№ 295/2012 from Oct 10, 2012
In Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin and the Robert Bosch Stiftung are founding the first German Center for Early Childhood Education. Professor Peter-André Alt, the president of Freie Universität Berlin, and Dr. Ingrid Hamm, the director of the Robert Bosch Foundation, today signed a collaboration agreement. Through excellent teaching and research, the center is expected to acquire a leading position in the international research community and to stimulate academic work in the field of early childhood education in Germany.
"Many countries have a long tradition of research in early childhood education, which is closely linked to the actual work in that area. By setting up this new center, we want to establish this approach in Germany and to develop internationally competitive research and teaching," said Professor Peter-André Alt. "The foundations for the education of our children are set long before they start school," said Dr. Ingrid Hamm. "That is why younger children should not merely be supervised, but rather should spend time in a learning environment. The new Center for Early Childhood Education is being set up to provide a new academic basis and to advise policy makers."
The Robert Bosch Foundation is contributing one million euros over the next five years to the new Center for Early Childhood Education. Freie Universität Berlin is contributing 430,000 euros from its own budget and is providing the premises for the new research center. For the management of the center, the initiators are now looking for a well-established researcher in the international community.
By founding the new research center, the Robert Bosch Foundation is continuing its efforts over the past ten years in striving toward more professionalism in early childhood education. Since 2003 the Foundation's program "PiK – Professionals in Kitas" (Professionals in Daycare Centers) has sponsored the development of degree programs in the subject at universities. With its Research and Study Program on Education in Early Childhood, the Foundation contributes to qualifying doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars in this field.