de

Respect. Outreach. Research.


For more information contact us

at
post@rainbowtrekkers.de

The faces behind

The rainbowtrekkers management team

Joel Mertens
Founder and CEO

Joel MertensMy passion is to create living and learning environments for children. When searching for suitable daycare solutions for my daughter in 2006, I was not convinced by what I found in Cologne. Since then I have been developing my own daycare centers.

I grew up in Germany and lived abroad for several years. In my life I am surrounded by people with diverse ethnic and religious heritage, therefore I want rainbowtrekkers kindergartens to be shaped by multilingualism and an international scope as diversity and respect for others are values we stand for.

Currently our team consists of over 40 employees who share the same ideas. I’m convinced that education only works through relationships. Children need people who they can trust and whom with they can build long-term relationships in their everyday lives. This is why I am striving to create jobs where educators feel comfortable. That includes unconditional respect for the daily educational fieldwork, as well as provide creative freedom to the teams and leaders to develop themselves.  Additionally, I support my colleagues in advancing their further education and training.

I have studied in Germany and abroad and hold a MA degree in Humanities from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. My personal professional background builds up from international work experience focusing on social economy, quality management and kindergarten administration.


Almut Schreiber
Deputy CEO

JoelAt rainbowtrekkers, I work at the interface between management and institutional leaders. I support our institutional leaders in their manifold tasks and promote communication and cooperation between our different centres.

Before I moved to Cologne in February 2016, I lived in Leipzig where I was working as an educator and teacher at the Leipzig International School for many years. During that time, I also gained experience in team organisation and management.


Leonie Meier
Quality Manager

LeonieIn our days, early childhood caregivers are confronted with demands unknown before. Documentation has become an important part of our pedagogical work in the kindergartens. In order to enease newcomers to blend into our teams and in order to define the quality in caregiving we aim for, at rainbowtrekkers we have established a quality management manual which clearly describes our work processes. I am in charge of editing and updating the QM manual and coordinating the QM policies at rainbotrekkers.

I have studied pedagogy at Bamberg University. My focus during my studies was on elementary and family pedagogy, social pedagogy and sport.


Sannia Ott
Educational Coordinator


Sannia OttAt rainbowtrekkers, I safeguard the implementation of management guidelines in the everyday work of the kindergartens and raise the management’s awareness for the daily operational needs of the different kindergartens and their teams.

My aim is to bring our different centers closer together and to develop a common pedagogical framework with the different teams. I also help out in the groups of our three kindergartens regularly where I enjoy my time with the children very much.

I have previously worked as an educational specialist in a mother-child facility. I hold a BA degree in Social Work and have completed a training program as a coach specialized in individual psychology.

Anna-Carina Koch
Office Manager and Personal Assistant to CEO

JoelAt rainbowtrekkers I am in charge of the office to run smoothly and efficiently. Editing and filing caregiving contracts, staff administration and salaries, material orders and coordination of suppliers are parts of the topics I deal with on a daily level.

I file and store documents, pre-sort bills and answer letters and incoming e-mails.

I am personal assistant to the CEO. If you call the rainbowtrekkers, there is a good chance that it is me who is answering the phone.

Cologne is were I was born, grew up and earned a degree in office management. I love to do sports. I also took part at the Fair Play Tour covering 700 km. 


Patrick Kalanu
Educational consultant and curriculum developer

PatrickI have been working as a freelance educational consultant for rainbowtrekkers and was entrusted with reviewing existing elements of the rainbowtrekkers curriculum and developing new elements.

I have been working as an educator for about 15 years. My training began at the University of Hamburg in Germany and ended with a degree in Psychology at the University of Maryland (USA). This was followed by a Master’s degree in Elementary and Early Years Education at the University of Phoenix (USA) and substantial further professional development, for instance through the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)—currently one of the leading organizations in intercultural education.

In my work as an educator, for example in my current position as a primary teacher at Cologne International School (CIS), I am particularly interested in the universals of education and pedagogy across cultural and political boundaries. Before I returned to Germany in 2015, I lived and taught in Southern California, in Belgium, and in South Asia.