A home away

from home

Ein glückliches Kind beim spielen in einer educcare Kindertagesstätte



Welcome to educcare!


We welcome children and families in our childcare centres, regardless of their origin. We offer children a place where they feel safe and secure, where they are accompanied and supported by enthusiastic educators who are always curious and where they have a lot of fun. Our childcare centres invite children to play, discover and learn, to create and be creative in the community.

We share responsibility with parents.

A child is full of potential. Educators and parents embark on this journey together. In order to understand and support each child, close and trusting cooperation is a key requirement. Parents are experts on their children. educcare invites parents to help shape the life of the childcare centre with their own ideas. This mutual exchange is based on trust, reciprocal appreciation and acceptance.

Durch das Verpflegungskonzept von educcare lernt ein Kind die Vorzüge von gesundem Essen kennen


Catering concept

educcare has developed its own catering concept for the children’s nutrition and catering for them. We organise day-to-day life in the childcare centres in a way that promotes health and development and thus implement the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The catering concept provides professional guidelines for all educcare employees and a basis of information for parents on their children’s diet. It describes the most important aspects of learning to eat and the significance of meals as a learning and educational opportunity. So, parents and educators jointly ensure that the children’s diet is healthy.

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Questions & Answers

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The educcare concept for raising and educating children combines the various educational approaches that we rate as outstanding. So educcare includes aspects from Montessori, Reggio pedagogy or the contextual child development approach. These approaches are particularly suitable for supporting the individual child and their individual development.

We don’t. The children are not meant to “work through” everything like there is a timetable. Offers are oriented towards the varied interests of the children. Of course, a child may “fail” to do something that is not so appealing to their individual needs. They will naturally find a field of activity. It is the educators’ task to prepare spaces, time and content so that the children can find what they need. Children learn and educate themselves on their own terms. They are always highly engaged when they discover the world for themselves. They learn best what they want to learn and when they want to learn it.
A reflective daily or weekly overview, for example, provides parents with transparency and certainty about the activity in the group / their child.

The educcare concept sets the basic direction for space and equipment. The individual interior design is the responsibility of the children and educators who fill the centre with life and make it their home away from home. The centre can only feel like a second a home if its interior design is shaped by the people who want to spend many joyful hours there every day. We the provider, make only the following demands: the rooms must be designed in a child-friendly manner and traces of children must be visible. Pictures, mirrors, etc. are placed at child height, and children can independently reach various highly-stimulating materials.

We recognise appreciative observation as a basic requirement for supporting children and their individual development in a targeted and “tailor-made” manner. It is not an end in itself, but pursues the goal of offering the child opportunities for learning and developing again and again – with utmost respect for individual topics and learning pace. So, observation and its documentation need to be systematised. This is how we ensure that we reliably gain a comprehensive picture of the child and develop new, targeted offers based on our observations. This includes intensive exchange with parents who, from their (observational) point of view, are involved in the educational work and the support of their child.

The educcare educational concept is based on the current state of educational research and best practice in national and international childcare centres. The components of the concept are scientifically proven and successfully tested in practice.
We ensure that the concept’s wording is clear and complete and provide straightforward practical examples. Clear structures and processes enable and facilitate the educators’ consistent implementation of the concept in the daily routine. For example, there are processes and structures for observing and documenting the children’s development, the continuous exchange with parents, for regular team meetings and staff training. The regional managers support the employees in the various processes. They work together to continuously improve and further develop the concept.
educcare evaluates its work and adapts it to requirements as a result of its annual surveys of parents, employees, clients and the children, too.

The principle also applies to the youngest children: the (educational) focus is consistently directed towards the individual child and their wellbeing. We work closely together with the parents and hold regular development talks every three to six months, depending on the child’s age. Together we agree on the further developmental steps for the child and can thus give the child appropriate impulses during the daily routine. The child’s needs are always taken into account and respected.
The long familiarisation phase and close cooperation with the parents creates trust on both sides. The child’s habits are taken seriously and are integrated into everyday life as far as possible. Critical phases are addressed openly and educators and parents look for solutions together. If, for example, we judge a child to be overwhelmed, the process of settling in can be interrupted or their admission can be postponed. These are important individual cases but are the exception in our everyday life.
All nursery groups are equipped with age-appropriate furniture and play materials (heuristic play, treasure basket).

Yes, depending on requirements and general conditions. We meet the need with customised places and appropriately trained personnel. We are also open to an inclusive centre if needs can be met.

Yes, depending on requirements and general conditions. For example, some of our childcare centres focus on language support. Here, the children receive additional support according to a concept developed by Prof. Dr. Tracy, University of Mannheim. The staff at the centres are trained accordingly. Cooperation with specialist departments (e.g. speech therapists, psychomotor therapists, early intervention centres) ensures that children receive support in individual, subject-specific development areas that goes beyond the services provided by the centre.
In individual cases, with the approval of the youth welfare office, additional staff can be involved for specific disabilities or developmental delays.

The second language – usually English – is learned in parallel with the first language using the immersion method: one of the children’s caregivers speaks to them consistently in the foreign language. As in the mother tongue, communication is supported by facial expressions, gestures and accompanying activities that provide the children with meaningful information.

Neurobiology has now done a great deal of research into how our brain works and what it is capable of doing. We know, for example, that language is most easily learned in childhood – regardless of the language. We support absolutely children having or developing a mother tongue.
Children with a migrant background, for whom German might already be their second language and English their third language, absorb the English language just as playfully as German children. Immersion – i.e. experiencing a foreign language in everyday life through a clear structure of 1 person = 1 language – does not put the children under learning pressure, but uses language as an enjoyable benefit. Children show interests and turn to the people they need. They find solutions and develop ideas in order to be understood. The aim of the immersion method is not to quickly learn vocabulary and speak actively, but to be made aware of the foreign language and its structure and melody through constant listening. This natural use of language gives all children – regardless of their socialisation – basic orientation and security.
We expressly emphasise that the children speak to their families in their mother tongue and nurture it. The mother tongue forms the foundation for identity development and the basis for second language acquisition.

In principle this can be done. However, it is important that this language is part of the children’s immediate living environment and is not introduced “artificially”. For example, it might make sense to integrate a further language if there are many parents with a migrant background and cultivating the mother tongue in the centre significantly contributes to the positive development of the children. We have not yet been approached with such requirements.
In addition, suitable staff would have to be found to implement the immersion method according to the concept. This is an essential prerequisite when considering a further language.

As yet few primary schools offer a second language from grade 1 onwards. In Stuttgart, parents therefore successfully lobbied within the framework of a working group on “Transitions from kindergarten to primary school” so that two primary schools near the educcare centre have been applying this model since 2008. We hope that they will serve as a model for many more parents and schools.
Besides this, children quickly recall their knowledge of the language even after longer breaks, as research results confirm. Here is an example from everyday life: children do not speak English at home, but they draw on their knowledge with other children when on holiday.

Working with parents is an important aspect of educcare’s concept. Further to the usual tasks (incl. the parents’ council) parents are given the chance to be involved in different ways. Examples are contributing to our annual so-called kick-offs, or projects. Annual surveys of parents and the inclusion of their ideas and suggestions are a given.

Regular feedback talks are certainly the most individual counselling situation for parents and educators. Here, parents learn how they can support their child’s development, change their own behaviour or discover more scope for themselves and their child.
Parents’ evenings on educational topics, workshops or parents’ council activities focus on current topics and also invite an exchange of ideas. In workshops, parents can, for example, use their own experience to understand the sensory world of their children, deal with educational matters or reflect on their own parenting role. The content of workshops is based on the observations of the educators and parents’ requests.
Another form of cooperation are the so-called kick-off groups, which arise from the results of the parent surveys. In these groups, parents and professionals work on common topics, such as public relations, creating spaces, and areas of education.
All parent education events are communicated transparently in order to involve new parents or to develop topics further.

By involving staff with different mother tongues or foreign language skills and by supporting multilingual parents in the facilities. If there are still massive communication barriers, educcare will provide interpreters in individual cases.

The TVöD (Public Sector Collective Agreement) forms the basis of the salary calculations. educcare reserves the right to pay higher salaries to quality staff (measured, for example, by qualification, experience and responsibility status) and has developed its own performance-oriented salary system.

There are reasons for changing jobs which cannot be influenced by the provider-operator, e.g. relocation and pregnancy: the family situation changes, English-speaking staff return to their home country… That tends to be the way of things.
We try to accommodate changes due to professional development within educcare if we cannot realise an employee’s personal wishes at their centre.
In addition, educcare offers its employees very good development opportunities, for example through ongoing further training. We try to deal flexibly with personal matters and solve any difficulties that arise (such as bottlenecks due to illness) early and effectively.

The staffing of our childcare centres complies at least with the legal requirements of the federal states and the local personnel key. In parts, it goes beyond this.
As the ratio of professionals to children varies greatly from one federal state to another, educcare (along with other providers and educational organisations) is calling for the introduction of a nationwide standard.


The initial continuity is ensured by reliable caregivers who accompany the child as they settle in. Only when this phase is complete does the child get closer to other caregivers.
The childcare centre manager decides on site how to utilise staff according to care requirements. In doing so, they take into account off-peak and peak times when more staff are needed. As a rule, there is a permanent staff plan, and the only changes to the normal schedule are when parents book extra hours and holiday periods.
How much time does a regional manager spend on site?
The time frame depends on local needs. This is tightly scheduled in set-up phases and can be several times a week. Ongoing operations are accompanied two to three days a month, depending on requirements. In principle, the regional manager maintains regular email and telephone contact and is always informed about matters at the centres.
They advise the management, conducts staff training, takes part in team meetings and parents’ evenings and is the provider’s representative for the parents.

The time frame depends on local needs. This is tightly scheduled in set-up phases and can be several times a week. Ongoing operations are accompanied two to three days a month, depending on requirements. In principle, the regional manager maintains regular email and telephone contact and is always informed about matters at the centres.
They advise the management, conducts staff training, takes part in team meetings and parents’ evenings and is the provider’s representative for the parents.

All parents can apply to childcare centres with a public service mandate. As a rule, preference is given to parents who live in the relevant residential area. Otherwise, the selection of children is based on the type and timing of available places, educational criteria and the parents’ occupation. The educational criteria are, for example, the gender composition and age groups of the children.

What childcare hours and childcare services are provided?
This differs from location to location. Please visit https://educcare.de/kita-standorte/.html to find out about the childcare centres that are of interest to you.

educcare works on a non-denominational basis. We take into account local festivals and customs as well as those from other nations and cultures.

The fees for municipal childcare centres are based on the fees charged by the municipality for childcare. You can find out about these fees from your local youth welfare office. The contributions for company childcare centres are agreed upon with the respective company. Please enquire directly at the childcare centre that interests you.

educcare was founded by Marcus Bracht and Axel Thelen in 2002. educcare has been a nationally recognised provider of independent youth welfare services since 2002.

educcare  pursues several goals::

  • supporting parents and children in a way that reconciles work and family
  • ensuring broad democratic access to excellent early childhood care and education
  • contributing to the necessary improvement of early childhood education
  • introducing binding quality standards in childcare centres nationwide.

Making a contribution to the needed improvement of early childhood education is an important motivating force for our work. educcare speaks at events on this and advises cities and other providers on strategies for the sustainable improvement of early childhood education.
In addition, educcare has been committed to improving the framework conditions for education professionals since 2013. In 2018, educcare launched the Childcare Centre Quality campaign [Kampagne “Kita Qualität”] calling for binding quality standards in childcare centres across Germany: www.kita-qualitaet-ohne-wenn-punkt.de. (in German)

There are currently (as of December 2020) 39 centres with a good 1000 educational specialists in Aachen, Bergisch Gladbach, Böblingen/Sindelfingen, Darmstadt, Friedrichshafen, Hennef, Kassel, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Ludwigshafen, Marl, Monheim, Munich, Münster, Niederkassel, Overath, Schwieberdingen and Stuttgart.

educcare is primarily financed via three pillars:
  • public sector funding
  • corporate funding
  • funding by parents

Depending on the location and legal regulations, the pillars are weighted differently.

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