Playing with friends again The return to Bonn’s kindergartens

Bonn · Bonn's kindergartens have been opened again for almost regular operation since Monday. Despite the shortened childcare times, parents are largely satisfied that things are starting up again.

 The children now spend a lot of time in the fresh air at the "Rothkäppchen" day care centre.

The children now spend a lot of time in the fresh air at the "Rothkäppchen" day care centre.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Since Monday, the Bonn kindergartens have also been open again for all children. In most of the facilities a reduced operation of 35 hours takes place. Above all, the joy of the children and parents over the opening outweighs the joy of the opening.

So all 22 children of the Rasselbande day care centre can finally meet again. "We are lucky that we were allowed to open fully," says educator Janina Kicinski. "That means 45 hours a week of care." The parents are also very happy that the daycare center is open again. "Parents are currently not allowed to enter the rooms. And before the children come to kindergarten or eat, they must wash their hands.“

It's a bit more difficult in the day care center „Die kleinen Strolche“. "Some of our staff are in the risk group," says Monya Ben Hamida, the educational director of the facility. "Two of the five teachers are absent. The hygiene measures limit the daily routine a little, says Ben Hamida. "For example, we have reduced the number of toys. and try to take the children outside as much as possible."

A cuddly toy can be brought along

The teachers of the Rothkäppchen day care centre were able to welcome all 22 children again from Monday. "Everything is going quite well with us," says headmistress Silke Quantius. The children are introduced to the changed everyday life in a playful way. "For washing their hands, we have rehearsed a song with them so that they wash long enough." What has changed a lot, however, are the arrival and pick-up times. "In our place, parents are only allowed to come in one at a time," says Quantius. Other changes are the beds for the sleeping hours, which have a certain minimum distance. "We open the windows as often as we can and take the kids outside." It is a pity for the little ones, however, that they are not allowed to bring toys. But they are allowed to bring one cuddly toy with them, which then has to stay in the daycare centre.

Another thing is: birthdays. "The children are not allowed to bring cake. We will instead bake it ourselves at the daycare centre," says Quantius.

The Kleine Kaiser children's shop in the city centre has no problems with the minimum distance. "We have it relatively easy," educator Filip Bandholtz tells the GA. A group of 25 children is looked after on two floors. "We also have a garden. We can divide it up well." A few things are different, of course. "We tell the children that they should wash their hands often and not share food." The children also bring their own water bottles. That is working fine. "We don't wear masks. Facial expressions are very important for everyday teaching," says Bandholtz. "We have a few parents who will wait a little longer before they bring their children back. Otherwise, the parents cope wonderfully with the shortened time.

The five kindergartens of the Bonner Studierendenwerk are almost fully operational again. A total of 233 children are looked after in Bonn as well as in Sankt Augustin, says press spokesman Robert Anders. "Almost all children are back. The parents and children are very happy about that.“ The shortened care time is accepted, Anders says. There are only isolated organisational issues.

Integration helpers and child care workers will have to step in

In the municipal day-care centres, some of the staff are absent because teachers belong to the risk group. "Yes, they are distributed very differently," replies Marc Hoffmann, Vice Press Officer of the City of Bonn, when asked by the GA. "In the municipal facilities, personnel are being moved from facility to facility." In addition, day-care centre assistants are to be employed, such as integration helpers who are currently not employed in the schools, or child care workers who are about to graduate. Hoffmann added that enough disinfectant has been provided for. "Masks were provided by the state, and city officials have also sewn everyday masks." For the municipal day-care centres, additional coats and visors have been purchased, which are to be used for changing diapers or accompanying meals.

"For the municipal day-care centres, it can be said that business has started quietly," Hoffmann said. The city is not aware of any major difficulties. However, the fact that from this week on, the children will be looked after for ten hours less is met with displeasure. "Especially parents whose children were previously in emergency care and whose children are now being looked after ten hours less a week have less understanding for this new situation," says Hoffmann.

Suna Rausch, chairwoman of the Youth Welfare Office Parents' Advisory Board, warns that the opening of day-care centres has also increased the pressure on parents from employers. According to her, home office or other flexible working hours are hardly or no longer possible.

Due to the shortened opening hours of the day care centres "many parents are faced with problems in the compatibility of family and career". "This could have been partly mitigated by an internal query of the required care times," says Rausch. "Here the parents could have been significantly relieved." It is regrettable that the expansion of the opening was carried out differently and does not correspond to a partnership-based cooperation.

Original text: Thomas Leurs

Translation: Mareike Graepel

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