How to find the right kindergarten

Montessori, bilingual or rather integrative kindergarten? Choosing the right kindergarten is far from easy for many parents. This is partly due to the fact that it is difficult to find the right one for your own child due to the multitude of educational concepts. On the other hand, there is the right to free choice of kindergarten in Germany, but that does not mean that a place in the desired direction is free.

Not a child's play - this is how you find the right kindergarten

Apart from that, as a mother or father, you should know the criteria by which you can recognize the quality of a day care facility.

Start early on the search for the right kindergarten

Mother with daughter with disguise for carnival
The choice of the right kindergarten

If your child is to attend a kindergarten from the age of three, the registrations usually take place between January and March. Until April, acceptances or cancellations will be sent. For private or church-sponsored institutions, the deadlines may differ slightly from those in municipal kindergartens.

If you would like to have your child looked after in a day care center before your third birthday, because you want to get back into work as soon as possible, you should start looking for it at least early, but at least 12 to 15 months before the start of work.

However, before you actively seek out a kindergarten, you should consider what is particularly important to you in caring for your child. It makes sense to also consider the character of your child. Shy and reserved children, who have previously had little experience with outside care, are in good hands in small institutions with permanent group affiliations.

The character of your child can be crucial for choosing the right kindergarten

If your child shows a great deal of exploration, for example, a kindergarten with an open concept comes into question. In addition, as a parent, you should consider which educational focus is important to you. Every kindergarten today works according to a specific concept. Often, the concept can be viewed on the website of the respective institution or is available for interested parents to download.

Many kindergartens focus on promoting physical activity or on musical education. Apart from that, there are bilingual kindergartens or those with a pedagogical approach such as Montessori or Waldorf education. Religious education and the related mediation of Christian norms and values ​​are particularly important to denominational institutions.

Find out about the procedure for allocating space

Not just every state, but every city can decide for themselves how kindergarten places will be awarded. For municipal institutions, you can usually indicate your favorite kindergarten in the registration form. Preference is usually given to children of single parents. However, depending on the size of the crowd, it is up to the administrative authorities to offer you a place in another kindergarten close to where you live. There is no legal entitlement to a childcare place in a particular institution. All that needs to be done is to ensure that all children are taken into account when placing the places.

Use the opportunity for an internship and trust in your gut feeling

Even the best pedagogical concept is of little value if the skilled person fails to implement it in daily practice.

Take every opportunity to personally view the facilities in question. Make a note in advance of aspects that you are particularly interested in and inquire locally. With this information, you can better compare each facility later and make the best decision for your child.

Therefore, be sure to bring along your children when you look around the individual facilities: You will immediately notice whether your daughter or her son feels well and welcome in a kindergarten or not. The latter aspect should always have the highest priority in the choice of kindergarten.

Children paint with kindergarten teacher
Fancy kindergarten

A good kindergarten can be recognized by the fact that a warm atmosphere prevails and that children and parents are treated with appreciation. The interaction between the educational staff should also be harmonious. Good pedagogical work in a kindergarten always depends on the extent to which cooperation within the team works.

That being said, transparency is important. An institution in which your child is cared for enters into an educational partnership with you. This means that, as a parent, you work with kindergarten to best accompany and support your child's development. Inquire therefore about the possibilities, how parents can contribute in the kindergarten everyday life and pay attention with your visit on notices and information slip.

Last but not least, the equipment of a kindergarten is not unimportant. It does not always have to be the latest furniture, but a well-maintained and functional interior is just as important as pedagogically meaningful toys. In addition to construction. Crafting and construction material should be available board games, as well as stock, picture books and game material for role-playing games.

Since three-year-olds have different needs than preschool children, age-appropriate play and learning offers should not be missing, which you should be shown. Also, find out what the preschool work looks like in each institution. Promoting funding in the areas of concentration, language and writing acquisition, self-organization and in the field of cognitive development are important.

In a good kindergarten, all your questions should be answered patiently and in detail. If this is not the case, you should continue to seek: Good childcare can only work if all parties act for the benefit of the child and you as a parent can build trust in an institution such as kindergarten.

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