Kindergartens are full and waiting lists are long. While older refugee children can go to school, childcare is scarce for the youngest. The game group is supposed to handle that.
Oberndorf – There is a lot of activity at Don Bosco Kindergarten early on Thursday afternoon. Four children from Ukraine keep their caregivers as volunteers on their toes. You can clearly see that the playing circle is very interesting for the little ones.
The show started last week. Tobias Baumgartner, director of integration in Oberndorf, explains that while older children and young adults are accommodated in schools, there is a lack of care for children up to the age of six. 20 children of this age live in urban areas.
Grandpa translates history
The city turned to Elisabeth Gross, the former head of the kindergarten at Lindenhof, with the idea for the playgroup. Gross liked the idea. “You can’t change anything about the political situation, but you can help people here on Earth,” she says. Große asked her old friend Marlisse Roth if she wanted to join the game group. Ruth, a former elementary and high school teacher, immediately agreed. She, too, had felt the need for help before. They both now lead the game group together.
The first meeting last Thursday will remain in the memory of Monday. Weird place and weird kids – The little ones were a little terrified at first, Gross says. But that all changed when I read from a picture book. It was a story about a rabbit who wanted to learn to fly and asked for advice from his animal friends. The grandfather of a German-speaking child translated the story. “In the end, all the kids left with a big smile,” Gross says, delighted.
The play circle gives children the opportunity to step outside the four walls and play with their peers. Roth explains that the show is also geared towards parents who can relate to each other at the meeting. Caregivers are also available to provide help and advice to mothers. For example, at the first meeting, one of the mothers asked about summer clothes. Together with the neighboring Tafel and Caritas it can be helped. Mothers and caregivers communicate in English, through a translation app, or by hand and foot, if needed, says Roth.
Playgroup is always offered at the Catholic Kindergarten. Every Thursday from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM there is enough space for more kids. If the impulse increases, the supply can be expanded, explains Reverend Martin Scheuer. If necessary, Don Bosco Hall can also be used. It is also possible to switch other kindergartens in the city area or create additional offers. “We have to do everything we can to provide the necessary capabilities,” Scheuer says.
The numbers keep going up
Another show for children between 4 and 6 years old started in Altubrendorf. There kids can play handball on Fridays between 3.30pm and 5pm in the rowing hall. However, the first time there was only one Ukrainian child. “Handball is a little-known sport in Ukraine,” Baumgartner says, but he still sees a good opportunity for the offer to be passed. The language course at the adult education center is scheduled to begin in May. More to follow. According to Baumgartner, the number of refugees arriving in Oberndorf is increasing.