The Big Bear House offers no mire than 32 spots, which are divided into three age groups.
The children who are in the first (voluntary) year of kindergarten and the second (obligatory) year are taught in a common group. The youngest children will be cared in the pre kindergarten. Suitable rooms, as well as sufficient outdoor areas, are available to meet individual and specific education needs.
For the child to be able to integrate into the group, and to ensure that it is provided with all of the educational content necessary at its age, a minimum of two full days of attendance per week is required. During the obligatory second year of kindergarten, at least 3.5 days of attendance per week is required, in accordance with cantonal law. The management reserves the right to decide which weekdays will be assigned to children in the obligatory second year of schooling.
Before the children officially start kindergarten, they visit the kindergarten for one or two half-days to get to know their new environment.
In cases in which it is unclear whether a child is ready for kindergarten, the child can attend the kindergarten for a few trial days, during which he or she will be assessed by the kindergarten teacher. The kindergarten aims to expand the children's range of experience and foster their skills. The teachers at the kindergarten use the obligatory kindergarten curriculum of the Canton of Zug.
It is possible to start kindergarten at the Big Bear House at the beginning of the school year in August and at the start of the second semester in February. Other starting dates are possible if sufficient reason is provided and if this does not impose an excessive burden upon the child and the kindergarten group.
Age-related cutoff dates for admission to the Big Bear House are as follows:
Children who are four years old by July 31st start kindergarten in August.
At their parents' request, children who are four years old by October 31st can undergo an assessment by a kindergarten teacher at the Big Bear House to determine if they are ready for kindergarten. Starting kindergarten in August is possible for these children as well, but requires the recommendation of the kindergarten teacher.
Children who are four years old by January 31st start kindergarten in February.
At their parents' request, children who are four years old by April 31st can undergo an assessment by a kindergarten teacher at the Big Bear House to determine if they are ready for kindergarten. Starting kindergarten in February is possible for these children as well, but requires the recommendation of the kindergarten teacher.
For children residing in the Canton of Zug, admission to the obligatory second year of kindergarten (as required by law) is regulated by the following age-related cutoff dates:
Children who are five years old by February 28th (or 29th) are required to begin school in August of that year. Children who turn five years old in the period from March 1st to May 31st have the right to begin school in August of that year. Children who turn five years old after June 1st would need the approval of the school authority in the child's home community (the school head) for early admission in the obligatory kindergarten year.
Children who reside outside of the Canton of Zug are subject to the cutoff dates of their own home canton. Admission to the obligatory year at a kindergarten outside the child's home community is only possible after consultations with the school authority of the home community (official permission).
The children receive healthy meals suitable for children of kindergarten age which are prepared by the Eldora, the staff restaurant of the partner company. These meals include breakfast, Z’nüni (a morning snack), lunch and Z’vieri (an afternoon snack). The children take their own z'nüni. Attention is given to variation and fresh foods. Allergies and special requirements will be taken into consideration as much as possible, or the parents may bring special foods for the children. Under no circumstances will the children be forced to eat, but rather they will be motivated to eat, in particular through following the examples set by the child care staff. The children should enjoy eating and should develop a common mealtime culture.
All meals are included in the monthly fee. Any specially-requested food must be brought by the parents. This does not result in a reduction of the monthly fee.
Children need adequate space to develop optimally. This space is provided by the classrooms as well as separate play rooms a common dining room. The children have access to a bathroom area with toilets and a separate cloakroom.
The kindergarten is not equipped to care for sick children. If a child should become ill during its stay at the kindergarten, the parents will be contacted immediately and requested to pick up the child and care for it at home. It is important to us that the parents are informed even if a child merely feels unwell, so that the parents may decide how to proceed.
In the event of an accident (emergency), the kindergarten management will place the child in medical treatment immediately. Whenever possible, the parents will be informed of this in advance, so that the best solution for the child may be found. The kindergarten has a trusted physician at its disposal.
Parents are responsible for ensuring that their child has the required health, accident and liability insurance. The parents are held liable for damages caused by the child or for the loss of toys or valuables brought by the child.
The rooms at the Big Bear House are furnished and equipped in accordance with the needs of the children. They employ all of the necessary safety measures and are approved and regularly inspected by the fire police. The Kindergarten has an emergency plan that includes a hazard assessment and corresponding measures to eliminate these hazards. We also have an information sheet entitled Verhalten im Alarmfall (what to do in an emergency), and the staff are regularly trained in how to deal with such situations. The windows and power outlets are child safe.
Entry to the kindergarten is only permitted to authorized persons who have been given the security code for the entry doors. In the event that children must be picked up by third parties, the kindergarten staff must be informed in advance in writing by a form created for this purpose.
The human being is at the center of everything we do. His or her health and well-being are close to our heart. For our function as a social institution, this means a high level of cleanliness, to be able to ensure a high level of safety for the children and the staff. In addition to this principle, we also have a cleaning and hygiene plan, which is absolutely essential and which is evaluated and improved regularly.
A cleaning company cleans the kindergarten rooms and the toilets thoroughly. During the day, the kindergarten staff clean the kindergarten rooms, the toilets and the kitchen.