Emmi Pikler: pedagogisch beleid gebaseerd op vertrouwen
July 08, 2019

Emmi Pikler: pedagogical policy based on trust

Emmi Pikler and the pedagogical policy of Kideo childcare

The pedagogical policy of Kideo childcare is based on the vision of Emmi Pikler. Emmi Pikler (1902-1984) was an Austrian pediatrician and educationalist. Her unique method revolutionized the way babies and children were treated in the 1940s and 1950s. Pikler discovered that children are born with the urge to explore and learn. Her method is so clear and well substantiated that it is still widely used.

The origins of the Pikler method

After the birth of their daughter, Emmi and her husband decide to raise their child freely. Free in the sense that they don't force her to roll over, sit or stand. They give her plenty of space to discover the world for herself. They give her full one-on-one attention at fixed times and consider her a fully-fledged human being from birth. The autonomy of the child is Emmi Pikler's top priority. What she sees in her daughter confirms Pikler's idea of ​​natural development. Her daughter is active and dares to trust her own abilities. Emmi Pikler starts to advise and guide other parents. She gives lectures and writes about her parenting method. The Second World War is a difficult time for the Jewish Pikler and her family. Her husband is being persecuted for political reasons. The parents who gave Emmi advice and guidance ensure that her family survives the war.

Lóczy Orphanage and the Pikler Method worldwide

In 1946, Emmi Pikler became director of the Hungarian orphanage Lóczy. She is convinced that children in an orphanage can also have healthy attachments and fully develop into active, inquisitive children. She gives the orphans a loving home, where they can discover the world at their own pace. She runs the orphanage in her own unique way. For example, she hires young, uneducated girls. The application procedure consists of changing a diaper. She accepts applicants who do this with love and attention. The employees are then trained internally according to the Pikler method. The children in the orphanage are carefully observed by Emmi Pikler. Her findings are published in many scientific journals. The results will be confirmed in follow-up studies. The Pikler method is known worldwide and parents, caregivers, schools and daycare centers are still learning from its vision. The Pikler Institute in Budapest still provides training and courses on a daily basis. The Netherlands has its own Emmi Pikler Foundation.

Pikler toys

In the authoritarian 1940s and 1950s, Emmi Pikler's approach was very innovative. This is the basis of the Pikler method: let a child develop freely, at his own pace and on his own initiative. Follow the child as an educator and co-educator. Offer a low-stimulus, but stimulating environment with open play materials. Open play materials? These are materials without a defined purpose. Materials that the child can discover for themselves. They are also called open-ended toys or passive toys. Passive toys make you active children. Examples of Pikler toys include a handkerchief, a pine cone, wooden bowls and a large wooden climbing frame, the so-called Pikler triangle. Example Emmi Pikler toy

Emmi Pikler and the purpose of self-play

Playing independently has a positive effect on the child's autonomy. The child decides for himself how long he plays and discovers what he can and wants with the toys. This way the child learns what he finds interesting and what he does not. Independent free play is good for the development of self-awareness. Or as Emmi Pikler says: 'A child who achieves something by experimenting independently acquires a completely different knowledge than a child who is offered a ready-made solution'.

One-on-one moments

Another important aspect of Emmi Pikler's pedagogical vision is the one-on-one moment. When a baby is changed or fed, it gets our full attention. Fixed faces are very important in this. You also tell us what you are going to do. For example, that the child gets a clean diaper. This may seem strange, because a baby cannot yet talk. But the child hears your voice and the peace that comes from it. It becomes familiar with the actions and therefore learns what to expect. This creates trust and a healthy bond between baby and caregiver. This allows you as a caregiver to properly identify the baby's needs and give him what he needs. Not because you think he needs to learn things, but because the baby indicates that he is ready for that. Emmi Pikler's ideas can be summarized as: 'Help me to do it myself'.

The Pikler method in practice at Kideo

At Kideo Childcare, based on the Pikler vision, we provide an environment that offers both challenge and security. The children feel safe and secure there. They can fully be themselves. Did you know that at Kideo we carry babies in a sling ? This also helps with good adhesion. In our nursery the children are free to explore. We don't send them. By demonstrating or adjusting things, we would be going against the child's capacity for self-discovery. We also provide undisturbed one-on-one moments, when we can give them our undivided attention, and our daycare is fully equipped according to the Pikler principle.

Care and eating moments

At Kideo we see a care moment as an excellent opportunity for quality one-on-one contact. Changing a diaper is one of those moments. Eye contact, talking about what is happening and responding to sounds; it's all part of it. Even when a pedagogical employee gives your baby a bottle, she focuses her full attention on it. She talks softly to your child, holds him or her on her lap and makes eye contact. The child indicates how much he or she wants to drink. If his attention goes to something else, the supervisor waits quietly until he comes back. The baby lies comfortably with her and she is not distracted by other children. They will receive her undivided attention at another time. The meal times for children who can eat themselves are aimed at their own pace. At Kideo , all food is organic . The food is prepared with care and attention. We offer the children different flavors and textures. They decide for themselves what and how much they eat. They are given the space to eat at their own pace. They can grab, touch and examine the food themselves. overview of organic food

Play in peace

We do not direct the children in their play. Our daycare has beautiful passive toys that are at eye level for the children. This way they can discover on their own initiative. The toys are made of natural materials such as wood, wicker and wool. We also collect beautiful things outside to play with, such as feathers, branches and beautiful leaves. We do not intervene in the children's play. They get plenty of time to play themselves. We encourage them. We only make adjustments when safety is compromised.

Motor development

At Kideo childcare we monitor your child's motor development. For example, we do not place a child who cannot yet sit independently in a high chair. We do not place a child who cannot stand up on his or her own. In this way the child learns to discover for himself what he likes and the child knows: 'I am who I am and that is good'. We do offer a stimulating environment in which your child has every opportunity to develop. And we cheer at every milestone!

Pikler interior at Kideo childcare

All Kideo branches in Groningen , Assen and Drachten are designed according to Emmi Pikler's vision. These are challenging environments. They are also low-stimulus: there are not toys everywhere and the walls are not covered with busy posters. There are no bright colors and no plastic toys with lights and sounds. Kideo offers a nice environment where children can explore. There is a central wall to which shelves containing passive toys are attached from floor to ceiling. The children can pick this up and look at it quietly. The cabinets are open and therefore freely accessible. There are wicker pouffes, soft rugs and wooden furniture. Each location also has a studio. There children can paint, cut, paste, draw and much more. This craft room has a wide range of materials that the children can pick up themselves. The children can play outside. There is a lawn, a sandbox and all kinds of outdoor toys. We also have a vegetable garden where we grow various fruits and vegetables together.