Director’s Welcome

Dear Parents,

IDEA Early Learning Center is a center for literacy excellence for children aged 1-6 years. Our professional and playful environment promises to be full of creative learning and risk taking opportunities. Our journey is just beginning and we welcome you and your children at this exciting time. We have four values at our core: respect, appreciation, responsibility and innovation. We strive to nurture children so that they achieve their potential and make progress appropriate to their own development.

As Director of IDEA Early Learning Center, I work with my team of skilled practitioners to unpick what we believe are the things all children should be given the opportunity to experience. We combine these with the Creative Curriculum to ensure that in years to come you and your children will look back with fond memories of your time with us.

I have wonderful memories of my time in early years as a little girl. Now that I am an early years practitioner I have reflected on my experiences and thought what it is that makes those memories so key. My Mum tells me that most days I skipped to nursery, excited to see my friends and teachers (admittedly, like all parents, on other days she had to coax me out of the house through bribery). She also told me that most days I would come home a little less tidy than when I left in the morning, probably with paint or glue in my hair and glitter in my shoes.

So what was so good about my early years education that means I have vivid memories to look back on as an adult?

I was listened to and I felt loved. I remember pulling the button off my Mum’s jacket one morning when I didn’t want her to leave. But as part of this memory I remember my teacher comforting me and showing me that she genuinely cared that I was sad my Mummy couldn’t stay and that I didn’t have jam sandwiches for my lunch.

I was valued and encouraged. I remember building an (what to seemed to me at the time) enormous train out of wooden bricks that was big enough for me to sit on and pretend to ride. I was so proud of it that I asked my teacher not to take it apart so that my brother could come and see it in the morning. I trusted that she wouldn’t and the following morning I took him on a ride on my train.

I was guided and nurtured. I remember using shells to make a fish picture and watching my teacher show that we didn’t need to paint in-between each shell with our paintbrush and to sweep it around the outside. I was the child that did paint in-between each shell and I was then consequently hysterical that I had ruined my fish. My teacher didn’t let me make a new one but she did spend time talking to me about my mistake and why we need to follow instructions. I remember her smiling and telling me that I had a mixed a very unique shade of blue for my water. (My Mum still has the fish pinned to her wall in the kitchen all these years later!)

I had my own interests and agenda. I remember sitting on a fluffy rug at the end of the morning, listening to my teacher read a story about a tiger. I played with the little girl’s hair in front of me, practicing plaiting it whilst the child behind me played with mine. The teacher didn’t mind that we were playing and listening. I’m still friends with the little girl in front of me and last year I attended her wedding.

I was cared for. I remember colliding with another trike and falling off and in the process grazing my forehead, nose and chin. I was allowed to cuddle a teddy bear whilst I had first aid and then my Mum took me to hospital to check my wrist. I don’t actually remember any pain although Mum assures me I was crying. I do remember that the next day my teacher had a bandage on her chin (she wasn’t hurt) to match mine and that we had a role-play hospital where I could show everyone my new found expert knowledge of what happens when you go to hospital.

I am looking forward to seeing what memories IDEA Early Learning Center will help to create for your child.

Thank you for your interest in our Center and I hope to work closely with you in the future.

With best wishes,

Ashleigh Thompson

Founding Director of IDEA Early Learning Center