Information about Villa Unibunt

10 facts
Our mission statement: "The Situational Approach is an invitation to get involved in life with the children”
Jürgen Zimmer/ Founder of the Situational Approach

Our pedagogical work is based on the recommendations for education and upbringing for kindergartens, in Rhineland-Palatinate. Legal bases are “das achte Sozialgesetzbuch“ (in particular the §1, §8 and §22 to §26), “The Kindertagesstätten Gesetz RLP“, “The Kinderförderungsgesetz“, “The Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch“ and “The Grundgesetz“. In addition, we work according to the Situational Approach. We consider our institutions as a place of safety, experience and learning. Doing things together, such as playing, doing arts and crafts, experimenting, singing, celebrating parties, organising trips out and generally having lots of fun together - from our point of view this is the best way for children to discover and conquer the world. Successful education and upbringing require the cooperation of adults. Therefore, we maintain a partnership-like cooperation between the parents, as experts for their child and our specialists.

1. The Situational Approach
Our pedagogical work is based on the principles of the Situational Approach and is displayed through our everyday life. In view of the constantly and rapidly changing world, it is a particular interest of this concept to ensure equal opportunities for all children, regardless of their social and cultural background. The aim of our education is to empower the children to act independently, competently and in the interest of the community. The focus is always on what is current in the life of the children and their families.

2. Priorities
We focus on living and experiencing nature. Our spacious outdoor area in the middle of the Landau Fort, enables the children to experience nature in the various changing seasons. In our kitchen garden fruits, herbs and plants are grown, cultivated and collected, and the children are actively encouraged to participate. Our focus is on a close examination of the natural elements in order to support the children in their development. The children assume responsibility and experience a conscious approach to their environment.

3. Core hours
In order to make it easier for the children to actively find their way into the group and play activities, we provide a core time from 10:00 to 2:00pm. During this time all children should be in attendance, in order to properly participate in the activities of the groups.

4. Settling in period
The transition to a childcare facility can be a big step for both children and parents and naturally comes with a transition process, for those involved. For parents, this means that they must entrust their child to as yet unknown persons. The procedure we employ, is based on the "Berlin Model". The initial focus is on building the bond and relationship between the child and the relevant specialist. The support of a family member is one of the main building blocks of this. The goal being to create a basis for trust between all those involved, in which the child’s relationship is then able to grow. A positive acclimatisation period is a significant step towards the child's independence. The settling-in period depends on each individual child’s situation and may last several weeks.

5. The Marte Meo Method
With the Marte Meo method, everyday situations are recorded through the use of video and then discussed. The video is deemed the most important tool for examining the effects of everyday interaction with one another. Particular attention is paid to social, emotional and linguistic development. Mimics and gestures are also an important part of video analysis. The aim of the method is to provide those involved with the information that is needed, to enable them to develop "on their own" (= marte meo).

6. Specialists
The pedagogical specialists take on the task of accompanying education and development. This involves both a supporting and partnership function with a focus on the individual characteristics of each family. Our cooperation with the family is organized by a so-called "partnering system". Both the parents and the children are assigned a reliable partner, who that can talk with and gain support from, during the various individual processes that they must go through (e.g. acclimatisation, transition to school, etc). In addition, regular discussions are held with the partner about the child's progress to date, which are intended to provide the parents with information about the child's everyday life in the day care centre, as well as their individual development. In addition, the specialists are also in regular contact with each other and are supported by ongoing reviews and supervision.

7. Nourishment
The goal of the nutritional work is to enable children to become more self-confident and responsible with food and drink. By getting to know food culture, children learn which table manners and eating habits are appropriate. Children get to know the variety of food on offer and to make their own choices. Through the training of smell and taste they experience the sensory differences between food. Children can decide for themselves when and what they want to eat, and thus also determine the duration of the meal (within fixed meal periods); this promotes the perception of hunger and satiety. Children are responsible for laying out their own table settings, choosing their own table partners, giving them better control of the table entertainment. All of which allows them to experience self-efficacy, independence and personal responsibility during meals.

8. Day when we are closed
The day care centre is normally closed for about 15 days per year. These days are agreed with the parent’s committee and fixed at the beginning of each year, prior to being communicated to all families as soon as possible thereafter. Closing days are used to give our specialists the opportunity to do some further teambuilding. The focus being on reflecting on the processes and developing the concept further. For the Summer semester break, our facility has a holiday period of six weeks. During this time, our professional staff are able to take a vacation and recharge their batteries. For the families, this means that the children are required to take a minimum 1 week break from day-care, within the specified time frame.

9. Parent-teacher evenings and parent-teacher letters
In order to be able to communicate important contents and topics together with all parents and families, regular parents information evenings are arranged. The head of the day care centre invites parents at an early stage so that as many parents as possible can take part. Regularly letters to parents inform about current projects, upcoming events and/or any changes.

10. Parents Committee
The parents' committee represents the interests and concerns of the families in the day care centre. The committee actively supports through organisation and joint actions plans. The Parents' Committee is elected annually by all parents and meets regularly with the head of the day care centre.

Important links for parents: