Ukrainian children in German day care institutions: with a translation app at the craft table

Status: 27/04/2022 13:41

The situation in many day care institutions is tense: the staff is scarce, the burden after two years of the pandemic is high. Now Ukrainian children who have fled to Germany must be integrated. How can this be successful?

“I’m going away for a moment,” says teacher Sabrina Haas to a tablet at the day care center “An der Saalmühle” in Ingelheim, Rhineland-Palatinate. The female voice in a translation app repeats it in Russian. Five-year-old Hordii understands he is nodding. Kindergarten teacher Sabrina Haas and her tablet are his connection to a strange, new world where he still has a hard time finding his way. He does not speak a word of German, and no one in the day care center speaks Russian or Ukrainian.

Hordii fled to Germany with his parents and has only been in day care “An der Saalmühle” for a few days. A large poster meets him in the entrance hall: “Our day care center is colorful”. Including a world map and pictures with very different looking girls and boys from all over the world. Tolerance and integration from the start.

Ukrainian day care children not registered

According to the State Ministry of Education, almost 100 children from Ukraine are currently registered in day care institutions in Rhineland-Palatinate alone (as of 25 April 2022). According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, the number of people nationwide is not registered centrally. Many experts believe it is right to give the girls and boys who have fled to nursing homes.

Even though many mothers, according to the experience of the social pedagogue Heinz Müller from the Department of Social Pedagogical Research in Mainz, understandably just want to go home as soon as possible: “It is extremely important for the children that they share their experiences with fate, it does not have to be a trauma, with them can compensate for normality. ”

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research agrees. It is important that children and young people from Ukraine not only get security here, but also a perspective: “They get it through rapid integration in day care and school in combination with additional offers in Ukrainian. The goal must be to find a good balance finding a balance between integration into our education system and preservation of Ukrainian identity, “said a spokeswoman for the ministry.

The Federal Government therefore supports the federal states and municipalities in financing the costs of refugees from Ukraine – for 2022 with about one billion euros for, among other things, childcare and schooling.

Enough time for good care?

In everyday life, however, the nursing staff faces many challenges: How do you communicate without a common language? How do you handle children’s possible experiences of war and flight? Is there enough time and space for this in the noisy, stressful day care? In the day care institution “An der Saalmühle”, Sabrina Haas and Hordii sit down at the small craft table, the teacher takes the tablet and speaks into the microphone: “What do you want to cut out?” Haas responds lovingly and patiently to the boy’s wishes and needs – she does not always understand what he wants, despite the translation program.

Above all, communication needs one thing: time. At the same time, Sabrina Haas has to keep an eye on the other children in the group. A couple of boys quarrel in the building corner, Haas has to mediate. “That Sabrina Haas takes care of Hordii alone at the moment only works because we are really well staffed and have at least three educators in each group,” explains day care manager Susanne Clemen. “But if someone gets sick, we have a problem.”

More appreciation of educators

A common problem according to the Education and Science Union (GEW). Many day care institutions face a dilemma, says Doreen Siebernik, board member for youth welfare and social work at GEW: “After two years in a pandemic crisis, the exhaustion and stress of our colleagues is great. It is therefore also part of the truth that this challenge must cope with the current early childhood education will not be able to cope. ”

Siebernik emphatically appeals to the federal government, state governments and local authorities to “finally invest more in preschool education as needed, but also in local infrastructure”.

There is also support from the Deutscher Kinderschutzbund Bundesverband by Heinz Hilgers. “There must be enough time and resources for that.” He would like much more appreciation, appropriate payment and framework conditions for how much educators toiled.

As in Hordiis day care in Ingelheim am Rhein. His reference teacher Sabrina Haas takes great care of the five-year-old and many other children. In the day care institution “An der Saalmühle” there are girls and boys from many different nations. But Hordii is the only Ukrainian child so far. But playing together in the sand is also possible without words.

Leave a Comment