The project arose in a talk, one of the many they had had during all the years of friendship that unites them. Little by little it materialized until in 2017 it became a reality. At that moment Victoria Palmer Y Adriana Scandroglio they inaugurated “Maternal First Steps“, an educational center for early childhood located in Lagomar, Ciudad de la Costa.
“The place arose after a field study that revealed the need in the area for a center of these characteristics”, Scandroglio said. “The building aspect had to gather fundamental characteristics, such as sunny, airy environments and with green spaces, that’s what we focused on the search,” said Palmer.
“We started receiving children from 45 days to 3 years old and then we expanded our proposal to levels 4 and 5. The center is authorized by the Ministry of Education and Culture (GUY), complying with all the requirements set by the agency, adds Scandroglio.
Play, play and play
Talking about early childhood education is the most appropriate term to refer to educational action in boys and girls whose ages are between 0 and 6 years old.
“On this principle we base our task as educators, with a careful look and listening, accompanying, facilitating environments, time and resources,” said Palmer.
The center puts the game as the center of the proposals and with the certainty that through it all aspects such as cognitive development, growth, exploration, imagination, emotions, among others, can be addressed, providing safety and respect to children in their different potentialities, which is possible thanks to the fact that they maintain small groups.
Other weekly activities such as music workshop, psychomotor skills, English and this year swimming are added to the daily proposal of the room, all in charge of teachers specialized in early childhood.
Along the same lines, Palmer explained that the entire teaching team has training in the air, which allows them to be on task with the knowledge and tools necessary for this profession.
“Our proposal aims at the non-schooling of boys and girls in early childhood, in tune with the current perspective that seeks to leave behind the rigid structures of traditional education, to move on to recreational and relaxed activities, with environments where everything is at hand. children’s reach, such as toys, books, belongings, etc. Many times the initial stage is considered as a moment that prepares for school, the previous step, ignoring this very important stage in itself “, said Scandroglio.
First steps in a pandemic
Like the entire world, the pandemic took all First Steps staff by surprise. They said goodbye on a Friday, hoping to return on Monday but that return was postponed for months. At that time, the creativity of the educators emerged to be able to overcome the challenge of maintaining contact and closeness with children of such a young age.
“Among the entire team, we had to achieve a virtual bond with the children and their families. We planned each meeting as if we were in the living room, proposing familiar activities known to them, such as songs, stories, and more, also enabling them to tell us what they wanted.This was possible for 3 months thanks to the fundamental role of the families, accompanying and supporting us at all times, Scandroglio summarized.
During the first working day of February and until March, the nursery opens its doors “in colony mode”, which means that children can participate in different workshops, such as recycling, cooking, puppetry or water. The schedule that is handled is the same as during the rest of the year, from 08:00 to 17:00 with the possibility of extending until 18:00.
“Enrollment for both the colony and the rest of the year are permanently open, which allows adapting to parents’ work schedules,” Palmer explained.