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What is Eingewöhnung in a German Kindergarten?

In Germany, settling one's child into kindergarten can be a lengthy process that is tailored to each child's individual needs. This is called "Eingewöhnung" in German, or the "familiarization" or "phasing in" period. This can take as short as 2 days, sometimes, as long as a month!

It is done to ensure that a child has a smooth and positive transition into the Kindergarten, and takes into consideration the fact that children will have to deal with a completely new environment, surrounded by unfamiliar people and same-aged peers. What happens is this:

  • For the first couple of days, the child stays in the kindergarten for only an hour with the parent inside the room to give a sense of security.

  • In the following days, the length of time is increased, and the parent leaves the room for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then longer, etc. until such time as the child is comfortable and secure enough in the new environment.

  • In the end, the parent's time in kindergarten is limited to the pick-up and drop-off times and the child is well-adjusted to the new set-up!

Naturally, we have this at GESM, too. So don't be surprised if you see some parents lounging about on campus near the Kindergarten rooms!


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