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Self-confident children – satisfied staff

For the day-care facilities of the Student Services, a constantly high quality of the care is very important to us. Children and their needs are always at the heart of everything we do. Still, it is also important to us that our staff is satisfied, so that they like to come to work and will organize the days of your children with competence and creativity.

The main focus is on the children

Great care follows the needs of the children and their stage of development

At our day-care facilities, we strive for the optimum care and promotion of the children entrusted to us: orientated on the options provided by rooms and staffing level, we want to offer early childhood care on a modern and sophisticated level. Furthermore, each team offers particular, especially developed additional offers and orientations: musical and scientific emphasis are of equal rank as movement- and psychomotricity-orientated offers. We appreciate the means of implementation of an education focused on early childhood at our daily-care facilities, an education that the public debate rightly demands by now. On the basis of our years of experience we know, that especially at the nursery it is very supportive for the children to experience a high continuity of reference persons. We meet this quality criterion by a responsible and forward-looking staff planning. Here, the justified wish of many colleagues for a part-time job and the significant lack of skilled professionals is a real challenge.

Day-care times – balance of children’s and parents’ needs

The duration of day-care times must always be balanced and orientated on the possibilities of the children. At the same time, we respect the needs of parents who study and work. We try to bring both in line. Still, we see quite ourselves as “Lawyers of the children“ and call for discussion on this.

Trustful cooperation with parents and parent representatives

For us, the close and trustful cooperation with parents and their representatives is very important. We are of the opinion that we can only meet the many demands and wishes and achieve a constant further development of our institutions and concepts by an open communication. Our skilled professionals see themselves as “pedagogical experts“ and contact partners for children and parents. They pass on their systematical observations and knowledge regularly and well-structured within the scope of meetings with parents.

Equipment of the rooms and the premises – appropriate and suitable for children

In regard to the equipment of our rooms and premises, we naturally follow the regulation and provisions of the offices and the authorities. Furthermore, manifold reflections and pedagogical experience are included in the equipment. Thus, it might e.g. make sense to waive the use of ready-made toys in favour of self-made or self-designed toys and materials. In our times of an excess supply, this leads to a valuable “deceleration“ for many children. In addition to that, the means which have been saved may be used (more) appropriately elsewhere.
We appreciate the participation of parents in the form of work initiatives. They increase the identification with “their“ institution significantly and strengthen the interaction at the day-care facilities.

State-of-the-art pedagogical standard of knowledge

Our high demands can only be met by means of a constantly up-to-date standard of knowledge. As we operate five day-care facilities with versatile affiliated additional offers (flexible child care, holiday care, daycare) by now, we have a wide range of knowledge and, despite the considerable distances (Lüneburg is about 220 km away from Clausthal), successfully strive to keep up a regular contact with each other. For many years, our standards include supervision offers and, since lately, an external skilled counselling. In urgent cases, colleagues from our department “counselling“ will be available for initial talks or further training.

Modern concepts with courage for change

A concept which has developed within a joint process is the basis of our pedagogical work and represents the pedagogical framework of the work at the day-care facility as basis of our pedagogical work. This framework is adjusted regularly: be it by new scientifical knowledge or by new objectives in regard to technical work, by changes in the staff or by new pedagogical ideas which have been found in the course of further education – our concepts live due to constant change. Thus, we are obliged to make a regular technical reflection of our tasks, aims and methods.

We are proud that all our institutions have a concept of their own, which is based on the local conditions, on the special competences of the respective staff as well as on the specific emphases of the location.

In spite of all differentiation, there are some basics which are comprehensively the same for all of our day-care facilities:

  • It is very important to us that our children will gain social competence.
  • We offer them the chance to take over responsibility for themselves and others at an early stage.
  • Playful learning rates very high for us, especially in times of massive media consumption.
  • We use reading to the children as a pedagogical method on many occasions.
  • We wish that the imagination of the children supervised by us is particularly stimulated.

Quality through a satisfied staff

Health-preserving working conditions – low sick leaves

A pleasant working atmosphere and good working conditions at all institutions of the Student Services are very important to us. Particularly at the field of day-care facilities, we offer special further training and development measures, e.g. the participation at UN-promoted projects like “Campus of the future“ or “Fidelio I and II“ (with a focus on “physical and psychological strain in the field of day-care facilities). As supervisors we appreciate if as many employees as possible make use of this offer and will be gladly bear the incurred costs. This approach will pay off on the long term, as well for the staff as for us being the supervisors and for the children and parents – we are deeply convinced of that. Furthermore, improvements of the room equipment by noise control measures and good furniture for our staff are on top of our agenda. Here, we cooperate closely with the insurance association and our specialist employee for work safety.

Good staff by fair working conditions

Through fair working conditions we try to keep, develop and promote our skilled staff. Unfortunately, the legislator (and sponsor) has set a very narrow frame in regard to the staffing level and the payment of the staff, which we have to consider. From our point of view, this point shows a significant justice gap, especially in regard to the management. In order to shape the conditions as smooth as possible, we commute fixed-term contracts to permanent jobs early, offer appropriate wages oriented on qualification and promote the further training and development of our staff (also on the long term). Family-friendly working conditions are important to us as well – which is not always easy, as the organization of rosters for part-time staff is often a difficult task. That is why we try in good time to commit skilled trainees, stand-ins and pupils to us in good time by showing them perspectives at our place and accompany them attentively through their times of practice. A balanced age structure of the teams is part of this context as well.

Good networking is the Alpha and Omega

In order to learn and benefit from each other, a close cooperation and a good networking is particularly important. Thus, a coordinator for the field of day-care facilities ensures the networking among the institutions, at the regular meetings of the facility managements there is a lively exchange of experience and at least once a year department meetings with professional contents takes. The participation in UN-projects leads to events across departments and locations and accordingly to inspiring contacts between the colleagues. Furthermore, our institutions are well networked on a regional level – not least thanks to our membership at the Association for Welfare Parity Lower Saxony there are many and valuable synergies.

Hand in hand for a joint goal

We give the management and the teams as much autonomy as possible in regard to the design and the development of their pedagogical work. In order to relieve them, we offer support with regard to administrative procedures, e.g. by the use and introduction of management-tools. Our day-care facilities participate in the basis of a personnel development concept, which has been worked out in the scope of the project “Campus of the future“: the strategies for personnel recruitment and -commitment are particularly helpful in the field of day-care facilities. Nevertheless, we are perfectly aware that especially our managements are exposed to high performance pressure. The conditions of the state and the municipalities are constantly increasing without any adequate compensation. On the other side, the expectations and wishes of the parents in regard to the quality of the care increase constantly, too, and there are more and more pedagogical offers required from our skilled staff. Furthermore, the supervisor has to mind the use of the (too) little resources. The high degree of our managements’ motivation – especially of those colleagues, who are only released as “part-time management“ – is seriously tested by this. As supervisors we try to support or skilled staff and managements and keep their backs straight wherever possible. We gladly take over the external representation of the institutions and try to advocate better care- and working conditions as well as an increased financing in the scope of talks with universities, municipalities and the state.

We always remain in discussion

Only if we succeed in integrating the staff into a living process of the discussion of new approaches and creative ideas, we will be able to keep our high quality standard and develop it further. We use regular staff-management talks in order to discover, discuss and promote the development possibilities of our employees.

Corporate culture with creativity and openness to new ideas

At our day-care facilities, the promotion of creativity and openness is very important. Here, the ongoing discussion and the implementation of our new mission statement with its ten values, which describe the social interaction that we wish for, are of significant help. If we achieve, that we all will go to our daily work with commitment, curiosity and fun, we will have achieved a lot!

These points have been worked out and discussed by a project group with the following participants: Anette Hoff
Susanne Layda
Dagmar Trentlage
Michael Klink