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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Welcome to Preschool

I pulled up a chair yesterday and over a slice or two of pizza I caught up with our Preschool Educators.

As pioneers of the a new service the Society of Richmond Children's Centres is offering to the community I was keen to hear about their first few days.

We have been in the child care business for over 20 years but this preschool gig is new to us.

One of the Educators, Kulvir, worked for us a while back and has had some preschool experience in the interim and Tianna, the other Educator has been working in one of our 3-5 programs for several years.

They really are two special ladies who are excited to be pioneering this program and it was great to dialogue with them.

The first two weeks have been challenging but they already see things settling down.

They indicated that getting into the "flow" of a 4 hour preschool class (9am-1pm) has stretched them as they are used to longer stretches of time with children.  They also had lots of children for whom English is second and new language and many of the children are very young. Communicating with parents has been hard to due to language barriers.

We dialogued for some time on how we could more authentically build those ever important relationships with children and their families and build the trust with them?  How to find allies in the group of adults to help us bridge the language gap and start the building of a preschool community and culture?  How our physical environment might need to be better reflective of the children and their families?

We chatted about some practical and logistical things and I came away with a list of things that might help them and they left, I think, knowing their work is important, that they have a chance here to build something special and to develop some strategies and tools that might help some of our other Educators across the Society encountering similar concerns.

I was in the room as the preschool ended and it was lovely to see the children happy and content and not wanting to leave....that is always a good sign.....

Stay tuned for more from West Cambie Preschool in the coming months as we learn and grow together.