Bereschit Daycare Centre, Röderbergweg — A place for all kids
The Bereschit Daycare Centre focuses on Jewish education and traditions. From 18 months to school-entry age, kids experience all the festivals and holidays throughout the year.
In delivering educational, developmental and childcare services, the Bereschit Daycare Centre follows the Hessian Education and Development programme and ‘Kinderförderungsgesetz’ (law to support children), as well as its own curriculum for Jewish education. Our childcare facilities offer a range of settings in which kids can learn and experience life beyond their own families.
The Bereschit Daycare Centre consists of four groups. On the ground floor is the nursery, with ten children and three supervisors. They have at their disposal a communal room with age-appropriate furnishings and, adjacent to it, a dormitory and changing room, which is available for the children to use at any time. At the age of two or three, kids are gradually introduced to our kindergarten, and the in-house transition period begins. This system has a particular advantage: because of the many communal activities and rituals (in the playground, and during Shabbat celebrations or other festivals, for instance), the kids already have plenty of contact with their future kindergarten teachers before they actually work with them.
Each kindergarten group comprises 17 children, up to four of them under the age of three. They are cared for by two supervisors. Each group has similar rooms at their disposal, although the rooms are individually equipped. One of them is on the upper floor, where there is also a large gym/assembly hall. The children are prepared for school individually and through discovery-learning. Most children join the I. E. Lichtigfeld School reception class at the age of about five-and-a-half.
Bereschit Daycare Centre offers
- Four groups accommodating up to 61 children in total: one crèche with three supervisors caring for up to ten babies and toddlers aged 18 months to three years; three mixed-age kindergarten groups with two supervisors each and up to 17 kids each, aged between two years and school-entry age. Our team also includes assistant and trainee supervisors.
- All crèche places are full-day only, although children may be picked up before the end of the day by prior agreement.
- Every two months we publish a newsletter for parents of children attending the daycare centre. To request it, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUR DAILY ROUTINE
▪ An opportunity for parents to have a short chat with supervisors
▪ Kids are eased into group activities
▪ Kids play individually or in small groups with personal supervision
▪ An opportunity for kids to obtain a sense of their own desires and start the day as they see fit
▪ Kids wash their hands and say a Hebrew prayer. As at all mealtimes, boys put on their kippah
▪ Breakfast is prepared in the daycare centre and includes a variety of healthy foods for kids to choose from
▪ Welcome song
▪ Topical activities, finger games, songs, discussions, plans for the day
▪ Playing in the kindergarten playground or another nearby playground
▪ Excursions and projects
▪ Gym/exercise room
▪ Preparation for holidays
▪ Cooked meal delivered by Sohar’s
▪ After lunch: short blessing after the meal (birkat hamason); children clean their teeth
▪ Children practise hygiene routines
▪ Kids sleep for 1½ to 2 hours, depending on their age and individual needs
▪ Children can rest for half an hour a day. During this time they may fall asleep and will be woken up if the parents wish
▪ During the rest period, children can play individually, in small groups or with friends
▪ What else needs doing?
▪ Free time to relax, play or let off steam
▪ Feedback on the day — anything to report?
JEWISH LIFE IN THE DAYCARE CENTRE
Judaism is a religion of mitzvot, of religious duties and good deeds, which are practised throughout the day. From mealtime blessings and traditional Shabbat candle-lighting to synagogue visits, we try to familiarise children at the Bereschit Daycare Centre with the full range of customs.
Our staff is fully aware of the importance we attach to learning our religion, commandments, traditions, customs and history. Unless we encourage our Jewish children to carry them forward according to the Torah, Judaism cannot survive. That’s why we are very keen for children to embrace them. Kosher meals and the wearing of kippahs at mealtimes and festivals are a given.
Another very important symbol in our view is the name of our centre: Bereschit. Bereshit (to use the English spelling) — the first book of Moses, the creation of the world and beginning of all life — reminds us of our role as companions and supporters for the children who spend the first stage of their lives with us.
We teach our children the stories behind the Jewish holidays and traditions in various ways, including games, songs and communal celebrations involving all of the children in our kindergarten. We want them not just to understand the traditions of Judaism but to experience them first-hand — and we warmly invite non-Jewish children to join us.