The evidence is irrefutable - our children's attendance at a quality pre-school, really does help them emotionally develop and academically flourish.
But how as loving parents, do we choose the right childcare and pre-school? Let alone trying to find the ideal location and a centre with availability on the right days too!
We spoke with passionate, experienced Early Childhood Educator, Carey Nelson, who owns and manages Growing Stars Montessori Pre-School in Flinders near Shellharbour. We wanted to know the magic ingredients as to what makes a child's experience of pre-school, a meaningful and rewarding one - and what helps our kids' gain the critically important social, emotional and love of learning skills that will serve them for life...
Carey spoke Parents Guide Illawarra through the critical aspects of not only the Montessori philosophy, but also what she and her educators have achieved within Growing Stars to make it such a beautifully positive experience for the 2-6 year old children who attend, and their families also.
- A sense of belonging to, and contributing to, a community. This is so powerful for children's sense of self and confidence to develop outside of their usual safe and familiar home environment.
- The ability to recognise each unique child and develop their learning around what they are interested in and naturally orientate towards.
This is inherent in the Montessori principals of learning, and is so powerful when our children learn through being immersed in play and experience!
This is where Carey and her team really excel - they are trained to recognise each child's learning style and they know when to leave a child
to develop 'self directed learning' and when / how to encourage, inspire and re-direct, so each child really does develop a love of learning.
- Freedom, movement, exercise and games! Growing Stars have created and shaped a centre that is light, bright and so beautifully
engaging for pre-schoolers, so each child will instinctively want to explore, enjoy and develop new skills along the way. These new skills,
for the step up to primary school, are aligned with the curriculum and prepare each child for the step up to Kindy - but most importantly children
who attend Growing Stars can develop a true love of learning and a confident, curious mindset.
Here are the words that Carey, as mum of two herself, uses to explain the difference at Growing Stars:
"I love being able to see each child's face light up as they work through an activity and achieve that sense of accomplishment when mastering an activity; allowing children to have the independence to choose what they are interested in creates a love for learning.
As a mum of 2 and having watched my own children grow and learn through the Montessori early education program and having owned my own Montessori School for 12 years, I have really seen firsthand, that when children are put in the right learning environment the results are incredible.
By offering an environment full of lessons and materials that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but have purpose, and control of error, allowing the child freedom of movement, freedom of choice, freedom to repeat, freedom of expression, freedom for social development for their spontaneous development plays such an important roll and stems a life-long love of learning and gives children the foundation, focus and skills to succeed."
Even better, Growing Stars do have limited spaces available NOW and into 2020! Get in touch with them HERE and arrange a tour of their pre-school.
With our many thanks to Carey and Growing Stars for sharing their childcare expertise and for sponsoring this article :)