The first kindergarten was founded in 1975 on a private basis – with state approval. After other day-care centres joined us at the request of parents in the 1980s, the association Verein Kindergärten Finkenau e.V. was formed in 1990, which was renamed Stiftung Kindergärten Finkenau on 1 January 2010.
The foundation currently calls 31 day-care centres or full-time school locations its own and others are in planning. We educate and care for children at nurseries, kindergartens and schools as well as children with special needs or talents. Some of our facilities are located in deprivation hotspots, others are found for example in Barmbek, Wellingsbüttel, Othmarschen and the Schanze area. The children join us from the age of 8–12 months and some stay with us until they leave primary school.
The foundation has been part of the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband welfare association since 1 June 1981. This grants us the opportunity for a nuanced exchange with other welfare organisations, and we are involved in the different work groups on specialist topics and quality development processes. We also use our position to contribute to discussions with the specialist authorities and/or in the political arena.
The evolution of our ideas leads us as a welfare organisation also beyond the framework of the day-care centres. We are receiving more and more enquiries from companies or other welfare organisations related to professional advice or with questions concerning the compatibility of family and profession.
Right from the start, we have stood up in our colourful society for democratic values and for freedom of the individual, as long as the needs of the community are taken into account. We are politically unaffiliated and offer space to all nationalities and to people of different religions, which is why religious, political or other symbols remain outside our facilities.
Read even more about Finkenau in this press release (german).
The qualified psychologist/systemic therapist is responsible for the internal training programme for the educational and housekeeping staff. Together with her colleague Linda Köster, she reviews content annually to ensure it is up-to-date and to make changes if necessary. Uta Mette is responsible for quality development in the domain of training courses. The objective is to convey the latest substantiated insights in the fields of pedagogy, developmental psychology, social pedagogy and related areas. She accompanies the kindergartens on site and supports the educational staff within the scope of case supervision. She offers counselling to children (training) and parents. Uta Metta knows the work with children well – the qualified educator has worked at a children’s home, in child and youth psychiatry and in the field of day-care centres.
The social education worker founded the »Hölderlinsallee« kindergarten in 1975. Here, he already carried through his pedagogical ideas: lots of movement and exercise for city children, cooking together and travelling with the children several times a year were on the programme. As a childcare worker, he was everywhere all at once. His inclusive mindset was the natural backbone of his approach to children with impairments. They were simply part of the overall picture. Konrad Mette is responsible for staff development and the facilities’ pedagogical training. In addition to carrying out new projects, he is always on the lookout for sponsors and cooperation partners.
The psychotherapist for children and adolescents began her professional career with Finkenau as head of one of the after-school care clubs in 2007. After a short side-trip into child and adolescent psychiatry, she returned in 2011 to work as an associate for the board and as section head of counselling and further training at the foundation.
She has been a member of the board since 2020 and with Uta Mette is responsible for the area pedagogics/psychology, consulting and child protection as well as the internal training programme for the staff. In addition, she accompanies the facilities on the premises and supports the educational staff with their case supervisions.
Tasks of the board
- Management and development of personnel
- Administrative and technical supervision
- Case supervision
- Consulting and training of parents
- Training with children
- Development of new projects
- Organisation and implementation of further training for our educational staff
- Suggesting and accompanying quality assurance processes
- Collaboration within the umbrella organisation
- Public relations work
- Involvement in committees, youth aid, etc., as well as networking activities
- Negotiating fees
- Business operations
- Development of new facilities
The board maintains close contact with its management and the educational staff. The management team meets with the board once a month, when all relevant issues of daily politics and important matters concerning the welfare organisation are discussed. The board visits the facilities regularly and takes part in team meetings and parents’ evenings.
As the non-profit foundation Stiftung Kindergärten Finkenau, we take care of children at kindergartens and schools. We see it as our task to positively contribute to and shape the start of life for all children entrusted to us. We stand up for the rights of children in our society. We take responsibility and get involved in social issues.
The board and its employees base their actions on the following principles:
We welcome all people. The foundation is unaffiliated with any religion, is politically independent, and we abide to free and democratic basic order. We demand compliance with democratic principles in society and our facilities.
We are aligned with current pedagogical as well as scientific and social developments. We are committed to sustainable development and take it into account in our practical work. We accompany and support the children, staff and families in their individual development.
The 6 key points of the mission statement with explanations
- We are a founder organisation and stand out through:
- flat hierarchies
- sound practical knowledge and an ongoing discourse on quality
- availability and regular exchange, also on personal issues
- a broad network and cooperation with like-minded partners
- We act according to the principle of prevention and adopt an attitude that prevents problems from arising.
- In our everyday work, the child’s welfare has highest priority
- We look after parenting skills according to the best interests of the child and offer free counselling for families
- We train our staff in the field of sexual education
- We are able to counteract difficult developments at an early stage through continuous observation and documentation that focuses on the strengths of the children
- We create a climate of mutual trust and of openness and promote cooperation with parents
- A subject running through all facilities is “Education for sustainable development”
- We create an awareness for healthy nutrition and ensure sufficient exercise is taken in everyday life
- We support our staff with information, offers and activities related to the subject of health protection
- We cultivate children’s and employees’ exertion of influence on decisions, plans and developments and support these in this process.
- We maintain regular dialogue among all stakeholders and ensure that children and staff are part of decision-making committees
- Participation and organisation/planning are enabled in an age-appropriate manner and with direct reference to everyday life
- We offer development support and inherently treat each other with respect
- For children:
- On the basis of observation and documentation, the development as a whole is discussed with the parents and educational staff
- We take into account the individuality of every child
- Trust, empathy and a spirit of community are important to us
- The emphasis on psychomotricity promotes independence and self-confidence
- For staff:
- We create a climate of trust, respect and loyalty among our staff
- We promote and respect diversity in our teams
- We facilitate professional and personal development through training, education and counselling opportunities
- We practice error tolerance and create a culture of giving feedback
- For children:
- We follow the principle of inclusion
- We appreciate the diversity and difference of children and staff
- We create a suitable environment for children and staff
- The rooms in our facilities are designed to be child-friendly
- Lots of movement is made possible in the indoor and outdoor areas
- The rooms are multifunctional and can be used flexibly
- The design of the facilities is geared towards children becoming proactive
This mission statement has been drawn up in close cooperation between the board with its staff and the facilities in a participative process lasting several months. The active contribution of the people affected by the principles formulated here is an important concern on part of the foundation’s board. The mission statement is intended to serve as a guideline for the actions of all people within the bodies and facilities of the foundation. We consider it a growing, organic and changeable document. It will be reviewed at regular intervals by the foundation with regard to its validity and topicality.
The dialogue-based formation of the mission statement was perceived as a valuable, instructive, profitable process. The foundation’s board thanks all those involved for their dedication and contribution.