Bright, friendly and inviting: That´s how the inclusive daycare center for children from one to six at Saarbrücken-Burbach´s Raabestraße looked like at its official presentation to the public on Thursday. In building a modern kindergarden, the Wohnungsgesellschaft Saarland mbH (WOGE Saar) has closed a gap in the supply of care services in the quarter of Burbach / Malstatt.
The Chairman of WOGE Saar, State Secretary Jürgen Barke, is pleased about this impulse for the urban development in Burbach: `KiTa Raabe is an investment in the future of the children living there. The provision of good care is the key to a better compatibility of family and work.`
WOGE Saar´s competent partner that operates KiTa Raabe is the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft für Paritätische Sozialarbeit mbH (GPS). The state-of-the-art implementation of the KiTa was made possible by support of the Ministry of Education and Social Affairs, the Regionalverband and the Landeshauptstadt Saarbrücken. This was the only way to get the 2.5 million project up and running.
Jan Benedyczuk, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, is pleased about the commitment of all people involved in the construction. `Especially in our metropolitan areas, the space requirement is high,`says Benedyczuk. `I am therefore particularly pleased that the provision of services in Burbach will be further improved with the construction of the inclusive KiTa Raabe. We will continue to drive the construction of KiTas and use the funds from the Gute KiTa-Gesetz to improve the quality of our facilities, to noticeably reduce parents’ contributions and to continue to invest in personnel. Every child should be given the chance to attend a KiTa.`
The joint planning activities of WOGE Saaar and GPS took place in an atmosphere of trust and intenseness. With the successful implementation of an integrative housing project in Homburg, both companies have already shown that they can work together hand in hand. `We do not only want to create housing space for every population group, so WOGE´s Managing Director Rita Gindorf-Wagner. `In fact, also suitable integrative care centers for all children are essential for a good development of the quarter. Therefore, starting a cooperation with a social association fits well with our philosophy`.
The KiTa Raabe is tailored to an inclusive care and is based on the educational concept developed by Maria Montessori. The managing director of GPS, Bernadette Hiery-Spaniol, is enthusiastic about the common inclusive KiTa: `Here we can create a common environment for all children – disabled or not – according to the principles of Montessori pedagogy and the guiding principles of a lived inclusion, giving them emotional affiliation and offering individual development opportunities. The motto of Maria Montessori Help me to do it myself! is immediately noticeable here as soon as you meet the children and adults in the KiTa Raabe. A really successful joint project of many creative minds`.
The KiTa Raabe is directed by Anne Wetzel. As a teacher with Montessori diploma and longlasting experience, she contributed to the KiTa´s design and concept, which, in an intensive preparatory phase, was developed in a joint project group.
Planned and executed by the architecture firm Monzel from Heusweiler, the KiTa Raabe presents itself as a jewel, both in terms of construction and concept. Even from the outside, the two-storey building looks compact and friendly, adapted to its urban surroundings. The light-flooded atrium and the outdoor area adapted to the inclusive needs create space for the children’s development.
The spatial and technical equipment as well as the design of the KiTa Raabe are based on disability-specific requirements, on the space program for daycare centers and on the pedagogical concept of Maria Montessori. The new kindergarden should not only be a place of residence but also a place of identification for the children. Here, important terms such as architecture, design, environment, energy and sustainability are conveyed to them as essential elements of their future lives.
The everyday interaction of disabled and non-disabled children and the involvement of parents and the neighborhood play a major role. First experiences are positive: The children openly approach each other, the togetherness is characterized by mutual appreciation and acceptance for otherness.
All in all, 48 places in four groups are provided at the KiTa, of them 14 places for children with disabilities. In each of the two nursery groups, 8 children between one and three years are cared for. In the kindergarden groups, 16 children between three and six years are cared for.
On a total surface of 800 sqm – distributed on two floors with four group rooms, bistro, multi-purpose room and several therapy rooms – the KiTa offers plenty of room for 48 children and a team of 20 educational experts.
All Photos: Dirk Guldner