Typically, Hutterian education is quite structured beginning with Klanaschuel (pre-school) at the age of two or 2.5 years. Klanaschuel is usually held only during the summer months when the mothers are busier with additional community responsibilities such as gardening and canning. The Klanaschuel is usually in a building specially built for that purpose, with a small dining room, a playroom and a room for taking naps. Outside the building a safety fence encloses sandboxes and other play ground equipment.
Each colony has 3 or 4 Klanaschuel-ankelen who take turns leading the preschool. Most often it is older members. The Klanaschuel-ankele start to teach children responsible behaviour, prayers, songs, table manners and the like. Rarely are formal curricula taught in this setting, but time is spent mainly on biblical texts, songs and prayers. Children usually love to spend the day with the Ankela and the other children. It is here that they first learn Gmanschoft (community), by eating, singing, praying and playing together.
Because Hutterites were the first to provide kindergarten services to their children over 450 years ago, they lay claim to the invention of kindergarten, not Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), who’s usually cited as having established the first schools for young children.
Children graduate from the klanaschuel at age five, after which they enter public school as kindergartners.