Early Childhood Education in Germany
What Is Considered Preschool Education in Germany?
Early childhood education is optional education and care that children between 0-6 of age receive in the Federal Territory of Germany.
Who’s Responsible for the German Preschool Education?
Supervision of the German pre-school education is mainly the responsibility of the State Youth Welfare Office “Landesjugendämter” of the respective Lander. They’re in charge of issuing licenses for the preschool education and care institutions.
To get such a preschool education operation license, providers have to meet the requirements. This includes having the right child/staff ratio, properly qualifications educators, adequate space, appropriate equipment and hygiene, as well as the age-appropriate education program.
Youth offices manage also the operation and investment money that Lander or “Kommunen” allocates for activities and advancement of German preschool education centers.
Which Are the Institutions of Preschool Education in Germany?
German pre-school education is largely offered by privately-run day-care centers and less by institutions established by local authorities. Preschool education providers are “Kinderkrippen” (crèches), child-minding centers, kindergarten, and day-care centers.
Priority in offering childhood education services is offered to non-public organizations, such as Churches, Welfare or Parent’s Associations. Local authorities may offer preschool education services, only if there’s a lack of private initiatives or poor services of the aforementioned providers.
Opening hours of the preschool education institutions are scheduled in cooperation between parents and managing staff. However, usually children get a 7-hour day childhood education and care, including lunch and sometimes a midday break.
Which Are the Teaching Methodology and Materials in Preschool Education in Germany?
For Children Under the Age of 3
The core educational mission of the German preschool education (age under 3) is the enhancement of communication skills amongst kids. Secondly, it is the development of their language skills through the social interaction with other toddlers and adults.
Communication and language skills are taught by language role model (educators), finger plays, singing, pictured books and additional teaching practices/instruments.
Furthermore, an important part in pre-educating children is given to the motor development. This includes increasing body awareness, self-acceptance, self-confidence and concentration amongst the toddlers.
Motor development is reached through physical activities, visiting public environments, rhythmic early education programs, singing and movement playing.
For the Children over the Age of 2
Core values that preschool education seeks to develop amongst children are the enhancement of their teamwork skills, along with their level of integration in daily life activities.
Key areas of German preschool education of children older than 2 are (1) language, writing, communication, (2) personal and social development, (3) development of values and religious education, (4) mathematics, natural sciences, (information) technology (5) fine arts/working with different media (6) body, movement, health and (7) nature and cultural environments.
Such values are taught through self-organized learning, creative learning, teamwork building activities, investigation and experimental activities.
Assessment of the Educational Achievements in Preschool Education in Germany
Children are not assessed regarding their educational achievement reached by participating in German preschool institutions. Instead, they’re constantly supervised by their educators or trainers regarding their attainment from learning activities.
The opinion of educators is discussed with parents of the children, who together agree on further measures on development of kids’ learning skills.
What If a Child Isn’t yet Ready to Begin Compulsory School Studies?
There is a middle option for children having reached the compulsory school attendance age, who yet hasn’t reached the needed development leading to further studies. This is relevant for children with disabilities and those in in need for special education. So, they attend a special school offered by some Landers, known as School Kindergarten “Schulkindergärten”, or a Preliminary Class “Vorklassen” beforehand.