Ms Lynn Yeoh, the Director of Blue Daisies Kids’ Club, has the best of both worlds. It was a passion to work with children that first led her to set up her own child enrichment centre 14 years ago. But deep inside, she realised that she also wanted to create a safe and loving environment for her own children to grow, explore and discover the wonders of the world around them. Today, Blue Daisies Kids’ Club has grown into a creative learning, play and care centre that has helped parents realise the importance of fun and enjoyment in their child’s life.
“I’ve always liked working with children, and with my Montessori training, I realised that I could create the preschool where I would want my children to grow and develop. At Blue Daisies, we firmly believe that children must be allowed to play, to have hands-on experiences, and to have fun. We tell parents that play is their children’s work; that is the way children learn best,” said Ms Lynn.
Blue Daisies daily activities certainly reflect this. The children start the mornings with a block of time for play. To foster their natural sense of curiosity, the children are given a choice of free play or exploring the various materials at the art station. Then it’s morning circle time where the children greet one another, share about their day, and learn new songs and interesting bits of information that follow the theme for that week. After that, it’s time for outdoor play.
Ms Lynn enlightened us: “Blue Daisies uses a Montessori-based curriculum integrated with the thematic approach to learning, whereby different areas of the curriculum are connected together and integrated within a theme such as ‘My Home & Family’, ‘In the Garden’, ‘Under the Sea’, etc. Our morning circle time will follow the week’s theme.”
Later in the day, guided age-appropriate activities are planned for the children. It can be learning to use a new apparatus or art & craft, music & movement, story time, phonics, sensorial and practical life exercises, language, maths or thematic activities.
Looking around the classrooms, we saw Montessori apparatus lined up on the shelves and even a little corner with elements inspired by Waldorf (another teaching method). Right in the centre of the school is a spacious work area where the children can enjoy art & craft activities. Indeed, the children’s works of art on display were pretty impressive.
We mentioned to Ms Lynn that the school’s pine wooden flooring and the friendly smiling faces of the teachers gave us a sense of warmth and welcome plus a cosiness that made us feel at home. She nodded: “That is exactly what I wanted to create for the children – a home away from home where they can have fun and enjoy learning. When parents are worried that their children may lose out in primary school if we do not start them early with the 3R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic -- we tell parents that when their children enjoy learning and are curious about the world around them, they will have the interest and confidence to learn or accomplish anything later on. Now is the time for the child to enjoy his/her childhood, learn to relate to others, and know how to communicate their thoughts and feelings effectively. All these will build his/her self-esteem and self-confidence now and later on in life.”
We also came to know that Blue Daisies have had the opportunity to work with children from various parts of the world. Ms Lynn told us: “We have had many children of expatriates with us because their parents understand and believe in our approach to early childhood care and education and have been recommending our centre to other expatriates. They also appreciate that we keep the teacher-student ratio low. For toddlers, we have one teacher to five children; for preschool children, it is one teacher to seven children; and for the kindergarten, it is one teacher to 10 children.”
With such low ratios, the children will almost certainly enjoy something near to the personalised care and attention they get at home. And looking at parents’ testimonials on their website, Blue Daisies has indeed become the children’s home away from home.
Find Out More About Blue Daisies Kids’ Club, Mont’ Kiara