The Freedom of Choice!

A New Year to make big, new, exciting changes to better ourselves, to make better choices, stop habits and sticking to it! that’s the idea isn’t it? making the choice?

Aren’t we lucky to be able to have the choice to change things when we are not happy with something? or to make things that little bit better?

Change isn’t always easy which can often lead to old habits creeping in… sometimes we resort to the old ways because it’s easier, or everyone else is doing it or that’s just the way it is, but just because it is the way it’s always been doesn’t mean it should be, does it?

Year on year we get a lot of customers asking us about having to make the choice about their children starting nursery school. When we ask them why they would consider it they have a lot of different reasons: some because of money, some because of school enrolment and some because of starting them early into academic environments.

But did you know that Juniors actually runs an accredited curriculum in our Preschool? yep, that’s right, we always had!

Now, We did attempt to get free Preschool placements within Juniors for a VERY long time but unfortunately the Board do not give out to any new settings established after 2005, sad that isn’t it? Kids should be allowed to take their placement anywhere they choose but that is just the way it is – as we were told.

We thought;

Well hang on! We have fully qualified Staff and Teachers, we provide a Curriculum, we provide Child Observation Records, Annual Reports, Supporting Development strategies and additional workshops, etc.

Irrelevant to ALL THAT, we carried out a survey on the top 3 reasons for sending children to a Nursery school / Prepaid preschool placement setting over our alternative education  to see what we could do to to change the mindset:

  • Day Care is too expensive – We are actually over £700 cheaper a year when all of the additional costs to nursery are added up. (You can request this info from us)
  • Their siblings did it/ a friend told me I had to – That maybe the case but it’s not actually the law (In fact – the law states that ‘The parent of every child of compulsory school age (4yrs before 1st July for starting in September of the same year) shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise  (alternative education/homeschooling)
  • To get them into the school – Also, this is a non statutory criteria and it is well down the selection for enrolment.

However choosing an alternative education over a mainstream education can seem a little like ‘breaking from the system’, However, helping a child build the foundation for emotional and mental health and well being over academics has proven to be more effective for their all round development and in no way hinders effectiveness when it comes to their learning. In fact; it encourages them to embrace it.

In order to change something for the better instead of keeping it ‘The way it has always been , we thought we would help you become more aware of your options when it comes to your child’s learning, well being and growth because; We are the alternative…

 JUNIOR VARSITY  is a Highscope curriculum Preschool facility that allows children to ask questions, share their thoughts, ideas and challenge their thinking and creativity in a safe adult supporting child led environment.

We believe that a child led preschool provides physical, constructional and social play support to children in developing their skills of intellectual and emotional ‘self-regulation’, skills which are crucial in early learning and development.

For more information on this or to request our Junior Varsity Prospectus 2018 please send us an email or telephone us on 028 82257021. If you decide to apply for a placement at Junior Varsity for September which is fully inclusive and minus payment for our closures; the first 10 applicants will be entered into a competition for a JMG funded scholarship, Imagine that! One free year of education.

By choosing something different, YOU could help others break free from the norm! 🙂

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Here’s to 2018!

And suddenly you know it … it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings!

2017 has been a wondrous adventure for us!

January: We started our Health and Well Being Programme all in aid of our new Playground plans for the Hangout by:

  • launching our Sugar free Cookbook
  • Holding Parent workshops on Yoga and Mindfulness
  • Incorporating yoga into our daily routine
  • Establishing our ‘Create while you wait’ foyers
  • Providing daily healthy nutritious Scones and Lunch 2 Go for Parents and Staff
  • Distributing natural products for all the family

February: We were elated to start it off with great celebrations of winning two awards from Families First Ni and being nominated for a third in June from Ni 4 Kids!

July & August: Brought us a full house in the Hangout Summer Camp giving the kids  constant entertainment put forward by the kids committee.

September: seen the launch of our Daily Art and Music Sessions from our very own Atelieristas: Siobhan and Joann bringing the languages of Children alive through creative medias daily.

October: There’s only one Spooksville and yet again – WOW! just WOW!!!

December: When we embrace gratitude and kindness in every activity. We adored seeing the effort people gave in coming to our family night on such a cold winter’s evening but seeing the children light up with Santa and his gifts warmed all our hearts!

With trips, events and charity fundraisers all in between this year has been a fabulous one!

September 2018 marks the 10th Anniversary of Juniors and The Hangout and boy has it been fun! We look fondly on the past and are eternally grateful that we are reaching this milestone, even though it feels like only yesterday when we opened our doors in 2008.

Although we said good bye to some wonderful people who we’ve had the pleasure of working with they too have dreams to chase and adventures to add to their personal journeys. We wish them nothing but happiness and glad they were part of our memories.

With being able to offer new opportunities to aspiring new staff and through training and role modeling from those who have mastered so many crafts here; we have been able to make great changes, new roles, and further the development  and knowledge of our Team throughout this year.

When we tell people we work in childcare they don’t fully understand that it is not just a job, it is a vocation. To us it goes beyond providing an education or providing care for working families, it’s about building a foundation through stimulation, sensitivity, giving autonomy; to allow children to create, question and evolve their mind, ability and character into the person they want to be.  We are the support, we are not the leaders in their play we are here to scaffold their ideas, respect their initiative by acknowledging their amazing thought process and making it become a reality – we absolutely adore learning from them!

Each day provides us with more and more ways of enhancing children’s development for us to offer play opportunities of investigation, invention and experimenting encourages their love to learn and in turn teach us their much loved thinking.

Every year we enjoy reflecting on everything we have learned together and implement that knowledge into new and exciting Company plans – and we have some wonderful plans in place this year!

Working with children and their families is a great honour and we thank you for choosing us. This year we are committed in continuing to raise awareness of the advantages to our alternative curriculum, health & well being and child led practices.  Thank you for being an ambassador of our vision!

From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!

The Juniors Team


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Why not spoil that special someone this Christmas (that includes yourself)

with a vast array of natural goodies this year: 

  • Queen Bee’s Natural products
  • Bumble & Blue Candles
  • or the much loved Juniors Cookbook Bundle

all available at our front desk!

Your purchase is in aid of our Health & Well Being Programme and we would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that has contributed so far! x


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