Early Childhood

Learning Opportunities for Children up to Age 4

Children learn more in their early years than at any later stage of their lives. They learn language, develop problem solving abilities, build relationships with peers and adults. They acquire skills that are important for their entire lives.

Short films on early childhood learning in everyday life

Forty short films from the Department of Education of the Canton of Zurich demonstrate all the things that happen as children explore and discover their worlds. The films show parents and other caregivers the valuable opportunities for learning that everyday life offers and how they can actively support and promote their children’s development. The films clearly show that experiencing, exploring, playing, and learning are all of a piece.

Accessible to all

To reach the greatest possible number of parents and caregivers of young children, the films are freely available in 13 languages at a website: www.kinder-4.ch/en, www.kinder-4.ch/, www.kinder-4.ch/fr, www.kinder-4.ch/it, www.kinder-4.ch/rm. Since it was launched in March 2014, the website has been accessed more than 500,000 times worldwide.

Short Film «Vegetables», Learning Opportunities For Children Up To Age 4
Short Film «Vegetables», Learning Opportunities For Children Up To Age 4

The films also provide good illustrative material for parent counselling and parent education and can be used in training and continuing education or in quality management of daycare facilities and playgroups. For each film an in-depth expert commentary by the Marie Meierhofer Children’s Institute is available that examines the content of the film sequences from an educational perspective. Accompanying information materials can also be ordered at no cost at the website: kinder-4.ch

An external evaluation conducted by St. Gallen University of Applied Sciences found that the films are very well received. 

Project partners and funding

The Marie Meierhofer Children’s Institute was responsible for the professional management of the projekct. The filming was done by MINIBARFILM. ROB&ROSE provided design, interaction design, and website.

The project was funded by the Lottery Fund of the Canton of Zurich, the Jacobs Foundation, Mercator Foundation Switzerland, and the Viktor Dürrenberger-Stiftung.

New series of films on early language development coming in 2019

For children, language is the key to the world and the central prerequisite for educational and integration opportunities. Based on the paper «Concept for Promoting Early Language Development», 25 more short films will be produced that show how children’s language development can be promoted in everyday life. The films will be available in spring 2019.


Stephan Pfäffli