ENHANCING QUALITY IN ECEC THROUGH PARTICIPATION

VRTEC

Kindergarten is an essential and fundamental part of local community. We are well aware of that, as we are in contact with over a thousand children and their family members on a daily basis. If we sum up the numbers, it can be stated that with a proper approach we can have a huge impact on a great number of people. Cooperation with families is upgraded every year. Our employees are consciously aware of their responsibilities towards others and themselves. This is why all the employees cooperate in the kindergarten progress and growth through various expert meetings. Inclusion of families helps us refine the kindergarten programme, form basic values and plan activities whose main objective is always common good. The kindergarten takes part in projects that go well with its declared values and support our specific objectives. We are aware that the key to authentic communication of these values and goals to children and their parents are the employees, who live (not only declare) those values. We strive for satisfied employees because that is the only way to activate their creativity, proactivity and their sense of self worth. When children spend time with people like that, they are able to learn more and build their self-confidence more efficiently due to a very encouraging and stimulating learning environment. After all, every parent’s wish is a happy, progressing and curious child. The conducted survey confirmed parents’ trust in our kindergarten. So, in this stimulating environment we are able to learn, influence and cooperate with each other. And only that kind of cooperation can work for the greater and common good, for the sustainable development of the entire community.
How do we have to work to make kindergarten the centre of activity? After reaching a certain level of trust and cooperation, how to continuously upgrade without asking too much or loosing trust? Why is it important that a kindergarten becomes the centre of activity, what qualities can it offer to the local community?

Kindergarten’s Path to Becoming an Important Stakeholder in the Local Community
Kindergarten Otona Župančiča, Slovenska Bistrica will be turning 70 in three years. If this was a period in human life, we could say that it has already reached its mature age. However, the kindergarten stays vital with the influx of new generations of children, parents and employees. Kindergarten changes like a human, it becomes wiser and more and more present in the surrounding environment. Luckily, the local communities make it younger by building new kindergartens.
Since 2002, the number of children, enrolled in our kindergarten, increased for 31% or for 408 children. Due to 1308 enrolled children we are one of the largest preschools in Slovenia. In the first couple of months this year, this number has further increased. However, we are certainly a kindergarten with the most locations. Currently, we work on 29 locations and are trying to reduce this number by building new buildings.