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Children at the Máxima Center can go to school as normal

For a sick child it is important and nice to be able to go to school during their treatment. Children who have been admitted to the clinic or in day treatment can go to school on the second floor of the Princess Máxima Center. Fenny Beuze: "For my daughter it is great that she can at least continue some of her normal life here"

It is like a regular school, but smaller. There are three classrooms: for the toddlers, for children from group 3 upward, and for high school students. On a random Tuesday, it is not very busy. "Sometimes we have ten students, but today there are only two," says Gerdien van der Plas, one of the education support consultants who supervise the children. Gerdien is a primary school teacher and also completed a Master's degree in Educational Sciences. She helps children in the classroom, but if necessary also when they are bedridden. "Once children have been here, they really enjoy it. In school, you are not bothered by all kinds of adults. They can just be a child here."

Normal life

Fenny Beuze, mother of 8-year-old Floor, recognizes this. "Immediately after the diagnosis, everything was turned upside down. It's nice to know that even in a very bad situation some parts of normal life can continue." Meanwhile her daughter, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma a year ago, is hard at work. "She doesn't really like reading and we noticed that her spelling was a bit behind. Her own teacher tells me what she has to do, and she can get that work done here." There is always coordination between the Máxima school and the home school, Gerdien confirms. "We focus on arithmetic, language, spelling and reading comprehension, in consultation with the child's own teacher. Because I work with a student one-on-one, I can easily deliver personalized work. This way, you can prevent a child from falling behind unnecessarily."

Personal program
Students in secondary education or senior secondary vocational education have more teachers than primary school children, Gerdien continues. "My colleagues advise the school to set up a suitable personal program with the care team. This way, students can stay involved with the curriculum and their own class as much as possible." Children in this group, too, can get coaching in their room. Once they are mobile enough, they can arrange with their teacher to go to class.

More than school work
Gerdien performs the work together with seven colleagues. "We're open every workday between 10 and noon. We would like to extend these hours in due course. The school is an essential part of the development-oriented care at the Máxima Center. It is more than school work, and the social aspect is also important. This also applies to the parents, who meet each other when they are taking their children to school and get to talk to each other, just like in a schoolyard. " School gives children a sense of autonomy, as they experience that they can do things themselves without having to rely on adults. Gerdien: "Any child who can leave their room should just go to school. I think it would be great if all doctors and other healthcare providers would say to those children: are you feeling well enough? Then off to school you go!

Cuddling the dog
Fenny normally has no difficulty doing so, because Floor likes school very much. Her daughter is still hard at work. No, she doesn't like spelling, says Floor when asked, she prefers to do math. But above all she would like to go home. "If my blood is good, I can go home later today." What will she do when she gets home? Read a book? "No, I'll cuddle the dog. And tomorrow I want to go to my own school and see all my friends again!’

More information

For further information about the school, see the website . Or send an email to school@prinsesmaximacentrum.nl. The school is part of development-oriented care, with which the Máxima Center encourages the physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual functioning of children in a number of ways. All professionals work together on the development of the child, from supporting personnel to specialists.