THE DAILY SCHEDULE
Structured learning / Free play
Nap time for younger children
Quiet activities for older children
YEARS OF ENGLISH IMMERSION (in Jakobstad)
My name is Malin Åstrand and I am the headmistress at Jacob’s Kindergarten. I am married to Klaus and we have three children. Through my children, who all have attended “Kindis”, I have been involved in Jacob’s Kindergarten since 2009, and in the autumn of 2013 I was delighted to get the opportunity to join as a member of the staff. I have a master’s degree in English and economics and I am currently studying to become a “närvårdare”. My job as headmistress is mainly administrative, but from time to time I also take part in the daily activities. Spending time with the children is something I enjoy very much, and I feel very privileged to get to be a part of their every-day lives.
If you would like to know more about Jacob’s Kindergarten or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!
Kindergarten teacher, Vice Headmistress
Hi! My name is Magdalena Bergdal and I work as a Kindergarten teacher at Jacob’s Kindergarten. In May 2011 I graduated from Åbo Akademi University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been working at Jacob’s Kindergarten since autumn 2011. I am originally from Nedervetil, but I have been living in Jakobstad since I moved here to study at BI in 2008. It was during a year off from school, which I spent working as a substitute at the daycare centers in my home town, that I discovered what an amazing, inspiring job it is to work with children. In my spare time I enjoy reading, going out for runs, listening to music and playing the guitar.
My name is Hanna Esselström and i work as a Kindergarten teacher here at Jacob’s Kindergarten. I’m married to Stefan and we’ve got two girls, Matilda 6 and Mikaela 4. We live in Edsevö. I moved to Jakobstad in 1999 from Petalax, Malax to study and in May 2002 i graduated from Åbo Akademi University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education and in May 2009 i got a degree in business economic from Optima. I worked here at Jacob’s Kindergarten during the winter of 2011-2012 as a substitute. I my early childhood i had made up my mind: I was going to work with children and here i am. In my spare time i love to spend time with my family. We often go the swimming hall and out for walks in nature. During the summer we spend a lot of weekends at our summer cottage in Malax and we take trips as often as possible , either by plane, ferry or car.
Hello! My name is Carina Wikström and I live in Esse with my husband, our three children and a cat. I am a trained “socialpedagog” and I’ve been employed as a childrens nurse at Jacob’s Kindergarten since 1997. I find working with children meaningful and rewarding and although daily routines are the same, every day is still different. Most of all – besides learning new things – I hope that we at “Kindis” can work so that each child feels seen, appreciated and important!
Hello, my name is Shammi Sarwar, I am originally from Bangladesh but a Finnish citizen. We moved to Finland in 2009 and I have been living in Jakobstad since then. I am married with two children, a daughter and a boy. I have been working at Jacob’s Kindergarten since 2010. I studied at Yrkesakademin (Qualification for Family Day carers).
My name is Karen Stephens. I moved to Finland from Australia for just over 12 years. I studied child-care in Australia and have worked in this field for 19 years. My husband and I have 3 children and call Finland home. I love working at Jacobs Kindergarten. For me, one of the most special moments each year is hearing a child saying their first word in English. Coming to that point of confidence to say it out loud shows they are learning and comfortable in their environment. It doesn’t take long and you can’t stop them talking! Hearing a Swedish-speaking child communicate with a Finnish-speaking child in English and playing together brings me great joy. I wish I could have learnt a second language at an early age. Unfortunately, this opportunity doesn’t really exist for children in Australia. At Jacob’s kindergarten it is not only language that is important. It is also important that the children are nurtured in an environment that encourages skills socially, mentally, physically and emotionally. I love being in a team that motivates children to look around them and learn from what they find. It is also a lovely job to meet the families in Jakobstad, get to know them and help support them in raising their child. Being in a private day care allows greater interaction between the carers and families, enabling us to feel part of a greater community.
Hello, my name is Jo and I am originally from the south coast of England. I moved here with my husband Mark in 2001 and we have two children. I was a busy home mum whilst the children were small and also worked as a child minder, where I saw immediately the benefits of language immersion learning. In 2010 I completed a TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) with specialist modules for young learners. That same autumn I started a beginners group for 5-9 year olds with Arbis, and the following spring I joined the team at Jacob’s Kindergarten. You can clearly see first hand that when young learners have access to native speakers and use the language in the context of social cues; they are most likely to be impacted long term by the language. I love working with the children and seeing their language skills develop so fast.
In addition I run the Jacob’s Kindergarten English Club. This is for children who have moved on from here but still wish to continue improving their English. We meet weekly for an hour and a half, and I use a variety of different methods to ensure they are practicing and further developing their language skills. It also provides an opportunity for the children to catch up with their Kindergarten friends again.
I so enjoy interacting with the children, staff and parents and it is my pleasure to be part of a team providing a caring a supporting environment for your child.
Cleaning & Breakfast
Hello! My name is Tobias and I´m one of the employees at Jacob’s Kindergarten. I do all the daily cleaning in both houses and in the morning I also prepare breakfast for children that come in early. I’ve been working amongst children for many years. I got my very first experiences as a daycare trainee during the 1990s. At that time I was working at different daycare centers here in Jakobstad. I came to Jacob´s Kindergarten in the fall of 2004 and got a permanent job here in 2008. I’m a creative person and like to put my hands to work. In my spare time I often have several ongoing projects that keep me busy. It can be anything from renovating and decorating my home to fixing vintage bicycles and electronics. Also Im a music lover and a huge fan of 70’s classic soul and R & B. I also enjoy listening to jazz. I like the atmosphere at Jacob’s Kindergarten. It´s great to work here and sometimes it’s the simple things that matters most.
A child’s small talk at the breakfast table, someone saying “Good Morning” and “Thank you” brighten my workdays.
“We are so pleased that we chose Jacob’s Kindergarten for our daughter, its the best decision yet. We feel our daughter is getting a major advantage by learning english from an young age and it will definitely benefit her a lot later in life, this is her third language as we speak Swedish and Finnish at home. Our son will also get the same opportunity as our daughter when he is old enough.”
“Meidän perheen molemmat lapset ovat Kindiksessä.
Ei voi kuin kehua ja kiittää, kuinka hyvä päiväkoti on. Kielikypyä parhaimmillaan, kun suomen ja ruotsinkieliset lapset ovat keskenään oppimassa englantia.”
“Our son has attended Kindis for about 1,5 years and we have been very satisfied with this choice. The staff is very nice and care taking, working methods feel robust and shifting themes add a different touch to every year.”
“Först och främst för den fina personalen, i andra hand för engelskan och alla roliga aktiviteter de hittar på med barnen”
“Vi valde Kindis för att vi hört så mycket gott om stället, som visade sig stämma: bra personal och trevlig miljö, inlärning av engelska språket på ett naturligt sätt”
“En språngbräda också till språkbad på finska senare, då vi märker att vår son enkelt och avslappnat lär sig ett nytt språk”