Wolfratshausen: How to train educators – Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen

Sabrina Hock has not followed a dead straight path in life. The new head of the external group of the Wolfratshauser daycare center in the La Vida youth center tried many things before she became a teacher. After graduating from secondary school, she spent a year in Australia at “Work and Travel”, then she trained as a photographer and later also started working as a veterinary assistant. Ten years ago she then decided to reorient herself again – and completed a voluntary social year (FSJ) in the Wolfratshausen youth center La Vida. It was her first contact with the children and youth development association (KJFV), which started out as a youth work agency and is now also responsible for the entire afternoon care of school children in Wolfratshausen.

After she had her first daughter and worked as a riding teacher in Gelting for a while, she returned: KJFV managing director Fritz Meixner asked her if she wanted to take on individual care for a child in the Wolfratshausen integrative daycare center. “I liked the work so much that I decided to train as a teacher,” says the 35-year-old. She then also completed her recognition year in the Wolfratshauser after-school care center. After a very good degree, she took over the new external group.

Hock is a stroke of luck for the 23 children who she now looks after there together with a nanny and an FSJ worker. For the KJFV, however, it is more than that. The home-grown plant is just one example of a successful strategy against the lack of staff in a sector that poses major challenges for numerous institutions in the region. The KJFV not only covers the demand for childcare places, which has been increasing continuously for years, because it keeps opening up new premises for after-school care groups in cooperation with the city. But also with a “modular training concept” that ensures a sufficient number of young childcare workers with various cooperations. “The lack of staff and the recruitment of staff have become a problem and a major challenge in social work, which is also having an impact in our region,” explains KJFV Managing Director Fritz Meixner. To counteract this, the KJFV has developed a coordinated concept from various modules over the past few years. In this way, interested young people and trainees are brought into contact with KJFV facilities in various phases and are bound to the sponsor.

The earliest building block is the social project at the Wolfratshausen Isar-Loisach secondary school, which the school social worker Iris Diehl, also from the KJFV, developed as a “taster week in social professions”. In addition to the facilities of the AWO senior citizens’ aid and the city’s day-care centers, the after-school care and after-school care centers of the KJFV also take part. The KJFV also cooperates with the technical colleges in Bad Tölz, Munich and especially Sankt Matthias in Waldram. The FOS interns in the social branch are then always in the facilities for half a school year, for example in the after-school care centers, the open all-day school at the Ickinger elementary school, which is also run by the KJFV, or in the lunchtime care. “In the first half of the 2021/22 school year, seven interns from the technical colleges mentioned are currently working in our facilities,” reports Meixner.

In addition, the voluntary social year, intended as orientation for young people, is an important starting point. There are FSJ positions in after-school care, lunchtime care (in connection with elementary schools), open all-day activities and in the La Vida youth center. According to Meixner, nine young people are currently completing their FSJ at the KJFV. The provider also cooperates successfully with the technical school for curative education (HEP school) in the city: the two integrative daycare centers in Wolfratshausen and Waldram as well as the integrative kindergarten for preschool children serve the trainees as curative education nurses (two years) or curative education nursing assistants (one year). as practice companies. According to Meixner, two employees completed the two-year training course as further professional qualifications last summer. “Both were taken on as employees on September 1.” A remedial nursing assistant has been employed as an additional worker in the new integrative kindergarten since September. In addition, a long-time employee of a lunchtime care has started further qualification. The training company for her and a second, external HEP student is the Wolfratshausen daycare center.

In the so-called optimized practical training (OptiPrax) to become an educator, the trainees are tied to their practical company for three years. According to Meixner, the KJFV cooperates with the specialist academies in Starnberg, Caritas (Don-Bosco Munich) and the Catholic specialist academy in Munich and is currently training three educators in OptiPrax. The trainees are “deliberately staggered over time, so that in

one completes their training in the next three years”. In August, two qualified educators could be taken on as permanent employees – one of them is Sabrina Hock. “This was the only way to cover our personnel requirements due to the after-school care extensions,” says Meixner.

Finally, a fifth training module for the KJFV is the study of social work. In this sector, the sponsoring association has been cooperating for years with the Catholic University of Applied Sciences in Munich and Benediktbeuern and the State University of Applied Sciences in Munich, which provided two interns last year. Recently also with the International University (UI).

Meixner uses practical examples to show that the training modules mesh together and are helpful for recruiting staff: Young people who would have completed their FSJ at the KJFV begin their childcare training at OptiPrax in the association’s facilities – or they were trained externally to become a childcare worker and then returned as permanent employees. In addition, trained educators would be taken on permanently – and employees from the midday care after further qualification at the HEP school in the after-school care centers as supplementary workers.

The success of the concept also means that the chemistry with the employer is right. With Sabrina Hock there is no doubt. “I feel very comfortable here,” she says of her work in the after-school care center. The mother of two daughters, who lives in Egling, seems to have found her calling after detours – in a secure job. Because the need for childcare places for school children continues to grow.

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