Approximately 180 children between the ages of two months up to six years attend our day care center. They each have different origins, diverse cultural backgrounds, and of course different abilities, skills, characters, and needs.
It is important to us to value each child’s personality and to support them in their individual needs and stages of development.
Our day care center is located in green surroundings (Domäne Dahlem, Schwarze Grund and Grunewald are close by) and has a very large and diverse garden space.
Our facility is easily accessible with public transport: The X83 bus stops at the day care center, and the bus lines 115 and X10 as well as the underground stop Dahlem Dorf are within walking distance.
Our day care center at a glance
Like all day care centers in Berlin, we work on the basis of the Berlin Education Program (Berliner Bildungsprogramm). Our pedagogical focus lies on public health education. According to the Ottawa Charter for Health promotion, our understanding of health includes physical, mental, and social well-being: “A child who feels comfortable in their own body and who feels accepted, respected and valued in their family and within the environment of the day care center will feel curious and explorative about the diverse challenges and stimulations of their environment .”
This salutogenetic understanding of health is the basis of our pedagogical concept:
- We prepare breakfast and afternoon snacks together with the children. Apart from that, we pay attention to a well-balanced, healthy diet. The children always have access to drinks and a fruit and vegetable plate.
- The day care children have the opportunity to take their midday nap in the pram in the fresh air on the terrace.
- We regularly go to the garden or explore the surroundings in almost any weather condition.
- All areas of day care centers have well-equipped play and sports rooms, which provide the children with various opportunities for movement and tactile experiences.
- Once a week, the daycare children visit the large gym at Freie Universität.
The day care area is divided into three groups, usually of 60 children aged between two months and 2.5 years. The two mixed-age, group-open areas on the middle and upper floor each have room for an average of 60 children, from the age of about two to those about to start school.
In order to meet the various needs of the children, we have created different areas where they have the opportunity to rest and relax, to move around, to be creative and do roleplaying.
These areas are divided into function rooms and/or function areas. The rooms give the children the opportunity to make decisions and to choose between different options. They can use larger game areas like the exercise room to romp around, or the building room to make big things, or get into quiet or creative activities (looking at books, painting). In this way, the children are given a variety of play and experience spaces and can pursue their needs as well as their interests.
Our well-equipped study workshop can be visited by all four to six-year-old children in our facility. The curiosity of the children is aroused by the design of the rooms and a wide range of materials. They are challenged to try out something new and perhaps unusual, to research and to find answers to their questions. Our learning workshop works according to the principle of “discovering learning”.
The large, versatile outdoor area invites the children to play, climb, swing, rock, balance, slide, splash around and be creative.
"Haus der kleinen Forscher" (House of Little Explorers)
The day care center at the Freie Universität is one of 50 pilot facilities that was already certified as House of Little Explorers in 2006. The foundation Haus der kleinen Forscher (House of Little Explorers) supports the development of young children in the fields of mathematics, science, and technology. The foundation provides pedagogues with the respective qualifications and has become the largest early education initiative in Germany.
As the Haus der kleinen Forscher, we offer children the opportunity to try out, learn and explore with the help of various specially designed projects. This movie that the foundation shot for a project about sustainability in our rooms is a good example for the success of our projects.
Participation and Contribution
In our day care center the children have the possibility to help shape their day care life according to their respective ages. We take the children seriously, trust them and take their fears, feelings, and interests into consideration. We give them a wide range of possibilities to express their own ideas, find solutions, respect the opinions of others, and to make compromises. This way, they are able to make their first basic democratic experiences. Once a week, we hold a children’s conference with the four- to six-year-old children. Within this little conference, we plan projects and actions and also develop and decide on rules for living and playing together. Our team has taken the rights of the children into consideration and is currently developing a pedagogical guideline in which they will further define and describe the concrete (co)decision rights of the children.
Our forest groups set out once a week to explore the Grunewald forest, the Domäne Dahlem (an interactive agricultural museum and domain), and the Schwarze Grund (an idyllic park area), all of which are close to our facilities. Our “Waldkinder” (“forest children”) explore their environment as a natural habitat for plants, animals and people, experience the changing of the seasons and observe the cycles in nature. With the help of these experiences, they develop an understanding of the environment and respect for other living beings.
Offers and Projects
Children discover the “world” playfully and everywhere they go. That is why we put an emphasis on a wide range of experiences that challenge the children to become active and equip them with encouraging materials. In addition to free play, there are projects and activities within the various educational areas of the Berlin Education Program (Berliner Bildungsprogramm – BPP) we apply. It is important to us to answer the children's questions in a variety of ways and also to encourage them to gain “knowledge” through their own actions and experiments.
The project “journey into the world of things", playing and experimenting with everyday objects” was very exciting for the two to three-year-old children, because they didn’t use their usual toys in this project.
Instead, they could use brushes, filters, bike rims, and all sorts of technical equipment to tinker with, disassemble and reassemble – everything that adults use in their everyday life. In close cooperation with the artist Anat Manor, we concluded this project with an impressive exhibition.
Once a year, our older children take part in the annual run at the Tiergarten, which is organized by Berliner Wasserbetriebe (Berlin’s largest water supply company). It is a great community experience for them to run about 800 metres through the Tiergarten with other children. Of course, we prepare ourselves for this challenge together with a special “runner’s training”.
Day care Trip
Biesenbrow is about 120 km northeast of Berlin, a place that some of the day care children at Freie Universität have chosen as their favorite place. The annual day care trip gives them the opportunity to discover nature and the place for themselves. Here, they can run around and be close to all kinds of animals (sheep, donkeys, chickens, dogs, and cats). The day care children also help prepare this annual trip. They have the opportunity to participate in a day trip there and observe the place. They usually return with many impressions that help them to plan their longer trip.
Festivals and Celebrations
In the course of the year, we have many opportunities to celebrate. These celebrations are important to us, give us a break from everyday life, are fun and leave us with beautiful memories. For our preschool children there is an annual children's festival in the Freiraum - the event hall of the culture department of studierendenWERK.
Closing times 2019
02.01. - 04.01.
04.03. - 05.03.
15.07. - 26.07.
30.09. - 04.10.
23.12. - 31.12.