Refugee kids breathing new life into Danish rural areas

They are compensating for low birth rates in places like Langeland

Thanks to the arrival of several refugee families in Langeland, an island situated south of Funen, the number of kids at local daycare institutions has peaked at its highest point for four years, reports DR.

Over the past 15 years, the number of children born in Langeland Municipality has nearly halved – from about 140 in 2000 to 75 last year.

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More refugee kids
Meanwhile, the number of refugee children registered at local daycare institutions and kindergartens has been steadily increasing.

While in 2012, only one new refugee child was registered, in 2013 there were four, in 2014 eight, and this year 20 more already.

READ MORE: Inspiration in the classroom helping to integrate refugee kids into Danish life

Unusual practice
For some refugees it is not common to send children to childcare institutions before they start attending school.

However, they soon realise the benefits for their children, who can learn the Danish language much faster there and also meet new friends.

READ MORE: Is Denmark as unwelcoming to refugees as the media and the government would have us believe?

Win-win situation
“It’s a huge win also for Langeland Municipality,” Lone Bjerregaard, the head of the municipal department for schools and daycare, told DR.

“On Langeland we wish to keep our schools, kindergartens and also the jobs we have. That’s why this is really positive.”