Kestrel’s Dad told us

I’m a second generation immigrant who grew up with some cultural links to Germany but very few language ties. I started learning German in high school and never looked back! Raising Kestrel bilingual is an opportunity to share that unique part of me with her.

Kestrel just adores everything about German Australian Playschool: the teachers, the songs, the craft and her friends! I love it too, because we can both continue to grow and maintain that German connection in such a beautiful play-filled and caring environment. I‘m so proud that Kestrel now doesn’t see German as just Papa‘s language, but as a living and dynamic part of her life in Canberra.

One of our German dads recently emailed us to say:

We are very happy that our son enjoys GAP so much; and for me personally it brings so much joy that he now speaks more and more German, actively asking me for German words and making a real effort!

We get visits from our licensing authority people regularly, and they always comment on how well run our service is, how happy and engaged the children are, and how the children seem to feel so secure in such a calm and loving environment.

Families from Germany also provide great feedback for the GAP. Here is what one German family who had been in Canberra to work for a few months at the University, wrote to us when they returned home to Germany:

We are having an interesting time back in Germany again. On the one hand, we happily embrace family and friends we have missed so much. On the other hand, seeing the photos of our new Australian friends, and our son having a great time at the GAP with the teachers and his friends taken during our Canberra stay, we also feel some sadness that this part now seems to be over, and we are located on the other side of the globe. We would like to express our sincerest gratitude for all the kindness and help which you and your team have shown towards us. We admire the personal commitment and devotion with which you have managed to build up the GAP and the unique atmosphere around it: We have never experienced anything like it before.

Another German family living in Canberra have sent all three of their children to the GAP, and have been with us since we opened in 2007. Their excellent experience prompted them to write:

Congratulations on putting together such an excellent team at the GAP. This year’s and last year’s teams are the best GAP teacher teams ever. We as parents could not wish for more dedicated, warm-hearted and caring teachers to look after our little treasures. 

Not only that, their level of expertise and profesionalism continue to impress us, and the wonderful ideas and songs they bring to the children seem miles ahead of other Playschools we’ve experienced with our children. Thank you!

One of our second-generation families (from Austrian descent) in Canberra emailed to say:

As you know, [my son] is 4 and has been at GAP for one year. We are absolutely delighted and very impressed with the GAP program. His German has improved out of sight (German is my second language and he only hears German from me so his exposure to it has been limited). He now comes home using new words, often tells me what the word in German means and I overhear him singing or talking in German. In addition, as well as the program being very educational, varied and interesting, it is a lovely calming environment and we see him absolutely thriving in it. Thanks to the whole GAP team!!

We get a lot of positive feedback from our Australian families, too. One mother wrote to us recently:

I wanted to mention to you that my partner and I are both very impressed with the GAP and with the lovely teachers and the “gute Stimmung” they have developed there. Now that my partner stops by my child’s preschool, GAP and childcare, it is pretty clear to him that the GAP is the most caring place to be.

Another Australian mother wrote to us about her daughter’s first term at GAP:

Just wanted to say how happy we have been with GAP this year. Our daughter has settled in very quickly, been happy to go every day and seems to have a great time. She speaks fondly of the teachers and other children. She is also starting to speak some German at home (counting, singing and using colours), mostly unprompted. Please pass on my thanks to the teaching team. I plan to drop in next week with my [German] father who is very pleased that she is learning some German.

And another mother enrolled her son for an extra class and wrote:

Thank you for letting us enrol for an extra day. My son is so excited. All the teachers there are so wonderful and he talks about it so much. May I just make a special mention of your assistant teacher, Friederike. [My son] is so in love with her. He said whenever he is sad or tired she is always there for cuddles and makes him feel better. It is so nice to know that he enjoys all the teachers’ company so much and feels so safe there.

One of our favourite comments:

It was Mothers’ Day on Sunday, and my husband asked our son, “What do you think is the best thing about Mama?” and he replied, “She brings me to German Playschool!” [Best reply ever, in our opinion!]

And one of our families who speak no German at home wrote:

And can I also say that I have been so impressed with GAP so far. Despite the drop-off tears, [my son] talks about GAP and his teacher ALL the time, and today I caught him randomly counting to 20 in German while he was playing with his toys. I am so HAPPY he’s going there!

One of our GAP mums emailed to share this lovely anecdote:

When I took my son to his Australian pre-school this morning for his second day there, the teacher approached me and told me that my son had been very kind to a sad little boy the day before. [My son] had come up to this boy, patted him on the back and offered him a toy car.

When I asked [my son] about this little boy and how he had looked after him, he said to me: “That is what Esme [one of the GAP teachers] does for me at GAP if I feel sad.”

What a wonderful trickle-down effect of the amazing work the GAP teachers do for our kids! And what a lovely comfort for me as mum to know that my little guy is in such caring hands at playschool.

Most importantly, what do the children think?  A father emailed us:

I hope there is a spot available so that we can expand to enrolling for all 4 days at the GAP starting next term.  Our daughter absolutely loves GAP so much, she has stopped wanting to go to her other preschool now that she realises where the best program in Canberra is! 

And lastly, a comment from one of our teachers:

I absolutely adore my job at the GAP.  It is a great place to work, and our families are wonderful.  I look forward to seeing the children every day, and miss them all terribly over the holidays.  I genuinely love them all to bits, and find delight in teaching them every day.