Our Day Nursery/ Kindergarten/ Pre-School (Kita Paul und Anna) is a place of learning. We view education as a comprehensive process which begins at birth and continues throughout life.
As an institution caring for children in the public sector, we are responsible for the quality of the education they are given.
As a centre for the nurture of children, sponsored by the Protestant Church of Germany (EKD), it is our responsibility to open pathways for children to discover the Christian faith and to be given a foundation in its teachings.
We help the children to acquire their own knowledge and experience, nurturing their cognitive, emotional and social development.
Our Child Care Centre (Kita) belongs to the Protestant parish "The Church of the Good Shepherd" (Kirchengemeinde Zum Guten Hirten). The facilities are in a modernized two-story mansion which enjoys protection as a historical monument. Our house is located in a quiet dead-end street in Friedenau. The Underground station (U-Bahn) "Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz" is in the immediate vicinity and our Kita can also be reached by various buses (246, 186).
The property includes a large playground with many trees, a paved play area, a sandbox, a football (soccer) field, a water pump play area (usable from Spring to Autumn) and playing equipment. There is space suitable for toy cars and roller skates. The natural surroundings lend themselves to creative play, for which various materials are provided.
Our Centre is open to children of all social backgrounds, regardless of their religious affiliation or nationality. Our work in four mixed age groups includes the integration of handicapped children.
Our eight supervisors (full- and part-time), one director and two household employees care for a total of 65 children. The director, the pre-school teacher and care workers for the integration of handicapped children all have special qualifications for their areas of responsibility.
We would like to emphasize that we greatly value cooperation with parents on a daily basis as well as in committee work.
We are open between:
- Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Friday: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The core times of our personnel are between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. For this reason all part-time children (5-7 hours per day) should be picked up by 3 p.m. at the latest.
In summer the Centre is closed for three weeks. In case of special need our partner centre can take up to five children aged three to six for one week.
We close for two weeks during the Christmas/New Year holidays.
In connection with our flexible groups we have furnished our rooms for different functions. Our four group rooms offer opportunities for play (kitchen corner, play shop, dolls, toy cars, puzzles, board games, building blocks) and arts and crafts. In addition we provide:
- a room for spirited play (also servers as a sleeping room)
- a snuggle room
- a creative activities room
- a role play room
- a building room
- an integration room (also serves as a snuggle and quiet room)
- a pre-school room (which can be transformed into a relaxation area)
Introductory Phase for new Children
When a new child comes to our Centre, we do our best to establish an atmosphere of trust and confidence between children, parents and staff.
Generally, the introductory phase lasts for two weeks. During this time the new child must be accompanied by its mother, father, grandparent or other trusted adult. It is important that the same person comes with the child every day to ease the vital process of familiarisation. The time the accompanying adult is present will be gradually shortened. During the first three days the child and the trusted adult attend the Kita together for one hour. The group supervisor is freed from other responsibilities by colleagues during this time.
From the fourth day on, the time spent in the Centre is gradually lengthened. The accompanying adult begins to leave the child’s group room and then the grounds of the Kita for longer periods. The adult must be on call, however, in case the child is overwhelmed by the separation. In the third and fourth weeks the child should be picked up at 1 p.m. The phase of familiarisation is over when the child feels secure in the environment of our Centre.
In individual cases it may take longer for a child to become accustomed to staying in a group. Then the supervisor will work out details with the child’s parents or custodians.
Our Child Care Centre is run by the Protestant parish “Church of the Good Shepherd” and is connected to parish life. A Christian approach to upbringing is expressed in our general daily treatment of one another and also in religious education. We aim to give children knowledge and experience of elements of faith. Love of fellow human beings, a love of justice and truth as well as readiness to forgive are important aspects of peace education.
Once a week (Monday at 9:00) we hold a children’s service in the church, led by the Youth Pastor and the leader of the Toddler Groups. The theme of each service is followed up in the daily life of the Centre. We take part in two Sunday family church services every year which our children help to prepare (for example, with songs, arts and crafts and small skits). In the school holidays there are no Monday children’s services.
We celebrate Christian festivals with songs, prayers, Bible stories and discussion themes, connecting those events with daily life. Most of our staff are members of the Protestant Church and regularly attend courses and workshops for religious education.
Our Centre integrates handicapped children, who all belong to one of the four groups. In addition to the supervisor responsible for their group, they are accompanied by specialised pedagogues whose role as bridge-builders is clearly defined. In this way we enable handicapped children to grow up with the others on an equal footing. We stand for a policy of non-exclusion. This means that our focus is not on limitations, but rather on encouraging the children to take part in the life of our Kita with all their strengths, wishes, interests and worthiness to be loved. Our aim is to help our children learn to build relationships with each other.
Our integrative approach is two-fold: on the one hand, we support handicapped children; on the other hand, we promote acceptance and understanding for differences. Our children learn to look beyond outward appearances.
Children with a handicap are given special training in small groups during the day. In this way their individual development can be supported. A daily part of our integration in the Centre is our cooperation with the Ambulatorium Schöneberg and the children’s individual therapists. Therapeutic programmes such as gymnastics or ergotherapy generally take place in the Centre accompanied by our specialised pedagogues.
Parents are given support in dealing with their child’s handicap. Regular conferences take place between our Centre, the outside therapists and parents. In our weekly conferences therapeutic staff are kept informed about the progress of our handicapped children.
Since we have already had positive experience with hearing-impaired children, we intend to specialise in the integration of deaf and hearing-impaired children. Since February 2003 our staff has learnt sign language to facilitate the enrolment of children with this handicap.
We appreciate Steven Lange for this translation.