The Kindergarten

Our history



“Berlin is in need of a Spanish-German kindergarten”, says Kristina Naranjo. But she gets nowhere with the authorities. “I’ll do everything I can”, Eberhard Diepgen promises her. Ms. Naranjo leaves her office beaming.

BZ, 30/01/2000



Kristina Naranjo is the managing director of the Girasoles gGmbH kindergarten, a Spanish national and mother of two daughters. At the time, she had a strong desire for her daughters, who were growing up in Germany, to continue to have a connection to the Spanish language. With two educator friends, Margarita Castro Villalonga and Estela Albornoz, she decided to create a bilingual day care center. For more than a year Kristina Naranjo collected signatures for her bilingual kindergarten project. But the authorities made it very difficult. With the collected signatures, a good concept in her pocket and carrying conviction, she approached Mr. Eberhard Diepgen, Berlin’s mayor at the time of the citizens’ consultation. With success. Afterwards, nothing stood in the way of the founding of the first bilingual German and Spanish-speaking institution in Berlin-Charlottenburg. On October 4th 2000, the kindergarten was ceremoniously opened with 45 places and has now been in existence for more than 20 years with about 220 children. Kristina Naranjo has created a diverse day care center which today employs about 60 people.


“Sunflowers now bloom like sunflowers”
First German-Spanish kindergarten opens on Saturday in Charlottenburg.

Tagesspiegel, 18/09/2000



The Spanish-German kindergarten opened in Berlin Charlottenburg on 04/10/2000 after a long struggle with the authorities.
Margarita Castro Villalonga and Estela Albornoz wrote “Bienvenido – Herzlich Willkommen” on a large blackboard. The educators from Cuba and Argentina greeted children aged 1-5 for the first time yesterday at the Spanish-German kindergarten “Girasoles” in Sophie-Charlotten-Str.

Tagesspiegel, 18/09/2000





The Kindergarten


Our day care center “Girasoles gGmbH” is located on the listed ensemble/grounds of Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 113, close to the Charlottenburg Palace. The building, with a beautiful brick relief, has three floors and offers space for about 220 children. The preschool and a mixed-age elementary group are located in the front building of Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 112. Our group rooms are designed to be age-appropriate and child-friendly, and have great furnishings that are adapted to the interests of the children, which, in addition to the development-specific needs also give a coherent picture. Great importance was also given to the artistic design of our corridors on the different floors. The corridors were painted with cheerful and creative motifs by a Spanish artist. In addition to the group rooms, we have a multi-purpose which is suitable for our exercise program but can also be used for theatrical performances or animated films. We also have two language development rooms, a conference room and staff rooms. On each floor there are toilets with age-appropriate facilities and integrated diaper changing areas as well as kitchens on each floor for food distribution. Our spacious kitchen is located on the second floor where our kitchen team prepares lunches. The Girasoles-Sonnenblumen gGmbH also has three playgrounds of its own, a small front garden and a rented gym.





We have 14 groups, eight of which belong to the kindergarten and six to the preschool area. In the nursery and also in the preschool we have four age-mixed nursery groups and four age-mixed preschool groups.

Each group is supervised by at least two native speakers (German and Spanish). In our kindergarten we also employ educators who work with us as back-up. They are deployed in the groups as needed.




Virtual Tour



Educational partnership with parents

As an early childhood education institution the cooperation with parents is an important part of our work. The goal of our cooperation is the well-being and development of the child. A regular and respectful exchange as well as a trusting relationship with parents is the basis for a successful cooperation.

Educators provide extensive documentation (collages, notices on information boards, the internal software Kigaroo, the language learning diary and our project getaway), which makes our pedagogical work transparent to parents.

We hold trusting conversations between parents and pedagogical staff about common goals (e.g. adaptation talks, development talks, conversations about the day in childcare) and provide a space for exchange at parent meetings (e.g. parent cafés, information evening, childcare committee, parent representative meetings).

Parents have the opportunity to support and accompany projects, celebrations and excursions.

The parents’ ABC, a welcome folder for new parents and their children during the familiarisation period, as well as access to our internal Kigaroo software, offer our parents the opportunity to start the educational collaboration with us well informed.

The aim of our cooperation is to find common ways to offer the child and its family good support in this phase of life.


Our concept

Pedagogical model

Our pedagogical work is based on the Berlin educational program and therefore our pedagogical actions are based on the “situational approach”. With the aim of enabling every child to open up to the world on their own and with all their sense from the very beginning, we see ourselves as supporters and companions in this process. In doing so, we draw on our many years of experience and current scientific findings regarding child development processes.

Under the basic maxim “All children are equal in their rights – each child is special in his or her development”, we orient our pedagogical work towards the age and developmental needs of each child. In this context we pay special attention to the children’s living environments within the day care center and in their families. Our work is based on a holistic understanding of the children’s living environment which we value and perceive as an enrichment for cultural coexistence. In this way we want to make a positive contribution to the value orientation of the children towards tolerance, respect and consideration of all cultures and ways of life. Therefore, a constructive and trusting cooperation with parents and other persons of reference of each child is very important to us.

Our pedagogical work is also oriented towards the Berlin educational program. A sophisticated and modern concept, “the situational approach”, is an important component of our educational work. With the aim that every child should be able to open up to the world independently and with all his or her senses from the very beginning we see ourselves as supporters and companions in this process. We base this on our many years of experience and current scientific findings on the processes of child development.

Bilingual concept

In our kindergarten the children are immersed in two languages (German and Spanish). The concept of immersion follow the principles of mother tongue acquisition. Immersion is the most successful and best researched language learning and teaching method in the world. It is used in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. Closely related or indispensable to the concept of immersion is the use of language linked to a person (one person – one language). The pedagogical offerings and daily rituals in the kindergarten are conducted and carried out in both languages by the respective native language educator which favors an integrated language acquisition.

Intercultural education

Among other things, our kindergarten should be a place of well-being that allows each child to discover his or her world and to develop his or her own potential and abilities. For this purpose we are guided by a humanistic character that includes the joint education of children with the most diverse social and cultural backgrounds. The child is perceived and seen as an individual with his or her personal characteristics and peculiarities and is not reduced to belonging to a national or cultural group. We respect differences and look for the commonalities that exist in all diversity. For us, intercultural education means on the one hand imparting knowledge about other cultures and on the other hand educating children to be tolerant, respectful, empathetic and cooperative with other cultural groups. Above all, our international team acts as a role model in this context in the sense that cultural and linguistic openness and curiosity are authentically lived in the day-to-day life of the kindergarten so that independence, appreciation and presence of other cultures and languages become conscious for the children.
Activities and highlights


Swimming
More
For several years we have been cooperating with the association “Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 e.V.”. This club offers a water familiarization course once a week for children from the age of 4 years and up. Some of the children end up making the seahorse badge (Seepferdchen). Interested parents can register their children through the day care center. Small buses pick up the children accompanied by an educator. Participation is voluntary. As this is an external offer parents sign a contract with the association “Wasserfreunde Spandau 04. e.V” and pay the course fee to the association. Our institution provides an educator as an accompanying person.
EXPLORATORY LEARNING
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Many of our children continue their education at the bilingual Joan-Miró European state school in Charlottenburg at the end of their time in kindergarten. We participate in the advanced training series a “Forschendes Lernen”. The aim of this training series is to create a connection between elementary school and kindergarten cooperation, transition design, Discovery learning and language education.
FEDERAL PROGRAM “LANGUAGE KINDERGARTENS”
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We have been participating in the federal program since 2016. The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs promotes the federal program for integrated language education in everyday life as a fixed component of day care. This is an important step towards greater equality of opportunity. After all, language is the key: it is the way we open up to the world, come into contact with people and acquire knowledge. Studies have shown that language skills have a considerable influence on further education and entry into working life. This is especially true for children from educationally disadvantaged families and families with an immigrant background.
IN-HOUSE KITCHEN
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We have your own kitchen where our chef with the help of his kitchen assistants prepares fresh, tasty, healthy and child-friendly lunches every day. Our nutritional concept is based on the German Nutrition Society (DGE).
STATE PROGRAM “MOVING KINDERGARTENS – FOR A HEALTHY KINDERGARTEN”
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We have been participating in the state program since 2019. The state program with a holistic approach is a long-term offer for the promotion of education and health in Berlin’s day care centers. The aim is to constantly improve the opportunities for early childhood education and thereby raise awareness among children, parents and educators of health-promoting aspects such as a healthy diet and a targeted amount of exercise, and also to reduce the disadvantages of children. Since in addition to the family, the daycare center is an important place for young children where they spend a lot of time, learn and make their own experiences, it is even more important to lay the foundation for a healthy environment. In addition, it is also important to increase the well-being of educators at their workplace and to create working conditions that promote health.
PLAYGROUNDS
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We have three playgrounds in our institution that are attractively designed and can be used by both the nursery and kindergarten areas. Our preschool area also has a front garden that is lovingly maintained by the educators.
SPORTS CENTER
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In the Schlossstraße within walking distance of our day care center there is a sports hall which is available for individual use once a week. The educators have the opportunity to design the exercise program for our children.
KIGAROO
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We have an internal software called “Kigaroo”. This software runs on an internal network that can only be accessed by authorized people. It is another digital medium for sharing information. All parents and staff members have access. Parents can access information about their son/daughter, the group and general information regarding the whole center through their smartphone as an app or on their computer at any time.



KigaRoo



Bank für Sozialwirtschaft
This facility was funded by the investment programs
Schwerpunkt-Kita Sprache & Integration

Our team



The diversity of our society shapes life in Germany. As different as we all are, we have so much in common.
There are 10 nations represented in our team. All with one goal: to create strength through our diversity.


The management of Girasoles gGmbH



Kristina Naranjo

General Manager
In 2000, she founded „Girasoles gGmbH“ kindergarten with fellow educators.
She is a trained hotel manageress and business graduate.

Victoria Lück

Pedagogical Director
In 2012 she started as a group educator at Girasoles. She is a trained curative education nurse as well as a specialist educator for integration and has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and daycare management.

Carina Cybik

Deputy Director
In 2013 she started as a group educator at Girasoles. She is a certified commercial specialist, state-certified educator and certified kindergarten manager.


„Coming together is a beginning, staying together is a progress, working together is success.“

Henry Ford






Interns / Trainees
Every year we receive Spanish interns from EU exchange programs who do their final internships with us for their training. We currently collaborate with five partner schools.

Future educators studying at Berlin technical schools also have the opportunity to complete their job-related internships with us.

Girasoles gGmbH kindergarten has been acting as a training Company since 2015.

Contact

Address


Girasoles-Sonnenblumen gGmbH
Sophie-Charlotten-Straße 113
14059 Berlin



Office

1st Floor, Sophie-Charlotten-Straße 6
14059 Berlin

Telephone: (030) 30 11 25 96
Fax: (030) 30 11 25 97

E-mail management:
info@girasoles-berlin.de

E-mail educational management:
pl@girasoles-berlin.de

E-mail deputy educational management:
cc@girasoles-berlin.de

Opening hours


Monday to Friday 07.30 a.m.- 06.30 p.m. Uhr

(based on the hours of care approved on the voucher)

07.30 a.m. – 02.30 p.m. (part-time, 5-7 hours)
07.30 a.m. – 04.30 p.m. (full-time, 7-9 hours)
07.30 a.m. – 06.30 p.m. (full-time extended, 9-11 hours)

Current closing hours
info@girasoles-berlin.de
(030) 30 11 25 96
Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 113
14059, Berlin.