In 2020, the Spanish day care center “Casita, mi Kita” opened in Essen. Children must get to know nature in a playful way. The places are coveted.
Just before dinner in Day care “Casita, mi day care”.: Children in colorful sweaters and trousers frolic in the sandbox, jump on the trampoline, run across the meadow. Teresa Lagos, president of the sponsor association, makes her way through the garden in front of the vegetable field and the chicken farm. “Hello!” she shouts right and left. In addition to German, the children in the day care center, which opened in 2020 in the middle of the Corona pandemic, also speak Spanish with their teachers. The bilingual places are in high demand. Now there are some new projects.
It took ten years from the first idea to the implementation of the day care project. Born in Spain, Lagos was actually looking for a way to take care of his own three children in his native language. They have long since grown out of day care, but the 39-year-old decided: “Then I just do it for other children.” A total of 30 boys and girls are cared for in the villa on Goethestrasse. Ten in the age group from zero to three years, 20 in the age group from three to six years. The day care institution is recognized as a provider of free youth welfare.
Day care in Rüttenscheid: Half of the children have a Spanish-speaking background
About half of the daycare children have a Spanish-speaking background, Lagos explains. It is important for other parents to see their children grow up in an international environment and to teach them another language at a young age. “It is often families who come from other countries and speak Italian or English at home,” says the initiator of the project. Therefore, children who do not understand a single word of Spanish on their first day also go to day care.
Experience has shown, however, that especially the youngest children are very curious and learn quickly, says head of day care Ulla Reinhold: “Of course, it depends on the individual’s language skills. But we have children here who already master the language after six months. ” It is important that everything takes place in a playful way. “The children get no education. Half of the teachers simply speak Spanish to them, see picture books with them and name the Spanish expressions,” Reinhold explains. The other half of the teachers speak German to the children.
Rüttenscheider Kita wants to bring children into contact with nature
The day care institution has a strong focus on sustainability. Therefore, new projects have just started there, which are funded by the city of Essen. “I think it’s very important that the children have contact with nature in the middle of the big city,” says Teresa Lagos. The property on Goethestrasse with a large garden was therefore a stroke of luck for her. Here, educators and children together have planted a kitchen garden, loosened the field, planted strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini and radishes. Was it fun? Yolanda (4) thumbs up. She has already helped water the plants.
The daycare children also have animal companions. Fish are farmed as part of the Aquaponics project. “I fed the fish,” says Ian (6). In addition to feeding, for example, the children check with the educators whether the water temperature is right. In the next year of day care, three to four hens will have to move into the garden. The barn is already in place, soon the children will be able to help feed and collect eggs. “I’m looking forward to the hens coming,” Ian says, broadcasting a strong “Bok Bok.”
Places in the day care center Rüttenscheid are popular
The interest in the day care institution is great. “I got about 100 emails from parents,” Lagos estimates. “This is due to our concept, but also that day care places in Essen are simply scarce.” The waiting list for children under the age of three is particularly long. Choosing and having to send rejections is difficult. “We are aware of a balanced relationship between boys and girls and the age structure,” says Lagos. “We also see who is really interested in our project and not just in need of a daycare place.”
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