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ISF Waterloo to open a creche in Autumn 2016

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Belgium's ISF Waterloo will start welcoming children 2.5 years and younger in their new research-based daycare set to open this coming fall. [Contributed by ISF Waterloo]

ISF Waterloo will open a creche in its premises at Chaussée de Waterloo 280 on Autumn 2016. The exact date is still to be confirmed. The creche will be trilingual (English/Dutch/French), giving families an opportunity to choose the language they wish their child to be spoken to.

The creche will be located in ISF Waterloo's existing Pre-­School building following extensive renovations during the summer. This purpose built area will be based on Dr Karen Dobkins’ research on the effects of the sensory environment on visual development and mental well­being of infants. Dr Dobkins is a Psychology Professor at the University of California in San Diego, and heads up the Infant Vision Laboratory. Using principles from developmental Neuroscience and Psychology, she designs living/daycare spaces for children, in collaboration with Dutch designer Roy Verbakel. Her designs are based on the results from research studies in her laboratory and include elements that consider what sorts of visual stimuli young children can detect the best and which stimuli they prefer to look at.

ISF International Daycare will be Dr Dobkin’s second project in Belgium. She completed her first project in a day care center in Antwerp in 2015. This daycare is run by ISF’s partner Rainbows International Daycare. The infants were observed by both the parents and the daycare personnel before and after the new design was put in place. The findings clearly showed a positive impact on children as a result of the new setting. The new ISF International Daycare will adopt and further enhance the proven successes of the Rainbows project and Dr Dobkins’ work.

ISF Waterloo new creche
Teepee: This structure is inspired by children’s
tendencies to create playful spaces, and to
promote a sense of exploration. The structure is
designed to encourage imagination, being seen
as a teepee, house, mountain, etc.
ISF Waterloo new creche
Wall of faces: The design is inspired by data 
showing that young children strongly prefer to look 
at faces. It presents a variety of ethnicities, as well 
as mirrors so that children can see their own faces
between the others.












When children reach 2.5 years of age they can continue in the dynamic ISF Waterloo Pre-School where they also take part in whole school activities such as the annual Winter Show and Sports Day. The stimulating Pre-School programme provides an excellent foundation for a lifetime of learning. Through play and structured activities children explore concepts of literacy and numeracy in a fun and interactive environment, including visits to the school library, French lessons, and using Google tablets and educational apps.

Mrs Belinda Yates, The Head of School, states: “We are very excited to expand our offering to include a daycare for babies. It has been a pleasure working with Dr Dobkins who has over 20 years of experience in Visual Neuroscience. We look forward to seeing the final design of our creche in reality, with the goal of enhancing sensory experiences and mental well­being in a child’s crucial early years of development.”

For more information please contact the School Office at +32 (0)2 358 56 06 or


Contributed by ISF Waterloo
ISF Waterloo logo  


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