Family-friendly city Children in Aachen – always a top priority
After each meal, Mrs Cow comes to visit. “Moo!”, says two-year-old Benjamin, squealing with pleasure as his childminder wipes the jam off his little hands with a cloth in the shape and colour of a black-and-white cow.
Family excellence (it’s official)
- Aachen is one of 8 pilot local authorities and a holder of the “Family-friendly Local Authority” certificate
- Qualities: equality for families, ease of balancing family and work life, equal education opportunities and bridging the generation gap
- Each year, Aachen City Council presents its “Family-friendly Award”
- Honoured: individuals/ bodies whose commitment and hard work have really boosted levels of family-friendliness
“One, two, three, here I come …”, says five-year-old Pia – in English – a few steps away and squints through her fingers while her friend Julius tries to hide behind the big cuddly sofa.
Children of all ages are a valued priority in Aachen. The City Council guarantees kindergarten places to all children aged three and above and is steadily adding daycare for the under-threes and subsidises childminders – including men – to help working parents with their busy lifestyles.
Children-friendly and family-friendly city
Nine-year-old Peter just can’t decide: should he go swimming on Monday afternoon or go to reading class? And what about Tuesdays? Help cut the shrubbery or learn the violin? Over 40 primary schools are now also offering afternoon programmes with sport, games, theatre and art.
Bilingual grammar schools offering international qualifications, a private international school, an international kindergarten and vocational training courses – lauded across Europe – held in conjunction with Chambers of Trade and Industry and practitioners all go to ensure excellent education and training.
It wasn’t for nothing that Aachen has received an award for being a children-friendly and family-friendly city. Great teen programmes, education and training opportunities and advice and guidance, over 200 playgrounds and playing fields, family Sundays at museums, new residential models for young and old, holiday games, outstanding work with teens and pre-teens in sports clubs and child-friendly residential housing estates with traffic-calming all go to show – Aachen’s got a heart for the family.
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