Kindergartens that employ graduated teachers for preschool education can offer children much more than other child care institutions. Preschool professionals use effective teaching methods that contribute to children’s development:
- abilities to understand themselves and others
- abilities to respect different children and work in groups
- abilities to recognize feelings and encouragement to express emotions
- curiosity, research abilities, phantasy, intuition and independent thinking
- language abilities in Slovenian and English, at first speaking, then also reading and writing
- experiencing and expressing arts
- acquiring knowledge from different areas of science and everyday life
- abilities to move
- maintaining hygiene and taking care about health.
The process of education is complex and includes parents, kindergarten teachers and larger environment. All our activities encourage children to independent solving of challenges and to independence in the activities that children are able to perform, e.g. putting on clothes or eating. Our kindergarten teachers communicate with children in a friendly, clear, concrete way and encourage children to develop their abilities and positive thinking. They try to form children’s good habits and values.
Activities and the way of work are repeated and performed as a routine. This offers children the feeling of security and enables them to cooperate in the activities which they are up to. We work with children individually and adapt our approach to each child considering his/her actual characteristics and abilities. The annual plan of work and approach to the children is adapted to the age and abilities of children and not to the department in which they are included.
It is important that children regularly visit the kindergarten. Life in the kindergarten is based on repetition and development of safety and acceptance. Frequent absence of children hinders their inclusion in the group. It helps if children come to the kindergarten every day at the same time. In this way children include in the activity and in the social happening more easily.
When children come to the kindergarten they are exposed to different illnesses, contagious children’s diseases and viroses. A child who falls ill should stay at home because he/she can infect also other children and because he needs rest, peace, attention and special care. Signs that a child needs home care are: increased temperature, unusual fatigue, irritability, breathing difficulties, continuous crying, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, coughing, sore throat, gland inflammation, runny nose, taking antibiotics, conjunctivitis etc. If the kindergarten teacher thinks that the child is ill and cannot be included in the group, she does not accept the child in the department and/or calls his parents to take him home. Children have the right to the rest and individual care in appropriate environment until signs of illness disappear.
The toys in the kindergarten are regularly cleaned and disinfected. We use paper handkerchiefs and towels, and only liquid soap. In the case of contagious diseases and viroses the kindergarten teachers disinfect the premises and the equipment. They also change bed linen. Employees consider instructions that prevent and reduce contagious diseases, have regular medical examinations which are a part of the kindergarten’s documentation. We consistently perform hygiene principles and respect other protective measures.
Children go out every day and the teachers take care that they wear warm and dry clothes. There are five meals which contain a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit but not much sugar. We get lunch from a nearby kindergarten. Children can get also diet meals.
The classrooms are often ventilated (in the time when children are not in the rooms). The teachers acquaint children how to wash their hands, how to use the toilette, brush their teeth, how to dress etc. The teachers help children and motivate them with songs and stories. After lunch children take rest. Its length is determined by the kindergarten teacher who considers the needs of each child and discusses it with his parents. The teacher calms down the children by fairy tales or by singing.
The kindergarten teachers and other employees of the kindergarten make extensive preparations for their pedagogical work. These preparations include the choice and learning of tales and stories, organization of puppet theatre, creating different ways of playing, organizing birthday and other parties, preparation of pedagogical contents, making and repairing toys, purchasing materials for pedagogical work, cleaning, disinfection and redecorating the premises.
The kindergarten enables children to discover the world with their own activity and not by TV and/or other e-media which can be accepted passively and which can lead to their dependence on media, to mental passivity and consumerism.
Parents are responsible for their child till the moment when they give him/her in the hands of the kindergarten teacher and from the moment when the kindergarten teacher gives the child to his parents. If parents cannot pick up their child personally they can send another adult person who must show written authorization. Parents and children should not bring jewellery, watches, personal objects, sweets, toys etc. The kindergarten is not responsible for such things. Parents are responsible for children’s safety during celebrations in the kindergarten, excursions and other events which take place together with parents.
Children have the right to be respected as unique human beings who deserve personal dignity. They should have the same possibilities for optimal development not regarding their sex, nationality, race, social or cultural origin, religion etc. They have the right to safe, healthy and understanding environment, and to professional treatment that considers characteristics of the child’s development according to his age. The children also have the right to play which means to them the same as work for adults. Children should experience real human qualities transmitted to them by adults as models.
Parents have the right to be respected as the main persons who have responsibility for children’s education and development. Parents should be informed about the programme and activities of the kindergarten; they should actively cooperate in activities suggested by the kindergarten. Parents should be informed about the child’s health and development and should be offered professional help how to educate their children.
Parents have the following commitments: they must be acquainted with the life in the kindergarten and with the organization of activities. They should cooperate with the kindergarten teachers for the benefit of their children. They should inform the kindergarten about the absence of children and about important changes in the family. Parents should bring into the kindergarten only healthy children and should take care that children receive medical treatment at home. Parents should regularly pay the monthly fee, consider professional decisions of the kindergarten teachers, and appropriate behaviour in the kindergarten’s premises.