Themenmonat 02 Childcare

Ahead of the times

The Studierendenwerk and Childcare

For many students today, children and studies can be easily combined. This is primarily thanks to committed parents and the Studierendenwerke. Because the road to get there has been a rocky one. We look back at the beginnings of childcare at the University of Kassel.



Kids say "Happy Birthday"

A rocky road

In the 1970s, a different family image still prevailed. Childcare was considered a women's issue, but female students with children were hardly considered. Where legislators and society were still lagging behind, the old student ideal of self-help was revived: students and the Studentenwerk (today's Studierendenwerk) join forces in associations and make childcare possible for the first time at the Gesamthochschule Kassel - later to become the University of Kassel. In 1976, the association "Kinderladen Fontanestraße" is founded, followed by the project "Nora" in 1989, a children's group in Witzenhausen, and the children's group "Die Schlitzohren" in 1993. The care is mostly provided privately.

These groups are a start, but not a permanent solution - their financing is often barely secured. But slowly the way is cleared for real university-based student childcare: parent initiatives, the Studentenwerk, the Gesamthochschule Kassel and the umbrella organization of independent daycare centers found the Ki-St-E (Kinder-Studium-Elternschaft) e.V. association in 1997; Ki-St-E supports students with children and promotes childcare.


The Legislature Reacts

Finally, the legislature also reacts: the new Studentenwerksgesetz assigns childcare to the Studentenwerke in 2006. In the same year, a parent-child room is set up on the initiative of the Ki-St-E association. Finally, in 2009, the Studentenwerk itself launches its first childcare facilities, the daycare center "Die Frechdachse" in Witzenhausen and the daycare facility "HoPla Kinder" in Kassel.

The daycare "HoPla Kinder" is also proof of the good cooperation between the university and the Studentenwerk: The latter finances toys, food and operating costs - the university pays for the necessary rooms and their furnishings.

Step by step, the needs of parents and children on campus are increasingly being taken into account; with play corners in the dining halls and cafeterias as well as breastfeeding and nappy-changing rooms. Starting in 2011, students' children up to the age of six can eat for free in the Mensa with the "MahlZeit, Kinder!" card. 

From now on, the Studierendenwerk continues to rapidly expand childcare: In 2013, the "HoPla-Kinderhaus" is built on the Campus Nord with 74 places.  And in 2017, studykidscare opens; one of Germany's first daycare centers with flexible care hours. The special feature: Here, students can register their children at short notice if they need childcare due to university commitments.


The Book of the Month

Annika and Michelle, educators at the daycare centre HoPla-Kinderhaus, read from the Book of the Month February 2021: “Die große Wörterfabrik” is a picture book for children aged three and up by Agnès de Lestrade, illustrated by Valeria Docampo, translated from French by Anna Taube.

We would like to thank the publisher Mixtvision Mediengesellschaft mbH, 80802 Munich, very much for their kind permission to use an excerpt from this book for the presentation of our project "The Book of the Month".

Once a month, we regularly recommend a book to parents in our daycare centres that addresses topics that are of particular interest to their children. Normally, there are then also joint reading rounds with children and parents. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the reading sessions have to be cancelled at the moment - but we will continue them as soon as it is possible again.

Maxie's Land of Adventure

By Celine Luther, educator at the day centre HoPla-Kinderhaus.

Maxie experiences many adventures with his different friends who accompany him throughout his adventure. To get to their destination together, they help each other in the most different and difficult situations and challenges... Until they discover a secret chamber and realize the real treasure.

A heartwarming story written and drawn by Celine Luther within her training as an educator. For the anniversary year, Ms. Luther donated this story about the value of friendship and cohesion to the Studierendenwerk, and it is also available for download for children, parents and all other fans.

Children's Book Maxies Abenteuerland (German Language)


Comic and coloring picture to be continued

"My name is Xenia and I have been working as a student assistant at studykidscare for 3 years. For the 50th birthday of the Studierendenwerk I was asked if I would like to draw a comic for this occasion. I immediately came up with many different ideas. It was important for me to reflect studykidscare and the other childcare facilities in this comic. I tried to do this through the colors I chose to express the happiness of the children. The color selection was based on what the children wanted. They always choose the weirdest and funniest color combinations during their artistic exercises, but especially the complementary colors are often seen. I hope you enjoy reading this comic as much as I enjoyed painting it."

Download Comic and coloring picture to be continued


Educators Talking About their Everyday Life