Timeline

The name remains unch­an­ged from the ori­gi­nal idea of the foun­ders – to get their child­ren tog­e­ther in a day care cen­ter in the street whe­re they lived.

The desi­re was to live like in an exten­ded fami­ly. Rela­ti­ves, friends, neigh­bours should meet in the affi­lia­ted ter­race café.

Howe­ver, in rea­li­ty it tur­ned out dif­fer­ent­ly. The plan­ned vil­la in the „own street“ tur­ned into rooms in a dif­fe­rent neigh­bor­hood and the ter­race café unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly tur­ned out to not work in ever­y­day life. Yet, the ide­al of “living like an exten­ded fami­ly” remai­ned. Social secu­ri­ty, fair com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and the child’s per­so­na­li­ty were in focus from the very begin­ning. Each child should be enab­led to unfold accord­ing to his or her dis­po­si­ti­ons and inte­rests. The term “street” beca­me syn­onym for natu­re, envi­ron­ment and life in the city.

The idea has been around sin­ce 1991. Par­ents wan­ted to crea­te an alter­na­ti­ve to the cur­rent day care situa­ti­on, which they felt unhap­py with.

In 1992, the asso­cia­ti­on was offi­cial­ly regis­tered and the first edu­ca­tor, Sabi­ne, was hired. As a trai­ned school tea­cher, she was con­vin­ced by the con­cept and so she hel­ped the pro­ject come to life. 25 years later she’s still caring for the street kin­der­gar­ten child­ren with her heart and soul.

In 1993 the kin­der­gar­ten ope­ned in Tarostra­ße 7. 16 child­ren and 4 adults, inclu­ding two edu­ca­tors, star­ted Kin­der­gar­ten life. Final­ly the visi­on had beco­me rea­li­ty. To open a Kin­der­gar­ten with such a dif­fe­rent con­cept see­med a bit daun­ting at first, and nee­ded lots of impro­vi­sa­ti­on, as ever­yo­ne lear­ned on the go.

The every day life in Stra­ßen­kin­der­gar­ten dif­fe­red a lot from other insti­tu­ti­ons at that time: the edu­ca­tors did not wear goa­ns but worked in civi­li­an clothes, com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with child­ren was at eye level. The fami­lies hel­ped to mana­ge the dai­ly rou­ti­ne, a new ter­ri­to­ry for ever­yo­ne. They hel­ped to clean, par­ti­ci­pa­ted in the kin­der­gar­ten rou­ti­ne and lend their hel­ping hands.

The par­ents also held the reins from the begin­ning as the exe­cu­ti­ve board of the asso­cia­ti­on. Mem­bers of this board are elec­ted by the par­ents in the gene­ral mem­ber assem­bly of the association.

In 1995 and a few years after, the­re has been a coope­ra­ti­on with a group of seni­or citi­zens – they met to play games and do crafts together.

Many field trips were made over the years: wether to the Agra­park, Leip­zig Zoo or Möl­kau farm, to the fire bri­ga­de, to Haus Stein­stra­ße e.V. or to the Auen­see, to name just a few – never a boring day. Various the­me par­ties were cele­bra­ted. Think of knights’ par­ties, pota­to par­ties, a Nep­tu­ne par­ty and so on. For the ope­ning of the self-built pira­te ship in the gar­den, the­re was of cour­se a pira­te party.

Over the years, talen­ted par­ents and edu­ca­tors co-crea­ted gre­at new play equip­ment. Today’s swing gar­den, tree house and play car are all self-desi­gned and built, and our gar­den was awar­ded second place in the Saxon Children’s Gar­den Com­pe­ti­ti­on in 2003. The par­ents’ work, which is com­mon in Stra­ßen­kin­der­gar­ten, has made many pro­jects pos­si­ble that would other­wi­se would not have been. E.g. an exten­si­ve bathroom reno­va­ti­on was the result of par­ents’ work.

During the last 25 years, the Kin­der­gar­ten has grown from 16 to 52 child­ren. At the begin­ning, the Kin­der­gar­ten was desper­ate­ly loo­king for child­ren becau­se the low birth rate. Only after 5 years the kin­der­gar­ten was able to open a second group and hire two new edu­ca­tors, Annett and Kers­tin, who are, just like Sabi­ne, still part of the Straßenkindergarten.

The Stra­ßen­kin­der­gar­ten is fre­quent­ly invol­ved in social acti­vi­ties. As ear­ly as 1996, the Kin­der­gar­ten demons­tra­ted with a stand at the youth wel­fa­re day with the slo­gan “Hands off the youth bud­get”. And also in 2017, with sup­port of par­ents and edu­ca­tors, the kin­der­gar­ten took part in the demons­tra­ti­on of the Leip­zig Kin­der­gar­ten initia­ti­ve “Becau­se child­ren need time”. The staff’s social pro­jects were also sup­por­ted. Annett pri­va­te­ly par­ti­ci­pa­ted in edu­ca­tio­nal exchan­ge pro­gram­mes with Isra­el and Mon­go­lia. Part­ners also visi­ted Annett and the child­ren in the Stra­ßen­kin­der­gar­ten, show­ed them parts of their cul­tu­re and cele­bra­ted fes­ti­vals together.

In 2004, a third group was ope­ned, the „Stör­che“ (storks).

From 2005 to 2014, the Stra­ßen­kin­der­gar­ten beca­me a mem­ber (and was admi­nis­te­red) of the “Freie Kin­der­gar­ten e.V.”. The coope­ra­ti­on ended in 2015, making the street kin­der­gar­ten inde­pen­dent again. A gre­at peri­od of chan­ge began. In 2016, Anke was hired as direc­tor, being the link bet­ween the exe­cu­ti­ve board and the staff.

In order to be able to respond bet­ter to inte­gra­ti­on child­ren, the „Stör­che“ group beca­me an inte­gra­ti­on group and Annett got trai­ned in cura­ti­ve edu­ca­ti­on. The group size of the Stör­che was redu­ced to 17 child­ren. The Füch­se group the­re­fo­re grew and divi­ded into Füch­se and Wasch­bä­ren, now two 2 groups of 12 child­ren each, sin­ce then been loo­ked after by Sabi­ne and Lars. Sin­ce then until now the­re are four groups in Straßenkindergarten.

But this will not remain so for too long. As the cur­rent buil­ding will have to be exten­si­ve­ly reno­va­ted, the Kin­der­gar­ten would the­re­fo­re have to be relo­ca­ted in the mean­ti­me. In the cour­se of talks to the City of Leip­zig admi­nis­tra­ti­on, the idea aro­se, to not just find an inte­rim solu­ti­on, but to find a new building.

After an inten­si­ve search, a new home for the Stra­ßen­kin­der­gar­ten was found. In 2023, the Kin­der­gar­ten will move to Lin­denau into the buil­ding com­plex “Lin­denau­er Forum”, which is cur­r­ent­ly being built by the com­pa­ny Löwen­stein­in­vest. The Stra­ßen­kin­der­gar­ten will also grow, cate­ring to the high demand of day­ca­re pla­ces in Leip­zig, to two nur­s­e­ry groups and five Kin­der­gar­ten groups with a total of 81 children. 

So the­re are still exci­ting times ahead.