Children's shop

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A children's shop in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
A children's shop in Berlin-Wilmersdorf

A children's shop is a self-administered ("alternative") kindergarten , mostly run by independent sponsoring associations (often parents' initiatives ) in which children of preschool age are looked after. On average, 15 to 19 children are cared for in each children's shop. Especially in the early days of children's shops, in the 1960s and early 70s, former shops were used because many smaller shops had to close due to the rise of supermarkets and therefore shops were cheap to rent, hence the name Kinderladen . Similar projects, which are primarily aimed at school children, are called schoolchildren's shops . Some children's and youth recreational facilities are also called children's stores.


The first children's shop was the Free Children's School founded by Monika Seifert in Frankfurt-Eschersheim in 1967 , from which the first two alternative schools in the Federal Republic later emerged: the Glockseeschule Hanover and the Free School Frankfurt (in which the children's school was incorporated). The children's shop movement and the public discussion about the anti-authoritarian upbringing practiced in children's shops did not begin until 1968 with the establishment of children's shops in (especially) Berlin, Stuttgart and Hamburg. The founding of the children's shops in Berlin initially took place in the student milieu of the SDS and the Sponti movement and was organized by the Action Council for the Liberation of Women , which at the same time initiated the second German women's movement . The children's shop movement saw itself as part of a social protest movement against the existing conditions.

Even today, children's shops are an alternative to municipal and church institutions, although today they are usually not called “children's shops” (rather: parents' initiative). - "Incidentally, the first children's shop in Berlin was realized by two men (Lothar Binger and Peter Umbsen) in Kopfstrasse (sic!) In Berlin-Neukölln."

In the GDR, too, there was a free, non-governmental children's shop in the East Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg at the beginning of the 1980s , which was organized in changing private apartments for a quarter of a year after the closure by the Stasi (after the eviction the entrance was bricked up), among other things also briefly in Christa Wolf's apartment . Ulrike Poppe was an initiator and received a prison sentence. The children's shop was a parents' initiative, but the carers always came from outside. The inspiration for the children's shop was the book Time for Children by Ekkehard von Braunmühl . A picture of the children's shop hangs in the Stasi Museum in Berlin-Lichtenberg.

Pedagogy and organizational responsibility

Children are looked after in smaller groups here and the number of educators and the staffing key are usually much higher than in other institutions, which enables more intensive educational contact with the child.

The clubs organize the work of the children's shop. Even if the clubs work largely on their own, the technical supervision of a children's shop lies with the youth welfare office , as is the case with other independent kindergartens . Few of the children's shops are managed by a single person, most of the children's shops are led by a team consisting of the educators of the children's shop or the board of directors of the parents' initiative. In the 1970s, for example, the Berlin Senate sponsored many of its 270 or so children's shops, often as so-called “EI day care centers”, as a parent-initiative day-care center ( parents' initiative ).

A large number of different design options are practiced for the areas of cooking, cleaning and covering illness.

The commitment of all those involved is linked to the possibility of being able to guarantee more individual care for the children in the small children's shops than is the case in large institutions.

See also


  • Author collective Lankwitz u. a., Children's Shops - Revolution of Education or Education for Revolution? , Reinbek: Rowohlt 1971. ISBN 3-499-11340-6 .
  • Collective of authors at the Psychological Institute of the Free University of Berlin: Socialist project work in the Berlin school shop Rote Freiheit. Analyzes, protocols, documents Fischer Taschenbuch Frankfurt am Main 1971. ISBN 3-436-01356-0 .
  • Author collective Berlin children's shops: Berlin children's shops. Anti-authoritarian education and socialist struggle. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1970, 1982, DNB 456081313 / ISBN 3-462-00776-9 .
  • Gerhard Bott (ed.): Education to disobedience. Children's shops report on the practice of anti-authoritarian education. Frankfurt: March publishing house 1 1970 3 1971 (children's shop Stuttgart; children's school Frankfurt; socialist children's shop Berlin Kreuzberg).
    In 1969, Bott shot the 50-minute film of the same name about anti-authoritarian children's shops for NDR television (first broadcast on December 1, 1969 at 10:00 p.m.). One on 30 min. The shortened version ( FWU ; 16 mm) is awarded by city or state image offices. In the film "They must have something about themselves: anti-authoritarian upbringing and its consequences." Bott later shows what became of the children in the Kinderladen in adolescence shown in the first film. In the film “Terror aus dem Kinderladen” children of the first grade (a) from a common kindergarten and (b) from a children's shop are shown together: the coexistence and the different behavior of both groups of children. This elementary school class was in Frankfurt am Main .)
  • Municipality 2 : Raising children in the municipality. In: Kursbuch 17. Frankfurt / M .: Suhrkamp 1969.
  • Till van Rahden, A world without a family: About children's shops and other democratic promises of salvation, in: WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung 14 (2017), Issue 2, pp. 3–26. ISBN 978-3-593-43701-9 .
  • Lutz von Werder : From anti-authoritarian to proletarian education. A report from practice. Frankfurt / M .: Fischer paperback 1972. ISBN 3-436-01521-0 . (The history of the West Berlin Red Collective Proletarian Education (" Rotkol ")).
  • Lutz von Werder: What comes after the children's shops? Experience logs. Berlin: Wagenbach 1977. ISBN 3-8031-1075-0 .
  • Lutz von Werder: Children's shops. Attempt to overturn inner nature , in: Eckhard Siepmann; Irene Lusk (Red.): The Roaring Sixties. Departure into a new time, Amsterdam 1991, pp. 160–168.
  • Meike Sophie Baader: Be realistic, demand the impossible - How education moved in 1968 Beltz Verlag, Weinheim, Basel 2008. ISBN 978-3-407-85872-6 .
  • Wilma Aden-Grossmann: Monika Seifert - pedagogue of anti-authoritarian education . Frankfurt am Main: Brandes & Apsel 2014. ISBN 978-3-95558-056-8 .
  • Beate Ronneburger: The gender aspect in the children's shop movement. Upbringing in children's shops in West Berlin (1968-1977). Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2019. ISBN 978-3-7799-3812-5 .


  1. a b Matthias Hofmann: Past and present of free alternative schools. An introduction. With a foreword by Christian Füller and an afterword by Dr. Klaus Amann. 2nd Edition. Klemm + Oelschläger, 2013, ISBN 978-3-86281-057-4 , Chapter 5.1 Anti-authoritarian and socialist children's shops, p. 113-116 .
  3. cf.
  4. The better parents ?! or The discovery of children's shops K. Silvester, 2009
  5. Reinhart Wolff: Children, Childhood, Child Protection. The 1968s as a crisis and conflict with opportunities and risks. In: Sozial Extra 3/2018, 42nd year (VS Verlag, Springer Fachmedien DE, Wiesbaden), pp. 25–28: 27.
  6. ^ Matthias Hofmann: Past and present of free alternative schools. An introduction. With a foreword by Christian Füller and an afterword by Dr. Klaus Amann. 2nd Edition. Klemm + Oelschläger, Ulm 2013, ISBN 978-3-86281-057-4 , Chapter 5.4 Approaches to alternative pedagogy in the GDR - a conversation with Ulli Sachse, p. 126-130 .
  7. ^ Catalog of the AV Media Center of the City of Mainz, Peterstr. 3, 55116 Mainz

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