Our story starts just like any other good children’s story:
Once upon a time, there was the first children’s play center in Zagreb, and its name was “Mali princ”. It was so long ago that the children from that play center are now moms and dads already. At the time we learned, travelled, socialized, grew, and developed. With a lot of love and enthusiasm, the long-term vision became reality and in 2002 we became the “Dječja igra” private kindergarten.
We have changed, expanded our knowledge and experience, and analyzed every segment of our development. We started out with one group, and today we have three locations in Dubrava, and one newly opened location in Vrbani III.
Our work has also been recognized by the authorized institutions. In 2007, the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport named us the practice center for the Faculty of Teacher Education at the University of Zagreb for practical training of part-time students. Since 2010, our kindergarten has been permitted to conduct work experience for Pedagogy students from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb.
Other than verifying the basic ten-hour program, the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport has also verified other programs:
- English language learning as part of the regular program;
- a short program of early German language learning;
- an extracurricular preschool program for work with preschool-aged children;
- a sports program;
- a rhythmic gymnastics and dance program;
- an educational, health, and recreational program – winter camp;
- an educational, health, and recreational program – summer camp.
With our continued joint efforts we have created a place for children and adults to live, play, and learn, while trying to secure surroundings where children, but also their parents and the teaching staff will feel welcome, satisfied, and happy. Our goal is aimed at respecting the diverse interests and abilities and the optimal development of all potential, abilities, and skills of each child.
Professional development and employee education are an important segment of the kindergarten’s plan and program. Theoretical and scientific knowledge is important for our teachers to better understand and advance their educational work. For her continued professional development, teacher Ivana Žarko was promoted to the position of mentor.
As we are aware of the fact that children spend an average of eight to ten hours daily in educational institutions, and taking into account that the spatial-material context affects children’s way of thinking, feeling and behaving, we consider it important to offer children productive and diverse surroundings, which will allow them to gain various experiences. In each space, children can find a place for peace, relaxation, rest, as well as for playing, learning, and socializing with other children.
The teachers constantly supervise the children and record and document their activities. According to what they see, we implement various changes to improve the quality of the education of children in our kindergarten. In that way, we deepen our understanding of children’s learning process, as well as our roles in that process.
We regularly organize visits to theaters, museums, libraries, and places that contribute to improving the quality of the educational work of our institution. Along with the regular ten-hour program, specialized and shorter programs, we also organize in-line skating, ice skating, skiing, and swimming courses throughout the entire academic year.
We place emphasis on the total development of children, aware of the importance of nutrition in the early years. We prepare healthy regular meals every day. Children are offered breakfast, where they can choose from several types of ingredients, lunch, a snack, and fruit.
In order for the sports program to be as high a quality and as fun as possible, the spatial and material conditions for its conduct have been secured. The gymnasium contains the didactic equipment necessary for conducting various exercises professionally designed and lead by educated trainers.
For nearly thirty years generations have changed, smiling children’s faces have come and gone, and everyone has left their mark in the ongoing story. And they lived happily ever after...