“I didn’t really know what to expect,” she explains. Although the routine is similar to here, Greek day care is mainly public and isn’t available for the whole day. But the main difference lies in the cultural mentality: there’s much more support from grandparents and other older relatives in Greece and the child is generally given a high priority.”
“The flip side is that children In the Netherlands have more space and are independent,” Katerina observes. While she’s positive about the relaxed Dutch approach, Katerina doesn’t agree with all aspects of how children are raised in the Netherlands. “I didn’t apply the principle of leaving your child to cry (uithuilen),” she explains. “I think a 6-9-month-old baby needs to feel safe and know someone is there if needed. I appreciated being able to discuss different approaches with the True Colors team and was happy they listened to what I wanted.”
Katerina found it hard leaving her daughter to return to work after 3 months. “In Greece, new mothers usually get around 6 months maternity leave, but this depends on your profession and therefore your insurance scheme,” she says. “Generally, the first few months are on full pay and the rest are paid based on the statutory minimum salary. You can also take up to 6 more months unpaid leave.”
Katerina values the fact that True Colors staff are also international. “They appreciate cultural differences and, where possible, try to accommodate them. We’re a team with the teachers, and my daughter gets one approach. It’s working, because I can see she’s happy and relaxed.”
Do you have an interesting comparison with the approach to child care in your home country? You can contact True Colors at firstname.lastname@example.org
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