Qualifying early childhood professionals to securely manage digital processes in the context of an education and care centre for young children.
100% of households with children aged between 2 and 5 years are digitally equipped. Nowadays, parents demand reliable information in digital form from the kindergarten as well as information about the development of their children (for example, because of business trips or changes in the family model).
Digital information is communicated to parents quickly and reliably and ensures – given today’s personnel shortages – that there is no loss of efficiency caused by information not being noticed. On the other hand, “new media […] in education and care centres for young children are often met with scepticism or downright rejection,” writes the education committee in 2018 in its report “Digital self-confidence and education”. Early childhood professionals have to be secure users of these digital media so that, as centres of documentation and communication, they can be confident in their dealings with families and children and can involve them and guide them in this process.
For these reasons, FROEBEL started the project “Kindergarten 4.0 – Qualifying early childhood professionals to securely manage digital processes in the context of an education and care centre for young children” in July 2019. The aim of the project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and by the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the Rückenwind+ programme, is to provide in-service training to early childhood professionals to enable them to deal competently with digital media.
The project focuses on the following: the digital documentation of children’s educational processes, digital communication with parents about these processes and clarifying data protection issues in relation to digital documentation and communication (project duration: 1 July 2019 to 31 May 2022).
In total, 13 FROEBEL centres from the states of Saxony and Berlin are taking part in the pilot project. Centre heads, commercial managers and early childhood consultants from each of the two regions will exchange experiences with the FROEBEL head office with a view to trying out together educational documentation software that will work in practice.
After an appraisal of current practice in the first phase of the project, the intention is to work with the project participants at the kick-off event planned for autumn 2019 to specify the scope and direction of the project. Building on this, mentors for digital media in the participating centres will be trained up and qualified. Alongside technical training, the work structures and associated systems of the centres will be included in the process and developed further. In addition, as part of the project it is planned to develop a brochure about data protection issues in relation to digital documentation and communication.
At the end of the project and beyond, the participating centres will have the status of model consultation centres and will be available to FROEBEL centres and those of other providers as examples of best practice for digital educational documentation and communication with parents.