need to get ringing some schools this week though. Hopefully marchmad will turn up with some extra advice. There was a news report this week that in the Dutch system, there are NO kindergarten places left in Brussels. The Brussels Childbirth Trust is normally worth joining.

belgiumbun Sun 19-May-13 18:38:15

Uh-uh. We will get onto it all ASAP. Are all schools closed tomorrow?

Portofino Sun 19-May-13 21:03:06

It's a BH here tomorrow. Everything will be shut unless you need flowers or chocolate. Something to get used to...wink

marchmad Mon 20-May-13 19:29:56

Jut wrote a huge list of schools and it all got lost. Sorry not writing it again. A few points.

2011 is acceuil class, 2010 is 1ere maternelle and the latter would be easier to get a place at.

There are no maternelles you should steer clear of in WSP/Kraainem/Wezembeek and perhaps only 1 in WSL at this time of year. Enrolments started at many maternelles 8 months ago, so getting any places at all should now be our priority.

Many maternelles will have full lists for next year, if you're particularly after a school, get your name of the waiting list, schools with high international populations also have a high percentage of children who leave whose parents fail to inform the schools! So get your name on waiting lists and chase up school places once a week.

It's hard to avoid parks and playgrounds in WSP - 22 playgrounds, several large parks. WSL also has lots of parks and playgrounds. Kraainem has several playgrounds, in fact Wezembeek has only 1 playground in the north of the commune, but some areas are near WSP and Kraainem playgrounds.

I assume you'll be teaching at St Paul's BPS? Are you aware that your route to school will be severely disrupted between now and August 2014, to the point of the road being completely blocked? Seriously consider going to school by De Lijn bus, the buses get privileges. The 317 and 315 go from Kraainem metro, pass through Stockel and go to Vossem, roughly every 30 minutes, the 315 is less frequent but stops virtually outside St Paul's BPS just in time for the start of school. It might be a quicker option than trying to drive there from Brussels or Kraainem or Wezembeek.

Your husband might find it easier to take public transport to work if he is heading into the centre of Brussels.

I'd take a look at the public transport map for connections to both your husband's and your work.

In an earlier thread, the "fancy fairs" of several schools are listed, many of them are next Saturday 25th of Saturday after 1st June. You can ust turn up and nose around the schools then.

marchmad Mon 20-May-13 19:33:22

sorry correction, road disruption / closed between now and August 2015.

belgiumbun Mon 20-May-13 22:57:57

Marchmad, thank you so much. I'm still digesting your message and researching areas, schools, transport etc. no I didn't know about the roadworks. Well I knew roadworks were starting but not that they'd last so long. This will certainly have a huge impact on our plans. Thanks for letting me know. And arghhhhh!

More to come tomorrow. Thanks again!

marchmad Tue 21-May-13 09:13:02

The easiest way into Vossem from Ave de Tervuren and Brussels will be via Duisburg, from the north of Wezembeek and Kraainem, you should be able to go via Moorsel. The big disrupruption at the moment is in the 1km stretch of the N3 which goes pas BSB. It changes by the day though, it's highly unpredictible. As I don't have a car, the disruption for me is minimal as I take the bus / tram / bike and I can walk or cycle through the road closures. The De Lijn buses are being allowed along the closed part of the N3 but no other motorised vehicles.

belgiumbun Tue 21-May-13 11:34:03

Ah right. I will look for the bus timetable then and see if it could work for me. Are the buses reliable? Are they pushchair friendly or do they get jam packed? I hadn't considered cycling. Are there cycle paths? The taxi drive I took seemed pretty hairy! Thanks again for the info!

belgiumbun Tue 21-May-13 11:48:21

Just realised you'd sent me the bus links already. Thank you. Looks really interesting...

marchmad Tue 21-May-13 16:54:12

The De Lijn buses 315 and 317 are pretty reliable, held up now by the roadworks, but you can see their position using the online bus locator website. Part of the Tervuren roadworks is to create a cycle path through Tervuren from the Tom Franzen fountain to Vossem, as there isn't one at the moment. It's quite an easy ride from the Stockel or Joli-Bois areas of WSP to Vossem, about 8km. Yes all the buses are pushchair accessible but I assume it would be you getting the bus to Vossem and not your son.

I'd be looking to live within less than 1km walk from a maternelle and then a continuation by bus. Or you could do it by car, adding on the parking time and roadworks time.

Did you manage to get through to any schools today? Tomorrow wednesday is half day school.

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