KIT wants to sustainably improve the compatibility of job and family. For this purpose, it is of crucial importance to expand day-care facilities for children. Today on September 02, KIT, together with Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg and the responsible pedagogic institution educcare, celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony for its “KinderUni-Versum” (children’s universe). This new day-care center on Karl-Wilhelm-Strasse, Campus South, will presumably start operation in late 2012. Construction costs will amount to about EUR five million.
The invitation to today’s ground-breaking ceremony was issued by the Amt für Vermögen und Bau, Karlsruhe, (Karlsruhe Office for Assets and Construction) that is responsible for the construction of the “Children’s Universe” on behalf of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance. With this new day-care center, KIT will double its day-care capacities of presently 110 places on Campus North and Campus South. The “Children’s Universe” will offer high-quality day care to 100 children aged from two months until school entrance. In addition, evening care and possibilities to stay overnight (children’s hotel) shall be provided for a maximum of ten children aged up to twelve years. These facilities will also be open to external users. “In this way, parents can pursue their work with a quiet conscience or participate in congresses,” said Dr. Peter Fritz, Vice-President of KIT, in his welcome address.
The new building will have four floors to accommodate eight groups. A high gymnasium will be used for multiple purposes. Outdoors, the children will be able to do physical exercise. The Karlsruhe Office for Assets and Construction, together with KIT, issued an invitation to tender and trusted the Berlin office Bruno, Fioretti, Marquez with the planning work for the building. The construction project is managed by the Karlsruhe office. KIT, the city of Karlsruhe, and the federation bear major shares in the investment costs outlined in the budget plan of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
First, the head of the Landesamt Vermögen und Bau, Annette Ipach-Öhmann, welcomed the guests of today’s ground-breaking ceremony. Then, State Secretary Ingo Rust from the Ministry of Finance and Economy and Head of Department, Dr. Simone Schwanitz from the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg presented their addresses. The city of Karlsruhe was represented by the First Mayor Margret Mergen.
Apart from physical exercise and sports, natural sciences and engineering will be in the focus of the bilingual “Children’s Universe”. The day-care center also is to promote the language and musical skills of the children. Training of the education staff and teachers is part of the pedagogic concept of the responsible institution. Great value is attached to healthy, child-compatible nutrition by KIT.
According to Dr. Fritz, the children’s universe is to help working parents “to manage the often difficult balancing act of job, family life, and care for children.” For this purpose, the day-care will have long opening times on working days, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In addition, no closing times during holidays are envisaged. The Vice-President underlined that this day-care facility, in addition to family-friendly working times and re-entry programs, is aimed at supporting and relieving KIT employees.
The pedagogic institution responsible for the “Children’s Universe” is educcare gemGmbH. Its main office is located in Cologne. Founded in 2002, educcare presently operates 19 facilities with about 400 educators and teachers and more than 1000 children at Bergisch Gladbach, Böblingen/Sindelfingen, Darmstadt, Eschborn, Kassel, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Ludwigshafen, Monheim, Overath, and Stuttgart.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.