In Belgium, children go to preschool from the age of 2.5 to 6 years, and to a primary school from 6 to 12 years. To enroll children in a regular preschool or primary school in Leuven, you must register your child in a central online registration system, which includes all schools in Leuven.
- Choosing a school is an important decision. So first get more information about the Belgian school system and about the local preschools and primary schools in Leuven, the International School of Leuven or other International schools in Belgium and schools for special needs in the region of Leuven.
- Find out more about how to enroll your child in a preschool or primary school in Leuven in the 2022 brochure, in English, with all the necessary information as well as a short explanatory video with English subtitles on how to use the online tool. You can also watch a short video with English subtitles explaining how the available places in the nursery and primary schools of Leuven will be allocated. The 2023 brochure in Dutch is available, an English version is scheduled to be released in February 2023.
- Visit the schools that you’re interested in: make a private appointment in the school(s) or visit the school(s) on one of the open schooldays which are organized each year in February/March. The 2023 open schools days are Wednesday 15 February from 9:00 to noon and Thursday 9 March from 14:00 to 17:30. No appointment or registration required.
- Register your child using the online registration tool for at least 3 schools of your choice:
- In January (for exact dates, consult the 2023 brochure) you can register children who already have a sibling in the school.
- In March (for exact dates, consult the 2023 brochure) all children who want to enroll in a preschool or primary school in Leuven can be registered.
- Need help with the online registration tool? International House Leuven runs a yearly webinar on the subject (usually in February - see the activities page) or contact Huis van het Kind Leuven for an appointment with a consultant.
- Once registered, the available places will be allocated. You will receive an e-mail with the contact details of the school where you can enroll your child. Make an appointment with the school to enroll your child.
- From June onwards, if either you’ve missed the registration period, or you did not find a school yet for your child, you can enroll your child directly in the school of your choice. You can find an overview of the available of places per grade for all preschools and primary schools in Leuven on the registration website (in Dutch - to get the appropriate list you need to filter per commune, schoolyear, level and type of education). Make an appointment with the individual school to enroll your child. It is worth planning ahead because schools are generally closed during the summer so it may take a while before you can get an appointment.
- If your child changes school during the school year you can enroll your child directly in the school of your choice, if there are places available. You need to make an appointment with the school to enroll your child.
- The school year in Belgium starts on September 1st and ends on June 30th. Here you can find more information about the school holidays in Belgium.
- A typical school day in Belgium starts around 8:30 am and finishes around 3:30 pm. There is no school on Wednesday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. Most of the local schools provide childcare before and after school hours. A lunch break is usually provided from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. Most pupils stay in the school for lunch break and normally bring their own lunch. Some schools provide hot meals during lunch.
- In some preschools and primary schools in Leuven, the availability of places is limited. Therefore, it is important to register your child using the online registration tool. This tool allocates the available places in the schools.
- To make sure that you can enroll your child in a school of your choice, it is important to register your child for more than one school. The online registration tool will always try to allocate children in the school of their first choice, if possible.
- A Belgian national number is required during the registration procedure. If you haven’t got this number, mail the Education and Schools Office of the City of Leuven. A profile will be made manually for you.
- If you need practical help for the registration of your child in the online registration tool, you can contact one of the organizations on page 15-16-17-18 of the 2023 brochure.
- Children with special needs are assisted as much as possible in regular schools. To meet some children’s special needs, there are also schools for special needs education in and around Leuven. You can directly contact the schools for special needs education to enroll your child. In the 2023 brochure on page 14 you find more information about the schools for special needs education in and around Leuven.
- One of the biggest advantages of choosing a local school is immersion. Children will be immersed in the local language (Dutch) and culture. Several schools actively support children with learning Dutch therefore, children pick up Dutch rather quickly.
Supplier, channels and tools
- Online registration tool
- 2022 brochure in English
- 2023 brochure in Dutch
- Need help with the online registration tool? International House Leuven runs a yearly webinar on the subject (usually in February - see the activities page) or contact Huis van het Kind Leuven for an appointment with a consultant
Last update: 03/01/2023