FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Admissions

• What is the minimum number of days my child must attend preschool?

Your child must attend a minimum of four mornings (Küsnacht: 07:30-13:15, Kilchberg: 07:45-13:15).

OR

Two extended days (Küsnacht: 07:30-15:15, Kilchberg: 07:45-15:15) plus one morning.

• When can my child start Kindergarten at Double Decker Kilchberg?

Children who turn four years of age by a predefined cut-off date enter Kindergarten at the beginning of the next school year. Since 2014, this cut-off date has been extending one half-month at a time until the date reaches 31 July by the year 2020. Due to these on-going changes, we advise you to consult the school authorities in your place of residence for confirmation of the specific cut-off date.

Please note that Double Decker’s cut-off date is already 31 July, which does not always comply with current local school regulations.

• Can I change my child’s attendance at any time?

If you wish to implement a change in your child’s attendance, this must be agreed in advance with the school. Any changes are dependent upon minimum attendance requirements and available spaces.

• Is there a trial period?

The first month of attendance is treated as a trial month, during which time your child becomes familiar with the daily school routine. A decision regarding continuation of attendance is reviewed at the end of the trial period. If it is agreed that your child continue with Double Decker, then the contractual terms of withdrawal go into effect. However, if either the school or yourself requests your child’s withdrawal and all financial agreements have been satisfactorily met, the contract is subsequently considered null and void.

• What are the procedures for withdrawing my child from Double Decker?

Should you need to withdraw your child from Double Decker at any point after the trial period, this can be done at three specific times per year, as outlined on the application form, and must be done in writing.

• Can I choose which days my child will attend?

We do our best to fulfill your wishes regarding choice of days. The final selection is based upon minimum attendance requirements and available spaces.

• What is the minimum number of days my child must attend Double Decker Kilchberg Kindergarten?

  • Kindergarten A: five mornings (07:45-13:15) and two afternoons (7:45-15:15).
  • Kindergarten B: five mornings (07:45-13:15) and three afternoons (7:45-15:15).

Learning and Development

• What is the teacher-student ratio at Double Decker?

Ratios range from three to seven children per teacher, and will vary based on the children’s ages, group sizes and specific activities.

• Are children taught to read and write at Double Decker?

Emergent literacy skills are naturally introduced to your child on a daily basis. This may begin by the simple introduction of sounds and how to distinguish them – or by letter-sound recognition. The steps are dependent upon your child’s individual stage of development in this area. Additionally, after-school classes in Early Literacy Skills are available. Please see our After School Activities for up-to-date information.

• How is the development of motor skills supported?

Goal-oriented activities specifically include support of the physical development of your child. This is part of the weekly planning at Double Decker. Fine-motor skills may be reinforced by means of movements or actions required by a craft or game, or through one-on-one work with a teacher. Furthermore, all activities are aimed at supporting the refinement of gross motor skills. These include outdoor activities in the park or the forest, and indoor activities including rhythm and movement, gymnastics or yoga, for example.

• What activities are offered during school holidays?

Double Decker offers exciting Holiday Camps during the annual school holidays. A number of these camps are included in our “Full Week Plus” attendance options. Please see our Holiday Camp programme for up-to-date information.

• What languages do Double Decker teachers speak?

The instructional languages at Double Decker are English and High German (as opposed to Swiss German). It is school policy to employ only native speakers of English or German.

• Where do children typically attend Kindergarten or Primary School after their time at Double Decker?

Children leaving Double Decker will enter local Swiss schools, international schools or private bilingual schools. The schools chosen will depend on your preferences, suitability for your child, and location.

Everyday life

• Does Double Decker offer a lunch programme?

Lunch is provided for your child by Cassis Catering, using seasonal and organic products that are locally grown whenever possible. Cassis exclusively uses Swiss meat meeting ethical animal husbandry guidelines, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish, and certified organic eggs. Cassis can also accommodate for dietary restrictions or allergies where required. In addition to providing three vegetarian meals per week, lunches are free from pork, shellfish and nuts.

• Do I need to provide a snack for my child?

We request that you provide a healthy morning snack free of sugar and nuts (due to other children who may be allergic). Two items are sufficient (for example cheese and crackers, or fruit and yoghurt) to ease those hunger pangs while not suppressing your child’s appetite for lunch. We also recommend that your child bring a reusable water flask each day.

• What are the safety precautions for outdoor activities or excursions?

Outdoor activities and excursions are a core aspect of each day at Double Decker, and your child’s safety is always taken seriously. Teacher to child ratios are adjusted appropriately, with trained staff always present. All groups carry a First Aid kit and a mobile phone. Furthermore, your child will wear an orange reflective safety sash that is typical of all young children out on school excursions in Switzerland.

• Will my child need to be potty-trained to attend Double Decker?

Children as young as 18 months attend Double Decker Küsnacht, many of whom may not yet be potty trained. We request that you supply the required amount of nappies if this is the case for your child.

Children entering Double Decker Kilchberg should be potty-trained and no longer dependent on nappies in order to attend.

• My child has a cold. Despite this, can I bring him/her to Double Decker?

In fairness to all children and staff, we stipulate that you keep your sick child/ren at home. This will be the case for fever, contagious diseases, diarrhoea, or strong coughs, for example. The school maintains the right to separate sick children from the group and to request that they be taken home.