Our view of the child The newborn child enters the world as a “competent infant” and is the designer of his or her own individual development. Newborn children already have the basic skills required to develop complex thought processes. They strive with all their senses to make sense of their experiences. Children actively develop their own education and development from birth. At the same time, each child differs from the next in terms of their individual personalities, preferences and inclinations. Every child is an individual Our goal is to provide tailored care for each child in the crèche and kindergarten based on their individual stage of development. Our employees create stimulating pre-prepared environments which give the children ideal opportunities to interact with their surroundings and experience different forms of play and learning. At the same time, they learn to make friends and explore their world independently and in a secure atmosphere, and build trust in their key workers. Children have rights — these are universally enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In particular, children are entitled to receive the best-possible education from the beginning of their lives. Ultimately, the foundations for a successful educational career must be laid during early childhood. In order to achieve this goal, the staff at our crèches and kindergartens work in accordance with our educational concept. The four pillars of a happy childhood Our concept of a “happy childhood” is based on these four pillars, which are in turn based on a successful developmental and educational partnership with the children’s parents. Individuality Each child explores the world around them in their own individual way. Their acquisition of skills is based on their individual needs and interests. By observing the child’s development, our educational staff determine their individual needs and interests, for example based on the type of questions they ask, and then design appropriate, personalised educational activities based on these insights. Security and well-being Security and well-being are important prerequisites for the emotional, cognitive and physical development of children. The quality of their relationship with the educational staff has a decisive influence on each child’s brain development, and is above all determined by the attitude of the respective educators, childcare workers or professional trainees. Participation and co-construction We encourage our children to actively participate in the activities at the crèche or kindergarten — our educational staff therefore involve the children in decision-making processes as much as possible. In this way, the children are made aware that their opinions are important and given consideration — they thus feel valued and gain increased self-confidence by proactively shaping their everyday lives and helping to influence the planning or decision-making processes that affect them. By encouraging their participation, our educational staff help the children to develop a sense of self-determination, social responsibility and social commitment. Practical opportunities for self-determination at the Wichtel Akademie include: Choosing music Creating idea boards Children’s conferences Room design Co-construction means that learning takes place through collaboration, whereby the learning processes are designed collaboratively by the children and staff. A crucial factor here is that the children are active within their environment and are allowed to be the architects of their own knowledge, for example by being encouraged to resolve conflicts independently. Education and development support Our educational staff see themselves as educational and developmental companions and meet the children on equal terms. They reach out to each child and treat them as an individual. The relationship between the children and adults at our day-care centres is characterised by respect and understanding.