If you build it, they will come: Let Them Grow Daycare Centre

| November 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

Let Them Grow (LTG) is a private baby day-care centre and proud ISASA member situated in the leafy suburb of Northcliff in Johannesburg, in Gauteng.

LTG was opened by Marinda Swart in 2004 and this year the school proudly celebrated its 10th anniversary. Swart is an entrepreneur by profession and this skill, combined with her inner passion for children, provided the blueprint for what has grown from a care programme for a handful of babies to a fully-fledged preschool. The school motto is ‘No child left behind!’ and based on this premise, LTG schools a dynamic and diverse group of little people.

A paradise for little people

LTG’s property is well established and designed with the young students in mind. The Sleepy Owl class can accommodate six babies from birth to crawling, and the Busy Bee class is for six more mobile toddlers. The school follows the Practica programme1 with the babies, ensuring that they are encouraged to achieve specific milestones and are appropriately stimulated. By keeping classes small, LTG is able to offer babies plenty of individual attention and monitor them closely for any areas of their development that may require extra attention.

Upon exiting the baby rooms, the pathway leads through an enchanted fairy garden full of toadstools nestled neatly under the story tree. “We encourage all our children to enjoy some quiet time during the day and to soak up the outdoors, and this is exactly where you will find them, ” says Swart.

From under the story tree, one can look down on the tennis court, which the school has transformed into a play utopia. It is here where the toddlers and older children spend the greater part of their day, at play on an AstroTurf with just enough tennis court open for the popular scooter racetrack. A fully equipped park with excellent apparatus encourages gross motor skills development. Hopscotch and a life-size game of snakes and ladders adorn the AstroTurf. Old-fashioned games such as tugof- war, sack races and egg-and-spoon races are regular features.

The toddlers and older children are divided into three classes. Says Swart: “We monitor the children throughout the year to make sure they are in the right class for their development and to check for any areas that may require extra attention. We have our own occupational therapist and speech therapist on hand.”

Life skills for crocodiles and bears

Swart is especially proud of the Crocodile class, which caters for the little ones who move downstairs from the baby rooms. This class is especially designed to give the children time to adjust safely to the new environment. “The Brave Bears are our next group, comprising the two- to three-year-olds, and the Tiger class includes the three- to five-year-olds. We will be offering Grade R from 2015.”

All LTG students follow an educational curriculum closely aligned to the national education department learning goals for these age groups, based on art, numeracy and literacy activities focusing on school readiness. “We make sure that children have all their ‘building blocks’ in place before leaving us for Grade 1,” promises Swart, who adds: “We also offer numerous in-house extramural activities for our children – these include computers, gardening, ball action, science, baking, music, ballet and hip hop.”

Swart says that LTG endeavours to introduce basic life skills to its students. “Our daily programme emphasises general hygienic, good manners, respect, tolerance and appropriate behaviour.”

Family matters

She continues: “We work closely with our parents to ensure that we provide a home away from home for their children.”

Grandparents are just as important as the rest of the family, says Swart. “We host an annual grandparent’s day and our grandparents also can’t wait for our annual year-end school concert, which is sold out every year!”

“Everyone at LTG can expect a bit of spoiling now and then,” says Swart. “For example, on Spring Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and surprise treat days, we treat our parents to a free muffin or toasted ‘sarmie’ and a cup of coffee to start the day. On Fridays, we liven things up a bit with ‘Fun Friday’ activities such as sprinkler day, messy play day and jelly-eating contest day.”

All the bases covered

LTG only closes at the end of each year, along with the government schools. We are open during regular government school holidays, offering innovative holiday programmes to keep children entertained. “LTG’s aftercare programme, party venue for children’s birthdays and fully certified transport company for transfers from home to school and back means we truly are a big city ‘one-stop shop’ for all early childhood education needs,” says Swart.

Reference:
1. See: http://www.practicakids.co.za/.

Category: Summer 2014

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