1. Organisational conception

The following terms are used in the texts below:

  • C1 for 4 to 6 year-olds (C1.1. and C1.2. as well as M1 and M2)
  • C2 for 6 to 8 year-olds (C2.1. and C2.2. as well as P1 and P2)
  • C3 for 8 to 10 year-olds (C3.1. and C3.2. as well as P3 and P4)
  • C4 for 10 to 12 year-olds (C4.1. and C4.2. as well as M1 and P5)

 

1.1 Sponsors of the organisation

Maison Relais (MR) is an organisation within the municipality of Clerf. The organisation is financed by the family ministry and the municipality.

The sponsor of Maison Relais “Packatuffi” is a.s.b.l. “Louklëppelcher”.

 

1.2 Target groups of the organisation

All school-age children (487 Kinder as at 05/2021) who go to the primary school in Reuler and live in the municipality of Clerf can attend our organisation.

As of September 2020, we have also been accepting children from the entire North catchment area who are registered at the European school.  (121 children at the European school as at 05/2021).

Exception: Children who live in the municipality of Clerf but who do not go to school in Reuler may still come to Maison Relais during the school holidays. This also applies to children with physical or mental disabilities.


1.3 Legal basis

Maison Relais “Packatuffi” is governed by the following laws:

  • Internal regulations of Maison Relais
  • Collective agreement for private employees of the care and social sector (CCT-SAS)
  • Work arrangement for services (RTS)


1.4 Staff development and employee qualification

We place great importance on the further training and development of our employees. It is important for our educational work to ensure that staff are qualified and motivated. The revised law of 14 November 2013 stipulates that every employee must complete a certain number of training hours each year.


1.5 Trainees

We have trainees from a range of different school during the school year (high schools, secondary schools and business schools). All team members work to ensure that the trainees receive optimum training. Every trainee receives specific instructions.


1.6 Regulations

Maison Relais offers a high degree of flexibility in terms of admissions and care. We are available for children outside normal school hours and during the holidays.

All children from the municipality of Clerf have the right to attend. However, certain children will be given priority depending on their family situation.

  1. Children from single parent families when the parent works.
  2. Children with both parents in employment (employment certificates must be provided).
  3. Children whose father / mother or another family member suffers from health problems.

and

  1. Children who are registered with the European school in Reuler but who do not live in the municipality of Clerf.

The management of Maison Relais are in charge of registrations. Registrations are completed in writing by means of an application for admission and a discussion with the management.

1.7 Illness

We are not able to accept children if they are suffering from a contagious illness. Not only could they infect other children and staff, but their immune system is weakened during an infections illness which could lead to complications.

Maison Relais must be notified straight away if a child needs to stay at home or even treated in hospital. The parents must provide Maison Relais with a doctor’s note so that they are not charged for the registration.

2. Educational conception

2.1 Educational approach

“The educator’s main task is to offer children encouragement so that they can develop freely.”
Dr. Maria MONTESSORI

Open means that children and young people can use resources without any obligation. It is up to them to decide where they would like to go and how long they want to stay. This offers children a very bright and versatile way of working. The theory is underpinned by the idea of “open-ended activity”. This means that: Children can come and go in different rooms when they wish and can do and not do what they want, provided that they do not disturb anyone else and observe the rules. Depending on the chosen themed room, they can play table football, billiards or table tennis, play board games, act, dance, take part in creative activities, construction games or immerse themselves in role play. A wide range of organised activities is also on offer: Competitions, workshops, girls’ or youth groups, climbing, airtramp and homework support (not to be confused with extra tuition).

Open activities accompany and support children and young people on their way towards independent adulthood and maturity and involve them in social processes. The easy access provided to the activities on offer and specific working principles encourage the acquisition of educational content which is important for day-to-day decision-making and social skills. Open-ended children’s and youth work help to encourage inclusion and participation for educationally and socially disadvantaged young people.

The idea is not that children will be brought up without rules. By encouraging children to be involved, the aim is quite different; we offer them the opportunity to test out practical living and give them responsibility (step by step) so that they can grow up to become responsible adults. Rules therefore become integrated automatically in everyday life and children learn the boundaries and value of healthy behaviour simply by spending time and living alongside their educators.

As explained above, open-ended working does not mean that there are no rules. We have 4 rules which the children apply and observe on a daily basis.

  1. STOP!

I will immediately stop doing something

I will respond straight away

I may also say STOP

  1. RESPECT

I will not laugh at anyone

I will not make fun of anyone

I will not harm anyone

  1. I LISTEN

I listen when another person is speaking

I will not interrupt anyone and will not make any silly comments

I will look at the other person

I will talk about myself and begin my sentence with “I”

I think it’s stupid that…, I want you to…, I’d like you to…,

I would like…, I think it’s great that…

These 4 rules also apply in the school so that the children do not have to deal with two different sets of rules.

It is counter-productive to apply too many rules, as neither the educators nor the children will be able to remember and adhere to them. We work on the principle of “clear policies with feeling”. Understanding but not necessarily agreeing! – This basic educational attitude is clearly becoming established in educational work with regard to children and young people who increasingly challenge the authority of their educators with their demanding behaviour.

Our working methods are also characterised by:

  • Themed rooms. Each room is dedicated to a specific theme, which allows children to opt for certain activities from time to time. Themed rooms include Casino, Villa Kunterbunt and Hollywood. The main reason for deciding to work with themes is that it allows children to occupy themselves according to their current needs and be with their friends, even if they are of a different age. If a child no longer wants to play in a particular room, they must tidy up before going to another room. The number of children in a room depends on the clientele and the number of educators. The children have to sign in with the help of their photographs on the board provided.
  • Summer excursions: During the summer holidays, we make the most of the time to organise longer excursions with the children. This is an opportunity for Maison Relais to interrupt the daily routine and simply “get out and about” Many children spend a lot of time with us during the holidays and because this is their free time, we are keen to make it as interesting as possible for them. Examples of some of the excursions that we have organised in the past include: A visit to the zoo, a cycling trip, Phantasialand, a forest outing.

Maison Relais represents many different nationalities alongside the children from Luxembourg. Everyone is welcome! We welcome children from many different countries worldwide. This has been particularly noticeable since the introduction of the “Edward Steichen” international school programme. The children have different religions and speak different languages. Our task is to educate children within Maison Relais so that they can understand one another and experience this range of different cultures and languages as a matter of course. This helps them to develop an interest in the traditions of other cultures, learn new languages and much more besides. We have also been welcoming our first refugee children since January 2017. We are very keen to help them to integrate with us.

We are faced with the reality of multilingualism on a daily basis. Like us, the children need to develop a positive attitude towards this. Whilst we accept all these different languages, we place just as much importance on the promotion of the Luxembourgish language. All our educators therefore speak Luxembourgish with the children. It is fine if two children communicate in their native language during free play. However, if a third child joins them who does not speak their language, they should speak Luxembourgish. Luxembourgish should be spoken in large groups, during group activities and at lunchtime so that all the children can understand everything. This is also the best kind of practice for children who do not understand / speak Luxembourgish fluently. It is well known that the best way to learn a language is simply by speaking it, even if we make mistakes, as this is when we learn the most.

2.2 Additional methods and educational work

If a child is absent, their classmates and / or siblings will be asked whether the child has been in school at all. If possible, we will check the child’s usual place on the bus.  If we find that the child has not come to Maison Relais, we will immediately contact their parents / guardians by telephone. They should contact Maison Relais as soon as the child is in their care. We will call the following numbers in order of priority:

  1. Mother’s mobile
  2. Father’s mobile
  3. Mother’s work number
  4. Father’s work number
  5. Landline
  6. First emergency contact
  7. Police

As children in cycle 1 cannot always remember which days they should be attending Maison Relais and in order to keep absences to a minimum, an educator will provide the teaching staff with a list of registered children before the end of the lesson. The teaching staff will then give these children a badge to show them that they must come to Maison Relais on that day. The children are then taken together to a classroom before they are taken by an educator to Maison Relais.

2.2.2.1 Lunch

The lunch menu is always displayed for two whole weeks on the Maison Relais notice board, or can be obtained from our Website so that the children know in advance what they will be having to eat.
Care is taken to ensure that meals are varied and they are prepared using local products. The kitchen staff also make sure that different cultures / religions are taken into consideration. For example, children who do not eat pork due to their religion. These children will be offered an alternative meal. The same applies for children with allergies and intolerances.

A cold starter in the form of different salads, a warm main course and a dessert are available every day at the buffet. In addition, different types of chopped fruit are always available. Soup is also offered 2-3 times a week. The children help themselves at the buffet. However, care is taken to ensure that they eat a varied selection of foods. The children have to clear their things away when they have finished eating. They clean their space and set the table for the next child.

2.2.2.2 Snack

Fruit and other snacks are available in the afternoon. Different snacks are offered on alternative days: Cornflakes, sandwiches, crackers or yoghurt with muesli. During the holidays, breakfast is served from around 9 a.m. and snacks are available from around 4 p.m. Fruit is always offered beforehand. Drinking water is always available for the children in our educational kitchen.

Several points of contact are available to make it easier for children to move from the Crèche to Maison Relais:

  • The educators from the Crèche and Cycle 1 of Maison Relais meet once before the start of the new school year to discuss the children who will be moving up in the next school year. They also spend an afternoon together. This helps them to get to know each other better and find out more about the daily routine at Maison Relais.
  • The Crèche children also spend every lunchtime with us eating in the restaurant. This helps the little ones get to know us at least by sight.
  • To make the move as smooth as possible for our youngest children, they have the option of registering with us from the first week in September. This allows us to introduce them gradually to lots of new things before school starts.
  • All the kindergarten children who will be going into the first class in the following school year will be shown around the school yard of the primary school by educators during a lunch break. They will be shown where the meeting point for Cycle 2 is and will be introduced to their new educators.
  • We also try to make the transition to secondary school as easy as possible for Cycle 4 by working closely with the local youth centre and spending a few taster days there with children before they leave primary school.

2.3 Observation and recording of child development

Child development is observed and recorded in different ways within Maison Relais. A brief description is provided in the following section.

When a new child arrives at Maison Relais, a document is created with the child’s name and photograph. The document contains all possible details about the child.

The educators also use the document to make a note of particular situations, observations and developments concerning the child. These can be used as a source of information in discussions with parents and serve as a reminder for educators when describing specific situations with the child. The outcomes of discussions with parents are also noted in these document. The document can be consulted by all educators.

2.3 Observation and recording of child development

Cooperation with parents is a prerequisite for our work. Without the parents who entrust their children to us, there would be no need for our nurturing and educational work. For this reason alone, it is important that we develop an open, trusting relationship with parents, which can only be achieved through good regular contact. We are keen above all to remain in contact with parents so that we can discuss their children with them and try to pull together in terms of their education. The following points briefly illustrate the features of our partnerships with parents.

  • Admission and registration discussions: Our initial contact with parents is made at the first discussion, namely the registration discussion. Parents usually make an appointment by telephone with the head of the educational department to register their child at Maison Relais. After the discussion, the parents are shown around the premises of Maison Relais.
  • Informal discussions: These impromptu discussions provide a brief but very important means of sharing information. There is a brief exchange of information when the child is collected and dropped off to discuss anything special that is planned or has happened on that day (e.g.: the child will be collected by a different person or the child has been hurt whilst playing).
  • Discussion with parents: We want parents to know that we are available at any time, with or without an appointment, if they wish to speak to us. A particular educator is allocated to each child so that parents know who to contact. We write to parents at the beginning of the school year to tell them which educator will be responsible for their child. This educator may also take the initiative to contact the parents to discuss matters. The child’s development and behaviour will be the focus of these discussions with parents. Parents will also have an opportunity to ask any questions. Trust is built up on both sides through personal contact, with a growing awareness of shared responsibility for the child. We try to invite all parents in for discussions at least once a year.
  • Sharing of information: General information is usually shared with all the children’s parents. The same information is also displayed on the notice board in the parents’ corner or on the information stand as a reminder for parents who drop off or collect their children personally.
  • Parties and events: Parties and events organised by Maison Relais where parents, children and employees can meet together offer an opportunity to make connections and deepen relationships. Here, too, the educators are always available for a spontaneous short conversation. It is also possible for parents to be directly involved in the preparation or running of individual activities.

3. Our conception – final section

3.1 Quality assurance and development and associated measures

The following points help to maintain and develop the quality of Maison Relais and its educational work.

A two-hour team meeting is held every other week, except during the children’s holiday periods.

The educators from cycles 1 and 2 and the educators from cycles 3 and 4 come together with the leaders of the two groups for an hour every Monday at an “SOS children’s meeting”. This offers an opportunity to discuss specific individual children in detail. Anyone can register a child in advance for these “consultations”. The cases discussed are decided upon depending on the degree of urgency.

SOS children’s meetings are also held at six-weekly intervals between the MR management, the social assistant of the municipality and the school / European school.

It is extremely important for educators to be able to share information spontaneously on a regular basis. This is particularly important in terms of working with the children, as any educator can come into contact with any child. These exchanges may be simply verbal or written, with the educator entering information in the logbook. As every child is allocated to a specific educator, it is important that the latter is informed of any specific incidents concerning their allocated child. The overseeing educator keeps a review of the child’s development and behaviour, which is one of the important elements in the discussion with parents.

The information folder contains all the particularly important information of which all team members are expected to be aware. This is confirmed with a signature and date.

3.2 Child protection

When we work with children’s photographs, we are impinging on their privacy. In order to regulate the use of these photographs, we clarify at the registration discussion with parents whether they can be used for our purposes (e.g. for the photo wall or the publication of photographs on the Website).

All private information provided by parents about their child or themselves will be treated with discretion and will never be shared with other people outside the organisation. This also applies to information provided by the children themselves.

Every educator is bound by professional secrecy by signing the contract and will be liable if they violate confidentiality.

It is also important for the management to maintain contact with all the relevant external specialists and services, for example the police, SCAS (Service Central d‘Assistance Sociale), SCAP (Service de Consultation et d’Aide pour troubles de l’Attention, de la Perception et du développement Psychomoteur), INCLUSO (Centre de Ressources pédagogiques et formatives en matière d’inclusion), RESONORD (Reginale Sozialzenter Norden), Ligue Médico-Sociale, etc.

This is a summarised version of the educational concept. The full version of the educational concept can be consulted at any time at Maison Relais.