In four day care institutions in Burgdorf, the children have more to say

slotslandsbyFour day care institutions in Burgdorf focus on the topic of children’s rights and dare an experiment. They want to give the boys and girls more say in everyday life, whether it is setting rules, eating and drinking or clothes. The day care institution Südstern, the outdoor pool, Ramlingen-Ehlershausen and the remedial education center (HPZ) are participating in the state-wide initiative “Living and experiencing diversity – strengthening democracy”. The educators complete a total of 46 lessons.

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On a subject day, the employees met at the facilities for the first time to exchange ideas and gather ideas on how they could improve the one- to six-year-olds’ participation. “It’s about strengthening the children and also getting the parents involved,” says Susanne Ruhkopf, head of education at HPZ. This week, the day care providers showed their priorities and results. The more than 100 specialists who participated in the specialist day agree: continue.

Outdoor pool daycare: Children choose their own cutlery

In it Day care outdoor pool Among other things, the educators have taken on the eating habits, as Sina Matthies, deputy day care manager, says. They no longer give the cutlery directly to the boys and girls, but they themselves must have knives, forks and spoons out of a box. “Someone might try eating a piece of meat with a spoon or using a fork to pour the soup up,” Matthies says. But it soon became clear that it was not working.

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According to her, the qualification also has significance in another area: the children more often use the morning circle to formulate their wishes and coordinate them with the others. Therefore, the Yellow Group no longer has a fixed toy day, but the 3-6 year olds can take a toy with them every day. “Most of them would like that,” Matthies says.

Kita Südstern: The morning circle as a new gathering point

“Since the qualification, the children have had more to say in the morning circle,” says Nicole Kolt Färber, employed at Day care center Südstern. For the lectures, professionals and the boys and girls made small cards to include those who still lacked vocabulary. Show a map a sun for good weather, ask yourself: “What are we doing today?” If the answer is: “Visit the playground”, the question “which playground?” Arises. The children can decide for themselves.

In addition, the children kept a group book about who was in day care and who was absent. Others are allowed to count, learn the numbers and new words. “Thanks to the coordination and the tasks, there are some who feel adults and perceive the morning circle in a completely different way than before,” says Kolt Färber. “In the beginning, of course, there were also the questions: What awaits us? How much can children have a say in? ”She says. But those concerns had subsided.

Daycare Ramlingen-Ehlershausen: Children help shape the rules

The team on Day care institution Ramlingen-Ehlershausen experienced, as Andrea Rheinländer says. “As a result, not everyone knew the rules, and some could no longer understand the rules.” The purpose of the professionals was to create a structure for everyone and to include the children. The balance is already positive.

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A visible sign of the change is a thermometer marked at 25 degrees Celsius. When this temperature is reached, the children can walk barefoot in the garden. The result: the long discussions about whether or not to wear shoes in the winter are no longer necessary. “The children were very excited about being taken seriously,” Rheinländer remarked – as a result, they complied with the rules so that the previous debate for the educators is no longer necessary. Cycling with a helmet and shoes is now a fixed rule, as is the ban on climbing over the fence. But: “The well-being of the child is paramount and we must not endanger it,” says Rheinländer.

One positive effect: the extended team came together through the children’s participation.

HPZ: Long pants or sun hat?

A jacket for drizzle? A sun hat in the heat? Shoes at ten degrees outside temperature? The boys and girls in HPZ have so far been told by parents or professionals how to dress. “Of course there were always debates about it,” says Charlene Otthow. Therefore, the HPZ team considered how to break through this structure. “In dialogue,” Otthow says. Today, a child can test whether a short-sleeved T-shirt is enough in cool weather – and if in doubt, they can decide for themselves a sweater.

“Children sense very precisely what is good for them and what is not,” she says, referring to the experiences of recent weeks and months. And they are able to take that into account. “If you do not like the ice water on your hand, you are more likely to grab the corn pillow and gain important experience with it,” Otthow says. The hitherto formative power struggle over long or short trousers is no longer necessary – also because the children are now working with different senses.

The future of the project

All four day care institutions want to expand participation: “It relieves us all if we get the children on board, and they then accept the decision much better,” says Rheinländer. If she and the other professionals have her will, more boys and girls will soon meet for the children’s conference.

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