Following in the footsteps of the children
Education is a lifelong process that begins with birth. It takes place always and everywhere, not only during specific educational offers. As a learning organisation, we are committed to continuous professional, personal and thematic development.
We define education as an active process of the child through which it constructs an idea of the world. This requires suggestions from and dialogue with others. Our teachers follow the children’s footsteps, are initiators of educational processes and guide and support children through their learning experiences.
We follow the concept of an Open Pedagogy of mindfulness. This entails a focus on the various spaces of experience available to children and to be attentive to the ways in which children would like to use these spaces for their development. Teachers therefore try to orientate their planning of pedagogical activities according to the needs of the children. Each teacher specializes in a subject area and tries to foster specifically this area of learning depending on the children’s individual interests and abilities.
In our pedagogical work we concentrate on a holistic education of the child. We focus on the following areas of education, which are also part of our entire pedagogical work.
– Language, literacy, bilingualism
– Aesthetic education and production
– Music and Rhythmics
– Rest and recreation
– Movement and psychomotor education
– Mathematics and science education
– Experience with media
– Emotional and social development
We are a learning organization: We employ qualified staff in our educational settings. Through internal and external expert advice, we enhance our conceptual and practical development. Ongoing quality management guarantees a high educational standard. We have joined the Quality Association of the german parity welfare association Hamburg (Der Paritätische Hamburg). Our work is based on our concept and Hamburg’s educational recommendations for early childhood education.
The immersion principle
Bilingual from the beginning: According to current research, foreign languages should be acquired as early, intensively, naturally and motivatingly as possible. That is why we focus on bilingual pedagogy with English right from the start. Immersion in the English language is made possible by teachers who communicate at (near)native level in English, but understand German well. The principle “one person – one language” applies throughout. Respecting other cultures and languages is of utmost importance to us and we encourage the home-use of first languages other than German or English.
For more information about bilingualism at Kinderwelt Hamburg, please click here.
Good for children and for the environment: We cook 100% organic food
Whether at the day-care centre or at home – it appears to us that food should taste good and also be good for us and the environment. Since we want to know exactly what it is that makes its way into meals, we cook them ourselves. As early as June 2003, our own central kitchen has started to offer nutritious warm lunches made with 100% certified organic products (inspection authority: DE-ÖKO-006). In the interest of ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, we are willing to accept higher costs for purchasing the goods.
Since we exclusively use 100 % organic products, our meals do not contain any additives that require labelling.
For more information about nutritional philosophy at Kinderwelt Hamburg, please click here.
More quality of life
Ecologically sensible behaviour is one of our principles, because we care deeply about the future of the children and the state of the planet as our living space. We want to set an example and show every day that a responsible use of resources makes sense. For us, however, this means more quality of life rather than sacrifice.
Gemeinsam mit den Kindern entwickeln wir Projekte, Together with the children we develop projects through which they can develop an appreciative attitude towards nature. “Education for sustainable development” is integrated into our everyday lives: the outdoor spaces of our centres are kept as natural as possible and we use renewable energy in our buildings.
In order to combine theory and practice, we are also planning to start our own organic farming project as a place for learning. Here understanding and action go hand in hand. The Flachslandhof will primarily produce for our own needs and show alternatives to global consumption.
Through our own specialists, further training, networking and cooperation with environmental associations, we also ensure further conceptual and practical development.
For more information about sustainability at Kinderwelt Hamburg, please click here.
Participation and being part of the community
At Kinderwelt Hamburg e. V., participation is a working principle and a structural maxim that consistently determines our attitude. It applies to the work with the children, the cooperation with the parents and all Kinderwelt employees. Participation of the children means for us: We take their opinions seriously and take their wishes and needs into account as comprehensively as possible in games, food, offers and projects. Many of our daycare centres already have their own constitution or are working on it.
Rooms that stimulate learning and development
We design our rooms according to the principle of experiential spaces. The wide range of activities that the rooms offer children in direct access encourages them to use the existing material creatively. Depending on the requirements and orientation of the respective day care centre, we have studios, rooms for construction and building, relaxation and rest rooms, rooms for role play and performing games, water play rooms, music and media rooms, rooms with materials for language, writing, mathematics and natural sciences, restaurants, gyms and outdoor play areas. In some centres we have separate nurseries for our youngest children.
Educational forms of work: The elements of our pedagogical action are manifold. These include play, a wide range of activities and learning in projects, as well as monitoring children’s development progress and documenting our pedagogical work.
Parents are partners
We are places for families: For us, parents are partners in working with the children and critical companions of our day care centre. Our settings are lively places that are also used outside opening hours, e.g. in the context of parents’ cafés, festivities and counselling services as well as courses for parents and children.
Cooperation based on trust is a fundamental element of our pedagogical work. Parents are the most important caregivers and experts for the life of their children. We are very interested in their experience and opinion. We give parents the opportunity to get to know everyday life in our day care centres through individual settling-in periods. We achieve transparency through documentation, parents’ evenings, discussions, letters to parents and regular meetings with the parents’ representatives.
Our responsibility does not end at our threshold. We try to establish networks in our neighbourhoods and seek exchange with institutions. This way we lobby, advise parents in a targeted manner and assume responsibility for our environment.