A NOTE FROM THE KINDER ISLAND FOUNDER: THE BEGINNINGS
I have always believed that early childhood educational settings need to be more than just a place where children are “kept busy”. Children need to feel safe and comfortable so that they can grow to their full potential. They need a place where they are encouraged to develop their creative and academic abilities as well as their social skills. Children are born with an insatiable curiosity and a magical sense of wonder for the world around them. Early childhood settings must provide an environment that encourages this exploration and provides the materials children need to express themselves creatively. They must have the freedom to learn who they are and what makes them unique. Building confident and competent learners begin at an early age.
While pursuing my graduate degree in early childhood general and special education, I often dreamt of the ideal early childhood setting, perfecting it in my mind. I imagined an early childhood center that took current research-based practices and created a blended curriculum of theoretical approaches, to best meet the needs of the children.
When my two sons came into my life, I searched for this ideal setting, but was unable to find one to meet my expectations. I wanted them to thrive in a social setting, learning how to play cooperatively with others. I wanted them to explore an environment that encouraged and challenged them to think critically. I wanted them to develop their fine and gross motor skills in a safe space where movement was celebrated and valued. I wanted them to have the opportunity to become independent thinkers and doers, following their own interests and dreams, while being a part of community that takes care of one another. I also wanted them to have the opportunity to explore diversity, and develop a sense of belonging to an interconnected global community.
Furthermore, I wanted qualified and experienced teachers and caregivers to support my children as they develop these new skills. I wanted teachers who understood child development and could clearly and effectively share this information to me as a parent.
I am so pleased to announce that the school I envisioned for many years is now a reality. Kinder Island offers programs for learners age one to six. Each day is filled with opportunities for young children to engage with peers and teachers as they explore. They make exciting discoveries and connections, and deepen their understanding of the world around them. Each Kinder Island day is full of activities that sow the seeds for a love of learning. The curriculum focuses on the whole child- developing social and emotional skills, language acquisition, critical thinking, along with fine and gross motor skills. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) is incorporated into the daily activities of the classroom.