Kindergarten celebrates birthday: educator remembers the beginnings

Monika Rinshofer (left) and Annelies Wasserbauer at the Holy Family Kindergarten in Bad Tolz

Annelies Wasserbauer is a nursery nurse from the very beginning at the "Holy Family" kindergarten in Bad Tolz. This Monday (31. January) the institution celebrates its 50th anniversary. Much has changed since the beginning.

Bad Tolz – „A day of joy for the Tolzer settlement and the parish to the holy family: On Sunday, 30. January, the modern kindergarten built next to the parish church can be festively consecrated", wrote the Tolzer Kurier back in 1972. Monsignor Prelate Jandl of the Archdiocesan Ordinariate of Munich held the festive service at the time, after which the kindergarten was inaugurated. The next day, "waving cheerfully", Sister Kathe Amler led by Sister Kathe Amler and the town priest Josef Westermeier, 60 boys and girls entered the kindergarten.

The photo of the inauguration shows (vo., from left): Mayor Gregor Schottl, District Administrator Otmar Huber, Monsignor Oskar Jandl, Dean Erhard Huber and (hi.) Principal Ermenhild Glashauser, who receives a carnation

With Annelies Wasserbauer, who worked in the kindergarten from 1972 to 2019, almost the entire history of the kindergarten to date can be traced. This had already developed quite positively from the beginning, as Monika Rinshofer, who has been working as the kindergarten director at the "Holy Family" since 1988, knows to report: "At first we had two groups from January 1972, and from September there were already four." This seems remarkable, because at that time many children at the age of three had not yet entered kindergarten at all. Today the kindergarten attendance – as a rule starting from three years – is however a matter of course. Currently 120 children attend the facility. It is therefore "a large company", which is daily already from 6.45 o’clock start.

Constantly increasing demands on the profession of educator

These facts, as well as the constantly increasing demands on the profession of a kindergarten teacher, according to Rinshofer, such as the many "regulations and the duty of documentation", make the work a growing challenge. The situation used to be easier, she says.

After the official inauguration, the new building in the Tolzer Siedlung was greeted with a cheerful wave. 60 boys and girls took up residence in the new kindergarten

The lives of the children have also changed since 1972, as the two kindergarten teachers explain. "Children are still children," says Rinshofer. Today, however, they are confronted with increased digitalization and sensory overload, as well as a much greater range of leisure activities, he says. In addition, both parents are often working today, which does not make the situation any easier, as Rinshofer explains: "In the past, it was actually inconceivable that opening hours could be extended to 6.45 o’clock must lay." Significantly more children also take advantage of the afternoon program as well as the lunch beforehand.

Great freedom and flexibility for the children

According to the director, the longer average care time is countered in the "Holy Family" kindergarten with as much freedom and flexibility as possible for the children, who are allowed to move around the entire kindergarten during "free play time," choose their own playmates and also visit the "Brotzeitstuberl" (snack room) independently until 11 a.m. In addition, there is a lot of exercise on the program, also in nature, for example in the form of "nature days" or "herb courses," which Wasserbauer particularly liked.

The role of the kindergarten as a whole has also changed, he said. He is increasingly given the task of preparation for school. This is held in the so-called "school bag gangs". The children do research on topics of their own choice, also with the help of computers, and thus learn how to use online offers and media in general sensibly. This is just one of the competencies that must now be acquired in kindergarten to enable boys and girls to become independent responsible citizens, as Rinshofer explains.

"Everyone likes to go in."

What has always distinguished the kindergarten, however, is the fact that the children have always been the most important and the cohesion is especially lived. Had always been popular also the festivities. Grandparents and residents of the surrounding estate often turn up at the seasonal celebrations to join in the festivities, he says. Local celebrities such as the mayor are also frequent guests. This has made the kindergarten feel like "a family". Rinshofer says: "We are the kindergarten" and means every individual who is connected with it. Wasserbauer’s conclusion is: "Everyone likes to go in. There is no frost coming towards you."

A surprise celebration in a small circle is planned to mark the anniversary.

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