What Are Berlin Kitas Like?

19 April 2022 | Kita-Suche | By Lisa H

Perhaps you’ve wondered what kind of approach Berlin Kitas take in their day-to-day wirk with the kids as well as preparing them for school.

You may be used to or prefer a certain approach and this should go into the decision of what Kitas to consider (see also our article on "What Kita is Right For You?").

Below I’m listing a translated excerpt of the “Berlin Educational program for Kitas” so you can get an idea of how your child will “learn” at Kita.

I found their information on how they prepare the older kids for school a good example for how the Kita years are approached in general:

  • Confidence in their own abilities, eg by feeling a sense of achievement over something, by participating in day-to-day activities and special projects. As the kids get older, they learn to be independent and how to master different types of situations.

  • Social behavior: Your child learns what it means to be part of a group, to negotiate and follow rules and treat others fairly.

  • Grit: Your child will learn that it’s worth exploring different questions in detail and to not give up when things get tough.

  • “Expertise”: Your child will continually add to their knowledge about the world around them. They will learn to apply and express that knowledge, for example through language, art, construction, songs, role-play or in projects.

  • Language: Your child will continually develop their language skills. They understand language, have a good vocabulary and grammar. They can voice their needs and feelings, can ask questions and describe what they are doing.

  • Motor Skills: Your child will have ample opportunity to move their body and develop different skills. They also train their fine motor skills – working with their hands – in different ways.

How these guidelines are implemented varies Kita by Kita, depending on their concepts, approaches and - sadly - also on how well staffed they are (which affects their ability to apply their concept day by day).

If I had to put it in my own words, I would say Berlin Kitas train kids to be independent at an early age, to explore their interests and learn to be a part of a group. There’s lots of free play and learning by doing.

Some Kitas will offer structured activities such as language classes, sports or arts, which is offered by an outside professional at the same time every week.

But you will note the lack of structured learning, which you may expect when coming from abroad – there is generally no class-like activities for learning numbers or letters, etc. However, if the kids do express an interest in these things, teachers will pick it up and support them in pursuing these interests.

I hope this is helpful in explaining the overall philosophy – send us any questions to [email protected].

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