Sandmann Family Day Care is a licensed, bilingual (German and English) daycare in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood. We provide loving and professional care for children between the ages of 15 months to 48 months. The program is full day and runs from 8:00am to 5:00pm from Monday till Friday. Our play-and music-based, mixed-age approach aims to create a fun and educational environment for the children. We have a staff of two native German-speaking teachers and one English native speaker with a combined experience of over 30 years in childhood care. Our child to teacher ratio is at the very least 4:1.
Sandmann sees itself as a cosmopolitan Family Day Care encompassing different cultures, languages, and influences and integrating German, international, and bilingual education concepts. We want to support the girls and boys in learning through play, approaching life with a high degree of cultural openness, and being successful academically at the best German, American, and international schools later on.
The bilingual concept at Sandmann Family Day Care follows the method of dual immersion: According to the principle of “one person, one language”, second language acquisition happens unconsciously and playfully in parallel. The children are supervised by two teachers, one who speaks German and one who speaks English. Both languages are used for both conversational situations and teaching situations. This allows our children to express themselves confidently in their mother tongue, to build emotional and social bonds, and to learn a second language at the same time. The different language worlds are taught using all the senses, and – on a higher level – the other culture is conveyed with its literature, traditions, values, and norms. The ultimate goal is genuine bilingualism.
We foster each child’s development by working with each child’s abilities and interests. Each child brings its own personality and its own view of the world and we work with the child to encourage its development and help it build more skills. Our approach is intended to help each child blossom into its full potential by working together closely with both child and parents.
Our programs provide both large and small-scale activities and there are also ample opportunities for quiet individual play. Depending on each child’s need, the teachers engage in particular activities to help the children learn how to solve problems in the relationship with each other, increase their understanding concepts and self-awareness, and develop other social skills. We focus in particular on language skills to foster the children’s understanding and communication in both German and English and to expose them to German and American culture. Our emphasis on musical education encourages children to dance and sing German and English songs.
Our teachers develop every month’s program to build each child’s self-confidence and understanding of the world. Our monthly themes are inspired by the children’s interests, combined with the teacher’s knowledge & experience, and let the children explore the topics in myriad ways. We encourage each child to learn about a topic on many sensory levels.