The ABC of the day-care centres of the Wichtel Akademie

A

Age

We look after babies and children aged between six months and three years in our crèches and children aged between three years and the school enrolment age in our kindergartens.

Allergies

Please inform the group management at the Wichtel Akademie if your child has any allergies or food intolerances and include a medical certificate with your application.

Attendance

Each child’s hours of attendance depend on their individual booking time. However, it is important that all children arrive at the latest shortly before 9.00 am, as this is when the core time begins, starting with our morning circle. In the afternoon, please arrive shortly before 2.30 pm as we start our afternoon circle at 2.30 pm.

Enrolment fee (Aufnahmegebühr)

The enrolment fee at all of our day-care centres is a one-time charge of EUR 450. You can enrol your child with us all year round. Depending on availability, your child can also start with us during the school year.

Enrolment date (Aufnahmedatum)

You can enrol your child with us all year round. Depending on availability, your child can also start with us during the school year.

Supervision obligations (Aufsichtspflicht)

Our supervision obligations begin when the day-care centre opens at 7.30 am. They do not begin until the child is handed over to our staff.

The parents are responsible for supervising their child on the way to the day-care centre. The children are insured against accidents by the crèche. Our supervision obligation begins and ends as agreed with the parents (childcare contract). In principle, the staff at the day-care centre have the same supervision obligations as the parents.

B

Labelling (Beschriften)

gummistiefel

Please always label the following items with your child’s name (see also www.gutmarkiert.de): pyjamas, slippers or non-slip socks, spare underwear, cuddly toy/sleeping aid, wellies, waterproof trousers, waterproof coat, headgear, sun cream, snowsuit, gloves, hat, winter boots, and gym gear for kindergarten children (trousers, T-shirt, plimsolls — no socks)

Bed linen

Parents do not need to bring bed linen. We provide sheets and bed linen in our day-care centres, which are cleaned once a week (or more frequently if necessary) by the centre’s housekeeping staff.

Care hours

The regular opening times of our day-care centres are from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm — with the exception of Garching and Sendling. At all of the Wichtel Akademie Munich’s day-care centres, the childcare programme and daily schedule are based on a fixed daily routine as well as the children’s natural biological rhythms. This applies in particular to quiet times and group activities. Naturally, there is also a certain degree of flexibility depending on the specific situation. For more information, please speak to the manager of your day-care centre.

Drop-off and pick-up times/door conversations (Bring- und Abholsituation)

To assist our work, it is essential that we learn of any specific incidents or difficulties affecting your child that may have occurred outside our setting, for example during the weekend or evening. This enables us to better understand and respond to the children and help them process their experiences. Conversely, each day we provide detailed information about your child’s day to keep you informed about their behaviour at the day-care centre as well as any specific developments during the day.

At the end of each day, it is very important for our educators and the children that they tidy away their toys and then say goodbye in person. Please pass this information to all friends and family members who are authorised to collect your child. We also politely request that you are punctual and keep to your booking times.

E

English at the day-care centre

We offer English at all kindergartens of the Wichtel Akademie Munich. Each kindergarten group includes an English native educator, i.e. a pedagogical specialist with English as their first language, who leads the morning or afternoon circle as well as other specific educational activities in English.

The goal is to make the children familiar with the sounds and tones of the English language and thus to help them learn their first English words. This introduction to the English language is conceived as a general speech-development game in which the breathing patterns, speech rhythms and articulation of sounds are practised. Our language teaching takes the form of immersion (one person, one language). The English native educators communicate with the children exclusively in their native language during all educational activities. Because our English-speaking staff simply speak consistently in English rather than teaching it directly, the children are immersed in the foreign language in a natural way.

Familiarisation (Eingewöhnung)

The settling-in period at a crèche or kindergarten is usually the first time children experience separation from their parents. Therefore each child needs time to adapt to their new environment and establish a relationship with the adults and other children, who at first are simply strangers. We consider the settling-in process at both the crèche and kindergarten to be equally important and ensure that they are prepared and carried out accordingly. Our familiarisation model, the “Munich model”, is based on the work of Prof. Kuno Beller, who developed a particularly gentle, low-stress method for familiarising toddlers with their new surroundings, which was in turn based on the “Berlin model”.

Familiarisation is a highly individual process, which makes it difficult to make blanket statements about its duration. However, based on our experience, we can say that in most cases the children are fully settled after four to six weeks.

Development documentation (Entwicklungsdokumentation)

The educational approach at our crèches and kindergartens is based on regular and systematic observations of the child’s individual learning and development processes. Detailed observations enable our educators and childcare specialists — and also our parents — to gain valuable insights into the children’s learning and development process. At the same time, we rely on professional observation, documentation and analysis methods to ensure the consistent high-quality of our educational provision. Based on the results of these observations, we are able to focus on the strengths, abilities and interests of each individual child.

In the crèche,  we arrange a development meeting with our parents at least once per year. In order to prepare for these development meetings, we observe the children in accordance with a set of developmental criteria in order to evaluate their emotional development, social behaviour, cognitive development, play behaviour/motivation, linguistic development, creativity, physical development, eating and sleeping, hygiene and tidiness skills, sensory perception, gross motor skills (physical development) and fine motor skills. During the one-hour development meeting, these observations are discussed with the parents. The child’s transition from crèche to kindergarten is also explained.

In the kindergarten we use the “Seldak” (language development and literacy for children with German as their first language), “Sismik” (linguistic behaviour and interest in language among migrant children in children’s day-care facilities) and “Perik” (positive development and resilience in everyday life at kindergarten) approaches in order to carry out targeted observations and provide linguistic support for the children. Development meetings are held with the parents once a year on the basis of the Seldak, Sismik and Perik observations. These meetings also involve discussions about the transition from kindergarten to school. A final meeting with the parents takes place shortly before the children leave the crèche or kindergarten.

Parental contributions (Elternbeiträge)

Please transfer your parental contributions to the Wichtel Akademie München GmbH (debit order) by the first day of the respective month. Fixed, non-means-tested childcare fees are charged on a monthly basis, which include meals, nappies, hygiene items as well as selected educational activities.

Entrance doors

For security reasons, all entrance doors and gates must always be kept closed (especially the intermediate door between the crèche and the entrance area). Please do not use shoes or stools to prop open the entrance doors. Please note that unrelated third parties are not permitted to enter the building.

Parents’ council (Elternbeirat)

At the beginning of the year, the parents elect a parent’s council, which has an advisory role and is informed and consulted about important decisions by the day-care centre’s operator and management in advance.

Nutrition (Ernährung)

paprika

Mealtimes are a fundamental part of the daily routine and thus the educational programme at the Wichtel Akademie Munich. It is therefore very important to us, in close cooperation with parents, to provide a healthy and balanced diet that the children enjoy.

Since 1 December 2016, we have been serving our children freshly cooked meals from our large kitchen in the Schwabing Parkstadt business district, which are prepared using the “cook&chill” method. Having added an extension to our kitchen, we are now able to supply all Wichtel Akademie day-care centres with freshly prepared food.

The children’s lunches are prepared by our chefs using only fresh, seasonal and local produce. An optimum balance of vitamins, minerals and fibre are provided to ensure the children receive all the important nutrients in the course of the day. We completely avoid flavour enhancers, additives or artificial flavourings and use only small amounts of salt and sugar. In accordance with the latest “cook&chill’ method, after careful preparation, the lunch is immediately cooled down to 2 – 3°C and stored in special refrigerators so that the vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres are completely preserved. In the evening, our drivers bring the meals to the respective establishment. The food is then heated up the next day by our housekeeping staff via a gentle steaming process, which ensures that, even after thorough cooking, the meal supplies the children with all essential nutrients. Breakfast, an afternoon snack and supper are all prepared in-house by our housekeeping staff.

water-paprika-rot

Varied menu:

Our menu features balanced, tasty dishes that replenish the children’s energy and is based on an even mix of their firm favourites and new culinary experiences. We have found that, when among our community at the day-care centre, children are often far more adventurous and willing to experiment than they are at home — our menu therefore includes a wide variety of dishes designed to introduce them to new flavours. With this in mind, the individual foods (fish, meat, vegetables, rice, etc.) are each prepared separately, so that the children can try the foods individually at their own pace. The way the dishes are prepared also creates important learning opportunities for the children. For example, under the careful guidance of our educators, even our crèche children can learn how a fish fillet is prepared, and are therefore able to cope when they are served whole. Our menu rotates every six weeks and is based on seasonal produce. It is displayed on the parents’ information board so that you can always see what your child will be eating with us. For children with allergies, we create a separate individual meal plan, which is also displayed in the entrance area.

F

Photos (Fotos)

The staff of the Wichtel Akademie photograph the children during their daily activities in their individual groups at the day-care centre. In addition, a photographer comes to take group and individual photos of the children twice per year. These are available on a photo CD. If you do not want your child to be photographed, please inform the management at your Wichtel Akademie day-care centre.

Breakfast (Frühstück) — see Nutrition

Lost and found (Fundgrube)

Please regularly check our lost property box, as all unlabelled items are transferred to our spare clothes box at the end of each month. Therefore please always label everything!

G

Garden design at our crèches and kindergartens

schubkarreEach Wichtel Akademie facility has a spacious garden (with the exception of the crèche in Sendling), which can be used by the children on a daily basis. The outdoor areas of our day-care centres are specifically designed in accordance with our educational principles. Our gardens offer individual, differentiated areas that promote the holistic development of different age groups. They evoke the children’s curiosity and love of movement and offer stimuli for all the senses. A variety of different materials are waiting to be explored and enjoyed in our outdoor areas: sand, soil, grass, cobbles, pebbles, plants and wood. These resources promote and consolidate your child’s ongoing development in all areas. A variety of different plants, herb beds, fruit shrubs, water, small hills and hidden, secret corners offer your child room to feel safe while exploring and discovering independently or interacting socially with other children.

Birthdays (Geburtstag)

Each child’s birthday is an important event that we celebrate with a set ritual. We sing a birthday song in the morning circle and later celebrate with a small snack. For this, the birthday boy or girl is welcome to bring a cake, pretzels or pizza buns for the group to share.

Health care

Since 16 May 2008, all parents in Bavaria have been obliged to ensure that their children undergo early diagnosis screening examinations (the so-called “U-examinations” U1 to U9 and J1). The Bavarian State Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Family and Women has stated that proof of this must be requested when a child is enrolled at a day-care centre.

For this reason, we are obliged to request proof of your child’s participation in the most recent age-appropriate early diagnosis screening examination and therefore ask you to kindly present your child’s stamped and signed examination booklet. The booklet will not be copied or retained by us; we are simply required to verify its existence. If you do not wish to submit your child’s medical screening booklet, you can also provide this proof via a corresponding letter of confirmation from your paediatrician, which confirms the early diagnosis screening examinations given to your child. In this case, as the child’s legal guardian you will be required to pay for any additional costs incurred. If you do not submit the aforementioned proof, this will have no effect on your child’s ability to attend the respective childcare facility. In other words, your child can still be enrolled and cared for at our day-care centre. However, as the child’s legal guardian, we are obliged to inform you of your obligation to submit your child to the early diagnosis screening examinations.

I

Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases as well as any other communicable conditions must be reported to the management immediately. Your child must not enter the day-care centre if suffering from a serious infection that is caused by exposure to low levels of pathogens. These include diphtheria, cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis or diarrhoea with vomiting caused by EHEC bacteria, as well as bacterial dysentery. Generally speaking, these illnesses only occur in isolated cases (the law also mentions virus-induced haemorrhagic fever, plague and polio, however it is highly unlikely that these pathogens will be brought into Germany and spread here).

Your child must stay at home…

  • if he/she has an infectious disease which, in some cases, may be difficult to treat and could lead to complications. Such diseases include whooping cough, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, chickenpox, meningococcal infections caused by Haemo- philus influenzae type-b bacteria, infectious ringworm, or hepatitis A and E (E is not common in Germany, however it can be brought back from holidays abroad).
  • if he/she is suffering from head lice or scabies and the treatment has not yet been completed.
  • he/she is ill or is suspected of having an infectious gastrointestinal disease (gastroenteritis) and is younger than six.

We therefore advise you to take the advice of your family doctor or paediatrician in cases of serious illness (e.g. high fever, excessive fatigue, repeated vomiting, diarrhoea and other worrying symptoms such as an abnormal cough or sore throat with a conspicuous mouth odour), and also in the case of an outbreak of lice.

Your family doctor or paediatrician will be able to advise you whether your child has a condition that prohibits him or her from attending the day-care centre under the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). Should your child need to stay at home or be treated in the hospital, please notify us without delay — in the case of any of the diseases listed in Nos. 1 to 4 above, please also provide details of the diagnosis so that we can take all necessary measures to prevent the further spread of the disease.

With many infectious diseases, an infection may occur long before any typical symptoms become evident, for example through the exchange of saliva droplets during conversation. This means that a child may already have infected a number of playmates or members of staff by the time the first signs of illness are noticed and the decision is made to keep him or her at home. In such cases, we are obliged to inform the parents of the other children anonymously about the presence of an infectious disease.

Sometimes, children or adults may be exposed to pathogens without developing symptoms of the disease. Equally, in certain cases, pathogens continue to be excreted with the faeces long after the illness itself has passed. This represents a continued risk of infection for the other children and members of staff at the day-care centre. The Infectious Diseases Act therefore stipulates that the “excretors” of cholera, diphtheria, EHEC, typhoid, paratyphus and shigella tuberculosis bacteria may only return to the day-care centre with the permission of — and having been instructed by — the public health authority.

Even if someone at home is suffering from a severe or high-risk infection, other members of the household may have already been exposed to these pathogens and excreted them without falling ill themselves. In this case also, your child must stay at home. For more information about the rules preventing “excretors” from attending the day-care centre or children who may have been infected without becoming ill, please contact your doctor or the public health authority. Please note that you must also notify us in both of the aforementioned cases.

Protective vaccination is available against diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, child paralysis, typhoid and hepatitis A. If your child has been vaccinated, the public health authority may, in individual cases, allow them to continue attending the day-care centre with immediate effect. Please bear in mind that vaccination programmes not only protect the individual child, but also the community as a whole. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or the public health authority. We will also be happy to assist you.

Please understand that we are only allowed to readmit children to the day-care centre upon presentation of a medical certificate.

Information/post

briefkasten

Outside each group room there is a bulletin board on which you can read all important information. We also provide information about the Wichtel Akademie in our newsletter and about the individual day-care centres via letters to parents. Our educators also inform parents about their children’s progress via brief individual discussions during drop-off and pick-up, or via pre-arranged longer individual meetings.

K

Security deposit (Kaution)

The Wichtel Akademie does not charge a security deposit.

Clothing (Kleidung)

We want our children to be able to move around freely and explore the world independently — therefore your child will need plenty of spare clothes. We recommend avoiding their “Sunday best” so that they can enjoy wet play at any time and explore our garden come rain or shine.

M

Medication

In principle, we do not administer medication, except for chronic conditions. The intervals, dose and type of administration must be certified by your child’s doctor. The medical certificate must also clearly state that the medication does not need to be administered by a medical professional. In addition, we require written consent from the child’s legal guardian.

  • Medication may only be handed over to our pedagogical staff.
  • Furthermore, the medication must not affect the child’s ability to participate in the life of the community.

O

Organisation

Children need a well-organised routine in the form of set daily rhythms and rituals. These are provided via our set activity groups and the behavioural rules that apply during group work and at the day-care centre in general. At our day-care centres we teach the children to follow rules for the good of the community. We also ask parents to comply with the rules and hygiene regulations at the Wichtel Akademie.

P

Staff-to-child ratio (Personalschlüssel)

The staff-to-child ratio at our day-care centres is above both the industry average and the minimum legal requirement. Our educators are also supported by assistants, trainees, housekeeping staff and interns.

S

Sleeping

Children’s sleep patterns understandably preoccupy their parents and guardians from day one. In principle, preschool children require a schedule that alternates between activity and rest. Generally, we do not impose this rhythm on the children, because we do not believe in forcing children to do things against their will. Indeed, children who are feeling tired may go to sleep in our snuggle corners, sleeping baskets or pushchairs at any time before our communal sleeping times. Otherwise they can sleep in our sleeping rooms during the afternoon quiet time from 12.00 to 2.00 pm. However, some children no longer need this daily quiet time. After resting on the mattress for a while, those who do not want to sleep are taken quietly out of the sleeping room by a member of staff. These children learn to be considerate of the other children and play quietly in the group room while the others sleep.

You can find out more about afternoon quiet time at our day-care centres here.

Pyjamas (Schlafanzug)

Please bring your child’s pyjamas if they still need to sleep at lunchtime (please label). Please take your child’s pyjamas home for washing every Friday.

Toy day (Spielzeugtag)puppe

The children are allowed to bring in a small toy from home on the last Friday of each month. Please ensure that your child does not bring delicate electronic equipment (iPads, toy guns, etc.) to the day-care centre, as no liability can be assumed in the event of damage. The children are free to bring in toys such as dolls, cars, story CDs, picture books or similar.

T

Daily routine (Tagesablauf)

A clear and well-structured daily routine helps children orient themselves and approach each day with confidence. Regular, repeated activities provide the children in the crèche and kindergarten with a sense of familiarity and security, which in turn helps them find their feet quicker and thus become increasingly independent. The daily routine at our day-care centres is designed to provide ample space and time for educational activities, both in the morning and afternoon, and is based around the children’s natural biological rhythms. Working in mixed age groups offers the children additional incentives to learn from and with each other.

Daily report (Tagesprotokoll)

Our staff produce a daily report which documents important events during the day — for example, the children’s eating and sleeping habits or hygiene matters — and serves as a useful source of information for our staff and for parents during handover.

Gymnastics (Turnen)

Regular exercise is very important for children. For this reason, in addition to free playtime in the playground, each group also takes part in a weekly gymnastics session.

Gym bag (Turnsachen)

Please bring a gym bag for your child with a pair of trousers, T-shirt and plimsoles (no socks) for our gymnastics sessions. Please always label these items with your child’s name! (See also: www.gutmarkiert.de). The gym bag can stay at the day-care centre and should only be taken home for washing every few weeks.

U

Holiday (Urlaub)

For our planning, it is essential that we know in advance when the children will not be attending the day-care centre due to holidays. We therefore ask parents to kindly inform the group management in advance. Unfortunately, we are unable to reimburse you for your child’s period of absence from the Wichtel Akademie.

V

Preparatory language course (Vorkurskonzept)

The “German 240” preparatory course is a special form of language support for children whose parents are both of non-German-speaking origin. The course is run jointly by the kindergarten and primary school. Under the Bavarian Children’s Education and Supervision Act (BayKiBiG), the kindergartens are responsible for providing special language support for children with little knowledge of German. Since July 2005, preschool children with little knowledge of German have been supported linguistically during their last kindergarten year via so-called “prep courses” provided by their kindergarten and primary school teachers.

Events (Veranstaltungen)

Together with our children and educators, each year we celebrate various special occasions such as Wichtel-Wies’n, St Martin’s Day, St. Nicholas’ Day, Advent Coffee or Easter Brunch. In addition, we organise flea markets, make school bags together with the parents and hold regular parents’ evenings.

Once a year in July, all our facilities close at 5.00 pm on the occasion of the B2Run. Our employees are taking part in the German corporate run championship on this day, so we ask that you please collect your child at 4.45 pm. The exact date of the run will be announced in our newsletter and on Facebook.

W

Spare clothing (Wechselkleidung)

The children require sufficient spare clothing in their wardrobe compartment. Please check this on a regular basis — and please always label your child’s clothes.

Pixie explorers (Wichtelforscher)

Our pixie explorer activities are provided for the older children (aged between two and three) in each group. Our pixie explorers meet for various events, such as creative activities and visits to libraries or similar. For example, the children are shown how to behave in a library and the procedure for borrowing and returning books. These excursions begin after a period of intensive introduction to life at the kindergarten. For our younger children, we provide intensive group-based supervision during this time, as it is very important that they are given a safe, protected space and a structured routine.

Residential address (Wohnsitz)

We also accept children who live outside the city of Munich.

Y

Yoga

In our yoga sessions, the focus is on movement and the subsequent return to rest, which creates an alternating cycle. With this in mind, we offer a weekly children’s yoga session at all of our day-care centres.

Do you have any questions?

Then please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.