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‘’While we try to teach our children all about life…

… Our children teach us what life is about’’

One of the most widely known quotes about the wonders of children is from Angela Schwindt. A woman that is almost impossible to find anything out about on the internet … which has its charms.
What I do know is that she was a home school mother living in America that, I believe, felt blessed with the knowledge that she has put this powerful statement out to the world and needs neither reward nor social followings to boost her ego. OR she has simply disappeared under an alias into the big ol’ Cloud.
Either way; I love how it makes me stop and think… Are we taking the time to appreciate the little things in life instead pushing children through season to season, event to event? Are we; who are in a prime position, missing the little wonders that are brought to us daily just by observing and listening to those tiny humans? Are we?

By slowing things down to take the time, see things from another perspective or to breathe in an experience is a luxury some just do not have.

Luckily this is one of the revolutionary cornerstones we are bringing to our daily practices.

Simplicity is the greatest form of appreciation. Whether that is being thankful for a hot cup of coffee, a restful sleep, a small act of kindness or the gratitude for what you have in life; we can plainly see this very same appreciation through the attention that a child give to the smallest of creations: a bug, a leaf, a piece of fluff; the inspection that is given using their senses and the time they take in doing so is a joy to marvel.

Their passion to create, and build, explaining their ideologies are beyond our imagination when we give them the freedom to explore, the support to feel safe to do it and the patience for them to overcome obstacles independently or with each other.
Through these experiences that we open to children not only build their resilience for tough times but allows them to develop a life ethic in turn a work ethic.

Sounds like perfect common sense doesn’t it? 

Ofcourse it does but unfortunately overwhelming stimulation and bustling transitions are what children have become subjected to.

What happens to them?

Well, continuing this cycle in a daily context of stressful hyper-stimulation creates a brain with a life-long tendency to anxiety, it increases the levels of stress hormones in kids bodies, it makes them feel pushed and controlled (resulting in lashing out in an attempt to control a situation) habituates them to busyness so they become bored craving only electronic stimulation. It keeps them from perusing or discovering their own passions, creates chronic feeling of incompleteness, prevents them from attending to their emotions and interrupts their developmental work of exploring the world thus losing their curiosity. Stress forces them out of ‘living in the moment’ and overrides their natural inclination to ‘’do it myself’’ which sabotage the development of competence.

If anything, what we are seeing now is more about putting huge amounts of activity into place for children to constantly become engaged but not providing opportunity for us to become engaged with them. Slow down, enjoy these moments… for their sake and yours.

#LetsChangeTheFuture

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Have you been outside lately?

What’s the plan?

With a new year kicking off for us in the Hangout and Day Care and the exciting launch of Varsity it brings us a shimmering light of thought provoking concepts.
Every September we gather the Kids Committee in order to prepare for the New Year. We get a great mix of interests brought to the table but also a lot of concerning ones revolving around screen time.
Now don’t get us wrong we love our movies but when gamers and bloggers and bring our own mobiles come into the equation we ask ourselves

”What happened to play?”

Same applies to what they will plan to do when they get home – rarely we will hear a reply that doesn’t include a screen or a jammed packed schedule of extra curricular activities; but, we do worry that ‘Free play’ is slowly being pushed out of children’s daily activities.
One of our Standards for Inspection is regarding outdoor facilities. Being an urban setting this can present some challenges but we are lucky to have a variety of spaces as well as those in and outside the Omagh area that we avail of daily. We still aim to continue to build more areas in order to provide kids with what we had when we were younger – the old school ways of play and boost their aspirations to create play.
My point is; if our steady focus is emphasising the consideration and awareness of emotional, physical or mental health to help generate the imagination flow, then why has technology become a dependency rather than the aid it was supposed to be?
I’m sure you would agree when you watch this amazing video created by Nature Valley. This is their take on Richard Louv’s research who coined the phrase: ”nature-deficit disorder” in identifying the major decline on children being outdoors and losing their affinity with nature.
*”What’s happening to children about losing their connection is real and we have some very real reasons to be afraid of the consequences.”

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Ready for the Varsity try-outs?

After receiving a large demand for Varsity from younger children who won’t be 3yrs old come September or not just ready for 5 days, we have a proposal for you…

Your child can attend Pre-Varsity: this is an introduction to Varsity.

The cost will be the same prices and sessions that are currently on offer at Juniors. Once they turn 3 yrs old they will then be introduced to Varsity at their normal sessions and then gradually work up to 5 day week for the following year (if applicable) as they will more than likely be doing 2 years of Pre-school prior P1 attendance.
If you would like more information regarding this please do not hesitate to contact Joann Bradley, Alana Jack or Jill Dillon to discuss further.

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Varsity Playbook: How does this work?

It’s simple really..

Varsity is designed to ensure a consistent flow with no interruptions or transitions unless arranged by the children attending that is. (They have Venture Time scheduled everyday so this takes up our buses).

Why did we do this?

We needed to ensure:

  • Full staff focus and attention is solely dedicated to the attending children
  • Shifts remaining the same and key workers have consistent time with their key children
  • Pick up and drop off stresses and anxieties are reduced for staff and children
  • Activities, events and trips have longer running times
  • The Team get longer team planning and reflection daily for the next day
  • Continue to build stronger relationships with families.

What are the benefits for Children:

  • They are fully aware of their schedules
  • They create healthier habits: attention, focus, life styles
  • They are actively involved with planning their day instead of ‘the have to do’s’
  • It expands bonding time
  • Reduces anxieties, upsets, tantrums
  • Their abilities to plan and problem solve increases
  • The attention to detail in development and interests are not over looked
  • They will feel valued
  • They will develop self praise and confidence about who they are and what they expect of themselves.

Benefits to families:

  • Better home routine
  • Reduced mixing up of communication between different settings
  • Reduced costs – we can send this if you need to compare
  • Increased 1-1 meetings and designated times with the Varsity Team
  • Knowing that your child will be able to express themselves, confidently and with a greater understanding of what they are expressing develops a stronger bond.
  • Parents, children and the Team will learn and grow together.

Like all Curriculums it is imperative to attend regularly – (Yes even if you have enrolled your child in a non compulsory Preschool place you need to attend everyday or it will be taken from you) so we made it a little easier on the childcare purse strings.

Everything with our sessions is included: pull ups, meals, trips, events – the lot and we don’t charge for closures!   

The following sessions available for Juniors Varsity are:
8am – 2pm = £22.00 per day (for 5 sessions) (Parent’s pick up time is between 2pm – 2:30pm – this is free too)
8am – 6:30pm = £35.00 per day (for 5 sessions)

You can choose between full days and the Varsity sessions within the week – but to be in Varsity as we said to have full benefit of the Programme attendance is important.

Your child does not need to be potty trained to enrol- we will work with you.

If you feel your child still needs a comforter – we will work with you.

If your child has particular areas that require additional support – we will work with you.  

Are you in?

Let’s Change the Future..

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