A quarter of children at Flemish nursery schools don’t speak Dutch at home

A growing number of the toddlers that attend Flemish nursery schools speak another language than Dutch when they are at home with their families. According to figures from Statistics Flanders last year almost a quarter of the children between the ages of 2 and 6 that are in Flemish nursery education speak a different language than Dutch in the home. Among primary school children this was almost 1 in 5.   

The percentage of children in Flemish nursery and primary education with a different home language than Dutch has increased significantly over the past ten years. A decade ago 16% of the children that attended Flemish nursery school and 12% of the children in primary schools spoke a langue other than Dutch in the home.  

The Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) says that he intends to redouble efforts to ensure that all children in our schools have a sound knowledge of Dutch. He added that he intends to do this be screening all children that attend nursery schools on their Dutch language skills.    

The Education Minister also calls on parents to speak Dutch with their children outside of school during the evenings and the weekends.

"The results of the PISA study show that the gap between children with Flemish and those with foreign roots narrows by half once a family with foreign roots starts to speak Dutch at home”, Mr Weyts added.   

Top stories