Montessori, bilingual or rather integrative? Not necessarily a breeze - this is how you find the right kindergarten. Many parents find it difficult to choose the right kindergarten. On the one hand, this is because the variety of pedagogical concepts makes it difficult to find the right one for your own child.
Start early on the search for the right kindergarten
On the other hand, in Germany there is the right to free choice of kindergarten, but that does not mean that a place in the desired facility is free. That being said, as a mother or father, you should know the criteria by which you can identify the quality of a day care center.
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.
Before you actively look for a kindergarten, you should consider what is particularly important to you when looking after your child.
It makes sense to also consider your child's character. Shy and reserved children who have had little experience with outside care so far are in good hands in small institutions with fixed group membership. If your child shows great enthusiasm for exploration, a kindergarten with an open concept is also an option.
As a parent, you should also consider which pedagogical focus is important to you. Every kindergarten now works according to a certain concept. The concept can often be viewed on the website of the respective institution or is available to interested parents to download.
Many kindergartens focus on promoting physical activity or on musical education. Apart from that, there are bilingual daycare centers or those that follow a certain pedagogical approach, such as Montessori or Waldorf education. Religious education and the associated transmission of Christian norms and values are particularly important to denominational institutions.
Find out about the procedure for allocating space
Not only every federal state, but every city can decide for itself how kindergarten places are allocated. In the case of city institutions, you can usually state your preferred kindergarten on the registration form. Children from single parents are usually given preference.
Depending on the size of the rush, the administrative authorities reserve the right to offer you a place in another kindergarten close to where you live. There is no legal entitlement to a childcare place in a specific facility. It is only necessary to ensure that all children are taken into account when allocating the place.
Use the opportunity for an internship and trust in your gut feeling
Even the best educational concept is of little value if the specialists fail to implement it in daily practice. Therefore, take every opportunity to personally visit the facilities in question. Make a note in advance of aspects that are of particular interest to you and ask questions on site.
With this information, you can compare the individual facilities better later and make the best decision for your child. So take your offspring with you when you take a look around the individual facilities: you will immediately notice whether your daughter or son feels comfortable and welcome in a kindergarten or not. The latter aspect should always be a top priority when choosing 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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