Parents support their children’s day care – and build part of it themselves

For more than two years, the day care institution Zwergengarten in Unna lacked a larger climbing frame. The association not only financed the new apparatus, but also helped build it.

Parents are asked – and they are happy to get involved. The day care institution Dværghavens Venner in Jonahaus in Unna does everything to support the children. The latest project was particularly challenging: a new climbing facility was needed.

In November 2019, the predecessor had to be separated on the grounds of the Evangelical Day Care Center. “The straw was rotten,” remembers Sandra Rüffin from the association. And day care center manager Jens Koert adds: “We did not need a specialist to realize that the climbing system had to be dismantled. A team from the workshop in the Unna district performed this task – and an empty area remained.

The holes for the posts and their foundations were made with a motor drill.  In some cases, stone made the work difficult despite the helpful device.
The holes for the posts and their foundations were made with a motor drill. In some cases, stone made the work difficult despite the helpful device. © Dirk Becker

“It is nice with a lot of space, but we want to support the children as best we can,” says Jens Koert. Children who climb a lot not only improve their motor skills, they also become more courageous and more confident. The support came from a source who always provides valuable help: The parents announced that the association wanted to raise money for a new climbing facility.

Mothers and fathers of the children cared for in the dwarf garden did not stand over any work.
Mothers and fathers of the children cared for in the dwarf garden did not stand over any work. © Dirk Becker

What was not clear at the time: The Corona pandemic would make the whole thing much more difficult. The parents baked waffles, sold sausages and arranged a haircut event. There was almost no money to be made with festivals. But because it is well known that small animals also take root, and Volksbank Unna also raised funds, the funds for the new system were finally there.

“Nevertheless, the association also helped in other areas and financed, for example, new vehicles for the children,” says Jens Koert and thanks the parents in the association. A theater room with a stage and a well-equipped workshop are other things that the association has previously made possible.

A piece of climbing equipment, lots of construction sites - the girls and boys in the daycare Zwergengarten were busy picking.
A piece of climbing equipment, lots of construction sites – the girls and boys in the daycare Zwergengarten were busy picking. © Dirk Becker

While the old climbing device with two towers, a bridge and a roller coaster was more of a classic, the new facility is a significant advance. Using ropes and walkways, children can move over longer distances, and they can also use a hanging section. “The system can always be expanded,” explains Jens Koert.

A lot of sweat flows before the appliance stops. Mothers and fathers drill holes, mix concrete for the foundation, put posts. It takes many hours – but after all the work, they also have a lot of fun together. “You can see that the parents want to do something again, want to go out,” says the head of the day care center. He is impressed with the commitment.

A piece of climbing equipment, lots of construction sites - the girls and boys in the daycare Zwergengarten were busy picking.
A piece of climbing equipment, lots of construction sites – the girls and boys in the daycare Zwergengarten were busy picking. © Dirk Becker

However, Sandra Rüffin admits that the corona pandemic has also hit the association. “We could not meet that much,” she says. Fewer contacts also means that it is more difficult to show other parents how the association helps all children – and perhaps also encourage them to get involved.

The new climbing facility in the day care center Zwergengarten arouses children's thirst for adventure.
The new climbing facility in the day care center Zwergengarten arouses children’s thirst for adventure. © Kita dwarf garden

“A support association like this is worth its weight in gold,” says Jens Koert in clear terms. He knows that the kindergarten organization Evangelische Kirchenkreis Unna could not do everything possible. Young families who support their children are an asset – whether in support associations or parent associations.

Different elements create incentives to try something new.
Different elements create incentives to try something new. © Kita dwarf garden

When the new climbing facility gets up after many hours of work, everyone involved is exhausted but also happy. The joy of their children will be an additional reward for their efforts.

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