Acclimatization of the children in our kindergarten following the Berlin model

The first three days at our kindergarten are called the “basic phase of acclimatization”. The person assisting the child in acclimatization remains with the child in the facility for about one hour and then takes the child back home. In this phase the parents remain rather passive and do not try to force the child to separate itself from them. The child should however always sense that its parents are paying attention to it. The teacher gently tries to take up contact with the child, for example by offering it something to play with, but no efforts are made to separate the child from its parents. On the fourth day the acclimatizing person should, after a few minutes, take leave of the child in its group room and leave that room, but not leave the kindergarten. The reaction of the child is the basis for continuation or interrupting the attempt of the acclimatizing person to leave. The separation should not take longer than 30 minutes, and even with children who, after initial tears, can be quickly and lastingly consoled by the teacher, the separation effort should not be interrupted. During this stabilization phase our teachers start to gradually take over the care of the child. Only the teacher reacts to signals sent out by the child and the acclimatizing person reacts only in a serious situation. If the child accepts this, the separation phase can be lengthened on the 5th and 6th day. The acclimatizing person should however remain nearby and be accessible. If the child still has misgivings, the mother should remain in the group and a few days later a new separation phase can be started once again. In the final phase the mother no longer stays in the facility, but is always accessible, should the child be inconsolable. The acclimatization process is over as soon as the child has accepted the teacher as a reference person and allows the teacher to provide consolation.