Magical experience

Magical experience - kids well looked after

"It was magic moving somewhere where your kids are made so welcome that they quickly fall into a secure daily routine in nursery and school. That's important to us adults," say Gitte Hvid Herold and Mikkel Zeilberger Herold. They moved from Aarhus to Vejen in 2008 with their two girls, Ida and Sara, then three and five respectively.

IIda and Sara started in Vorupparken's Nursery in Vejen. "It was a nursery with lots of activities, including trips to the swimming baths every third week, for example, trips to the sports centre, cinema and Vejen Art Museum, visits by music teachers and circus artists, and an annual overnight excursion. There was always something going on. And everything was run very professionally," says Gitte.

Focus on the children's development
"The nursery drew up plans for the development of the children's groups, for example, and they also had an excellent dialogue with us parents on our children's linguistic development, all with a view to giving our children the best possible opportunities. Among other things in connection with transition from nursery to school," says Michael enthusiastically. "It meant that Sara enjoyed a smooth transition and start at Østerby school," he continues. Or as Gitte happily expresses it: "They sure as hell know how to take care of children in Vejen Municipality."

Quality for money
"And we got all that for half of what we were paying in Aarhus," says Gitte. "Yet it seemed to us that they were neither fewer nor more than in our good old nursery in Aarhus. Here, though, the staff seemed to have much more energy, and the kids loved them." Ida, who is now eight and is in the 1st grade at Østerby school, nods her agreement and says that she can still remember pre-school teachers Helen and Åse from the nursery.

From Aarhus to Vejen
Both Gitte and Mikkel studied in Aarhus and lived in a flat. "We knew, though, that we didn't want to stay in that area once the girls reached school age. The schools there didn't have a very good reputation. Besides that, there are many jobseekers in Aarhus but relatively few jobs and house prices are exorbitant. We therefore knew that we would move from Aarhus at some point even though most of our relatives live there," says Gitte.

Gitte worked in Hedensted, and commuted from Aarhus. By the time Mikkel completed his education and got a job at the Business High School in Vejen, Sara was five and about to start in school. The time had come for the Herold family to move. But to where?

Close to everything
"We'd never considered Vejen Municipality as somewhere to live, although we'd often visited my cousins here in Vejen," says Mikkel. Nevertheless, they started looking at houses in Vejen and the surrounding towns. Gitte also looked for work closer to Vejen.

"It was important to us both that we didn't have to travel far to work and that we lived close to the motorway. House prices mean a lot to people who have just completed their education. Vejen was therefore an attractive option as house prices, rates and taxes are lower here," says Mikkel.

Gitte and Mikkel found a lovely house in a quiet part of Vejen close to the country. And shortly after, Gitte was appointed leader of Vejen Music School. The neighbours gave the family a warm welcome right from the start, inviting them to the annual street parties among other things.

Can walk or cycle to most things
By moving from Aarhus to Vejen, the family now have everything they need within walking or cycling distance. "In Aarhus, we lived in the suburbs and had to take the car all the time, even to do the shopping. It's fantastic that by moving from Aarhus to Vejen, vi no longer need to drive to the supermarket. There are also plenty of specialty shops in Vejen town centre. And here in Vejen, the sports centre is actually bigger than the one in Aarhus," says Gitte smiling.

"Should we need to take the car for some reason, we are quickly on the motorway, and can reach our family in Aarhus in about an hour or so," adds Mikkel.

Nor was it unimportant that Vejen has a high school and business high school. That provides security in relation to the children's future education opportunities. "Vejen has everything," agree Gitte and Mikkel.

Interviewheld in April 2013