The harmonious development of our children is a natural and therefore slow process. Our task is to create a framework for this process but not to accelerate it. We address the children’s needs and interests of the moment and try to avoid following dogmatic pedagogical-ideological direction. We experiment with different approaches and elements in response to each particular situation, the needs of the group, and the child’s individual circumstances.
We especially emphasise social learning and conflict solving strategies. An important methodological approach in our work is observation, which often serves as the departure point for talks, excursions, and projects. The goal is for children to see themselves as the authors of their daily life. They are supported in this process by the other children, the supervisors, and the parents.
In addition to exploring traditional social customs and plenty of nature, our children and we make use of the unique institution WUK and its diverse programmes, projects, and groups. Where else in Vienna does one find a ceramic workshop, galleries, theatre groups, music performances, and so much more under one roof?
In the future
In response to the growing demand we have accepted more and more 2-year-old children over the last years. Since 2007 our supervisors employ the “Berliner Eingewöhnungsmodell” (Berlin familiarisation model), which helps children and parents to have a softer transition into the children group and also reduces the average number of the child’s sick days. Given its success this model will certainly be continued.
In the realm of familiarisation, but also otherwise, the Kids Island team tries to promote and improve parental participation and interaction in the group’s activities. We look for those forms of communication and cooperation that are best suited for all of the involved (children, parents, and supervisors).
In the near future the exploration of the environment through music and media will be intensified.
The Kids Island children group offers space for 14 children between the ages of 2 and 6 years. One female and two male supervisors help children to actively and creatively shape their living environment. The intense exchange with a parent-managed children group enables a reflective cooperation between supervisors and parents.