Quality in caregiving.

For more information contact usat post@rainbowtrekkers.de

rainbowtrekkers Widdersdorf

Unter Linden / Auf der Vierzig 2

Kita Widdersdorf

1. Structure

1.1 Location and contact details

The kindergarten in Widdersdorf, which was opened in November 2016, is centrally located in the newly developed residential area Widdersdorf-Süd.

1.2 Number of places and age groups

In Widdersdorf there are 80 places for children aged 1-6 years.

1.3 Opening and closing times

Our regular opening times are from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Caregiving contracts cover 45 hours a week. Thanks to special funding by the City of Cologne, we are currently able to offer extended opening times for no extra charges: Children of shift workers and all other early birds are even welcome from 7.30 a.m. until further notice.

The kindergarten is closed 27 days a year. These are usually spread over the school summer holidays (3 weeks), Christmas (approx. 1 week) and individual bridge and training days. The closing times will be announced ahead of time before the start of the kindergarten year.

1.4 Registration

Registration is exclusively via the Internet portal “Little Bird”. If we can offer a free childcare place, we invite parents, whose childcare needs match our capacities, to a meeting.

1.5 Admission criteria

The demand is greater than the available places. Therefore, we decide on the allocation of places – transparent for all parents – according to the following criteria (in descending order of importance):

  • Siblings of the child already visit the receiving institution.
  • The child fits into the receiving group in terms of age.
  • Once the child has been admitted, the group will have a balanced gender mix.
  • The parents share the values and educational concept of the institution and declare their willingness to enter into an educational partnership.
  • Admission of the child contributes to the social and cultural balance of the group.
  • The family is new and without a family support network.

2. Spaces

2.1 Indoors

In Widdersdorf, we have an interior space of almost 1,000 square metres, which is spread over two floors. The equipment on the ground floor is primarily designed to meet the needs of under-three-year-old children, while the equipment on the upper floor is geared to the abilities and interests of three- to six-year-olds. While the offices, storage and business rooms on both floors face the street, all group rooms open directly onto the outdoor area and garden.

The interior design by our pedagogical professionals aims to create an appropriate balance between free play and educational activities.

The institution consists of five groups: the Caterpillars and Butterflies (for one to three-year olds) and the Giraffes and Gummibaers for three to five-year-olds and the Smarties for five to six-year-olds.

For the younger children, the spatial aspect of security and orientation is central. The spatial concept for this age group is therefore group related. For each group there is a main room for communal activities, an adjoining room for differentiated work and a bedroom. Each group has its own sanitary and nappy-changing area.

For older children, our room program is based on diversity and variety and provides plenty of stimulation for children’s curiosity and urge for discovery. Here too, each group has its own sanitary area. In addition, certain rooms are also thematically designed. For example, there is a role-play room, a library and a studio, which are used by all groups for part of the day (“partially open”). For the older children, there is also a children’s restaurant on the upper floor, which is open to all groups.

Kita Widdersdorf Innenraum

2.2 Outdoors

The outdoor area offers space for physical challenge and community activities as well as rest and retreat areas. There is a nature-oriented area with a mud hole, maze, raised flower beds, lawns, fruit trees, reeds and willow tepee.

There is also a large climbing frame, a small playhouse, sand pits, swings and a football area. The paved areas are also suitable for bobby cars and bicycles.

3. Materials

The age-appropriate educational materials offer the children of all five groups exciting and varied play opportunities. The majority of these play opportunities are freely accessible to the children to enable them to play independently. The regular turnover of the materials provides the children with new learning stimuli again and again.

Through play, children have the opportunity to let their creativity run free, to explore the environment and to actively engage with it. The children gain new experiences and make new social contacts. This effect is especially achieved by the free play of the children and is encouraged and supported by the pedagogical professionals.

Some materials can only be found in the designated functional spaces, such as various instruments in the music room and movement material in the multi-purpose room.

Kita Widdersdorf

4. Activities

In Widdersdorf we follow the educational approach of a partially-open concept. This means for us that we are in the process of opening up to all sides. The home groups enable the children to move around at certain times within a rather closed system and to open the doors at certain times. For the children, opening means getting to know and exploring their institution with all its functional rooms across groups. Throughout the day, activities or even projects are offered that are adapted to the needs, situations and the individual development level of the children.

Widdersdorf Kindertagesstätte

4.1 Pedagogical work

Based on the children’s interests and on event-related educational situations and circumstances, the pedagogical professionals work closely in teams to develop topics for the children that can be integrated into the annual cycle and that are based on the existing curriculum.

In this way, we ensure that the children can engage with different traditional, cultural and social topics over the course of a year. This exploration of topics also includes various projects that are offered over a longer period of time, e.g. music, sports or forest projects.

In close cooperation between the pedagogical staff, the institutional leader and the administration, pedagogical contents are developed, current processes are jointly reflected and if necessary adapted.

4.2 Daily routine

The daily routine in Widdersdorf offers the children structure and security. The times can vary slightly depending on the groups. The same applies on days when special activities take place (excursions, projects, etc.).

In order not to interrupt the daily routine of the morning circle, we ask all parents to bring their children to the kindergarten by 9.00 am.

08.00 Opening of the kindergarten
08.00 – 09.15 Breakfast/ Arrival/ Home groups
09.00 – 09.45 Morning circle (entrance door locked)
10.00 – 11.30 Free play /pedagogical activities (across groups for the older children)
11.30 – 13.00 Lunchtime
13.00 – 15.00 Quiet time/ Sleep time in the home groups
Free play/ pedagogical activities in the home groups
Freispiel/pädagogische Angebote in den Stammgruppen
15.00 – 16.00 Snack + Activities in the home groups
16.00 – 17.00 Open work across groups
17.00 Closing of the kindergarten

4.3 Participation

Everyday pedagogical life in Widdersdorf is organised under the aspect of participation. The children are involved in the daily decision-making processes by the pedagogical professionals.

Both the design of the premises and the pedagogical activities are carried out with the interests and needs of the children in mind.

4.4 Inclusion

The institution is currently also caring for some children with special inclusion needs. The institution is wheelchair accessible.

4.5 Nutrition

Our kindergarten is catered by a local catering company, which prepares lunch fresh and delivers it warm every day. The meal plan, which changes weekly, is put together and balanced in a child-oriented way. Breakfast and healthy snacks for between meals are provided by the pedagogical professionals.

The menu at rainbowtrekkers is vegetarian. In the selection of food and the composition of our meals, the caterer follows the recommendations of the German Society for Nutrition (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung).

5. Transitions

Transitions are a challenging developmental task for children, which we sensitively structure and individually support in our kindergarten.

At the beginning of the kindergarten period there is always a settling-in phase, which is based on the Berlin Model (you will find more details on the subject of settling-in in the Framework Concept).

Übergang Kita Widdersdorf

After one or two years in the Caterpillars or Butterflies group, there is a change to the Giraffes or Gummibaers group. In the last Kita year before the start of school there is a change to the Smarties group. These internal transitions are gently designed and individually planned and prepared by the pedagogical professionals.

Because the institution is run on a partially open-plan basis, a child who is moving to a new group is usually already familiar with a large proportion of the employees and other children in the new group from cross-group activities in the building or outside, which further facilitates the internal transition.

5.1 Pre-school support

The transition from kindergarten to school is a milestone in every child’s life. One of our goals is to prepare each child for school according to his or her development. In the last year of kindergarten, the pre-school children in Widdersdorf take part in a bilingual pre-school program within the Smarties group, which is jointly designed by multilingual professionals.

The development of the children in relation to their ability to go to school is especially observed, documented and regularly reflected upon with the parents. The “pre-school year” is a challenging and exciting time for all those involved, which makes close cooperation with those involved all the more important.

6. Cooperation

In accordance with our bilingual approach, we maintain cooperation with both a German-speaking and a multilingual primary school in the area.

In the German-speaking field, we cooperate with the Olympia-Schule Widdersdorf (Municipal Community Primary School, open all day). This exchange serves to prepare the children for their upcoming school enrolment. At the end of the kindergarten year, we say goodbye to the pre-school children with a special ritual and the parents are given all the documentation (portfolio, documentation of developmental talks and language development).

In the English-speaking field we cooperate with the Internationale Friedenschule, which is also located in Widdersdorf.

In the case of our focus on inclusion, we often work with different practitioners. There is a cooperation with the University Rehabilitation (“Reha”) and the Sigle Practice. Both are located directly opposite our institution. This geographical proximity gives us the advantage of being able to help children who need special support, with physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy etc.

Rainbowtrekkers are also part of the “Widdersdorfer Bildungsmeile” (Education Mile), which takes place once a year.

Meet the principal: Samuel Armstrong

My name is Sam Armstrong and I am the leader here in Widdersdorf. I was born in Ireland, but spent most of my life in the United States. I hold a degree in both Early Childhood Education and Business Management.

My background in education is quite diverse having spent many years both playing and coaching tennis professionally as well as teaching kindergarten in the U.S.A. I am a strong believer in learning through exploration and play, and I hope to implement this into our daily life at the kita.

Meet the deputy: Sandra Feld

My name is Sandra Feld and I am the Deputy Director of the rainbowtrekkers facility in Widdersdorf. I live with my family in the beautiful Eifel. I have been working as an educator for over 30 years.

In my work, a resource-oriented perspective is the most important thing to me. My attitude to meet all people without prejudice and to see their strengths and abilities, and based on that to develop pedagogical action made it possible for me to work in different areas.

Over the past three decades, I gained a wide range of expertise that I incorporate into my work. For more than seven years I have worked in residential youth welfare institutions. In the course of this, I had the opportunity to work as an experiential pedagogue with elements of adventure based education and I got to know the wonderful way of animal-supported pedagogy.

In addition, I have training as a relaxation educator and learning therapist. I am very happy to work in Widdersdorf and to be able to accompany the children on their way.


rainbowtrekkers Widdersdorf

Principal: Samuel Armstrong
Deputy: Sandra Feld

Unter Linden / Auf der Vierzig 2
50859 Köln (Cologne), Germany
Tel.: +49-221-650 324 27

Einrichtungskonzeption Widdersdorf

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Members of:

Deutscher Kitaverband
Förderverein Frühe Bildung in der Kita
Transparente Zivilgesellschaft