What Questions Should I Ask When Visiting a Kita?15 March 2022 | By Lisa H
As your Kita search progresses, hopefully you’ll get a chance to visit some of your favorite Kitas to get your questions answered. And also to get a firsthand feel for the place and the staff.
These visit may be as part of a larger group of parents. Or you may be lucky to get a one-on-one visit. Either way, this is a great chance to decide if the Kita is right for you or not.
What Kinds of Questions to Ask When Visiting a Kita?
Most Kitas have a website where you can learn about their concept, the building and any outdoor space, opening hours, number of kids etc. Some additional questions may be around the following:
How many kids per group?
How many teachers per group? (The more, the better!)
Is there a dedicated space for the littlest ones?
Do they make their own meals?
Are snacks covered or will you need to bring something?
Do they charge an extra fee? If so, how much? *
Summer closing period and any emergency care during this time
How do they communicate with parents?
How do they implement their concept on a day-to-day basis? How structured is it? How much free play is there? Do they have special classes (music, sport) – if this is important to you?
Do they go outside every day?
*Every Kita charges €23 per month, per child for lunch. In addition they can charge up to €90 extra per month for things such as organic food, snacks, special activities such as music or sports classes, etc.
Again, some of these questions may already be answered on their website, so check before you visit.
To me, however, the most important part was always the interaction – with us, our child, other teachers, the administrative staff… This will tell you so much about the warmth (or lack thereof) of the staff and whether you and your child will feel well taken care of there.
What to Observe When Visiting a Kita:
My first advice would be to see how the teachers are interacting with your child, yourself and the other Kita staff:
Are they getting on the level with your kid?
Are they paying attention to them?
Do you feel like they like their job? That they like this Kita?
Do the teacher have a good relationship amongst each other?
What is the relationship like with the admin staff of the Kita?
If you can observe any interactions between the staff and the kids, the staff amongst each other and the staff with the admin of the Kita – see if you feel like they have a good connection and working relationship.
Here’s an example our personal experience:
We were able to visit a handful of Kitas and the best and the worst experience were like night and day!
At one Kita, the lady paid no attention to our daughter, and wasn't even a teacher from the age group that would have applied to her. It was lunch time and most of the teachers were sitting in one room while the kids were sitting in another. Since she was in charge of the older kids she couldn't really answer any of our questions. The experience with the admin stuff was also horrible.
In contrast the Kita that we ended up choosing got right on the level with our daughter, interacted with her in a non-obtrusive way, always had an eye on her to make sure she was comfortable while we were talking. When we encountered the head of Kita in the hallway she said something along the lines of "Good morning [teacher name], how are you doing? We haven't seen each other yet today" - it was only 9:30am!
What I mean to say is that the whole atmosphere seemed warm and welcoming, they had a good working atmosphere and it was clear that our daughter was the most important person. We loved it while with the other experience we just felt confused....
Basically, listen to your gut feeling when visiting a Kita and decide if you would feel comfortable dropping your child off every day. Hopefully the answer is yes but maybe it is a no and you should move on. (If you are unsure, check our exclusive article on what kind of Kita is right for you.
Last but not least, a note about the furnishings at Kitas. I have found that many Kitas are not as polished as one may be used to from elsewhere in Germany or abroad. Rather, they may feature items and furniture that was built as a project with the kids, bought second hand, or built by parents – with lots of love and the wellbeing of the kids in mind! So don’t write a place off just because they don’t have the newest, shiniest toys or furniture! Instead, pay attention to whether these items provide a feeling of comfort, calm and belonging for the kids.
I hope this helps in you finding a Kita that’s right for you! If you have anything to add, please email us at [email protected]
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