Ukrainian children in German day care: with a translation app on the craft table

Status: 04/27/2022 1:41 PM

The situation in many day care centers is tense: staff numbers are scarce, and the burden two years after the pandemic is high. Now the Ukrainian children who fled to Germany will be integrated. How can this work?

“I’m going away for a moment” at An der Saalmühle daycare center in Ingelheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, says teacher Sabrina Haas. The female voice in the translation application repeats it in Russian. Five-year-old Hordy understands this with his head. Kindergarten teacher Sabrina Haas and her tablet are his connection to a strange and new world he still has trouble finding his way into. He doesn’t speak a word of German and no one in the nursery speaks Russian or Ukrainian.

Hordi fled with his parents to Germany and only went to the day care center “An der Saalmühle” for a few days. A large poster salutes him in the entrance: “Our nursery is colourful.” Including world map and pictures with very different girls and boys from all over the world. Tolerance and integration from the start.

Ukrainian nursery school children are not registered

According to the State Ministry of Education, approximately 100 children from Ukraine are currently registered in day care centers in the Rhineland-Palatinate alone (as of April 25, 2022). According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, the number of those present nationwide is not registered centrally. Many experts believe that it is right to give girls and boys who have fled to care facilities.

Even if, according to the experiences of social educator Heinz Müller of the Institute for Social Education Research in Mainz, many mothers just want to go home as soon as possible, which is understandable: “It is very important for children to share their experiences of fate, they should not It can be traumatic, it can compensate them for normal life.”

The approval of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is important that children and young people from Ukraine not only get safety here, but also gain perspective: “They get this through rapid integration into nursery school and school along with additional offerings in the Ukrainian language. The goal should be to strike a good balance,” a spokeswoman said. In the name of the ministry “the balance between integration into our education system and the preservation of Ukrainian identity”.

Therefore, the federal government supports states and federal municipalities in financing the expenses of refugees from Ukraine – for 2022 with about one billion euros for childcare and education, among other things.

Enough time for good care?

But in everyday life, caregivers face many challenges: how to communicate without a common language? How do you deal with children’s possible experiences of war and flight? Is there enough time and space for this in the noisy and stressful everyday nursery? In the day care center “An der Saalmühle” Sabrina Haas and Hordii are sitting at the small craft table, the teacher takes the board and speaks into the microphone: “What would you like to cut?” Hass lovingly and patiently responds to the boy’s desires and needs – she does not always understand what he wants, despite the translation program.

Above all, communication needs one thing: time. At the same time, Sabrina Haas has to keep an eye on the other children in the group. Two boys are arguing in the corner of the building, Haas has to mediate. “The fact that Sabrina Haas is looking after on her own right now only works because we are such good employees and we have at least three teachers in each group,” explains nursery manager Susan Clement. “But if someone gets sick, we have a problem.”

More appreciation for teachers

A common problem, according to the Federation of Education and Science (GEW). Many day care centers face a dilemma, says Doreen Sibernick, GEW Board Member for Youth Welfare and Social Work: “After two years in a pandemic crisis situation, the fatigue and pressure on our colleagues is great. So also part of the fact that this challenge must To deal with current early childhood education will not be masterable.”

Cybernick strongly appeals to the federal, state and local authorities to “finally invest more in early childhood education as needed, but also in local infrastructure.”

There is also support from the Deutscher Kinderschutzbund Bundesverband e. Heinz Hilgers. “There should be enough time and resources for that.” He would like more recognition, proper payment, and FRA for the number of breeders who have bothered themselves.

As in the Hordii day care center in Ingelheim am Rhein. His reference teacher Sabrina Haas takes great care of the five-year-old and many other children. The day care center “An der Saalmühle” has girls and boys from different countries. But Hordy is the only Ukrainian child so far. But playing together on the sand is also possible without words.

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