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August - 2015 - issue > Top Pre-Schools in India 2015

Footprints Play School and Day Care: The Joy of Learning and Caring While Growing

SI Edu Team
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
SI Edu Team
Early childhood education is not simply a process of gathering acquired knowledge. Rather, it is the age of discovery. Children discover things through direct experience with people, objects, events and ideas. They learn best from pursuing their own interests while being actively supported and challenged by adults and that is the core concept of HighScope Early Childhood Education Approach developed by The HighScope Educational Research Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization in Michigan, U.S. Amita Bharadwaj, Vice President, Footprints Play School and Day Care, is an ardent believer of this method of learning. She says, "High Scope Early Childhood Education Approach is focused on making the learning experience child centric and has been proven effective in drastically improving the learning curve in young children."

HighScope Early Childhood Education approach emphasizes 'active participatory learning,' as children's interests and choices are at the heart of HighScope programs. In accordance to this, Footprints management ensures that kids construct their own knowledge through interactions with the world and the people around them. In active learning settings, adults expand children's thinking with diverse materials and nurture interactions. "HighScope teachers are as active and involved as children in the classroom. They thoughtfully provide materials, plan activities, and talk with children in ways that both support and challenge what children are experiencing and thinking," explains Amita. However, it is not an easy task to understand children's needs. To prepare the facilitator at the preschool to use the HighScope Curriculum effectively and understand the needs of kids, Footprints has created a 21 days dedicated training and a year of on the job program for their future teachers and nannies that endows them with the knowledge of how to carry out the activities in the classroom and assist children in improving their learning abilities. With adult to infant ratio of 1:3, Footprints Play School and Day Care has been able to ensure that each and every child's need is taken care of with individual care and attention.

Today, with more than 110 supporting staff members who are open to suggestions by the parents, Footprints Play Schools and Day Care has a range of programs that caters to children from the age of 3 months to 4 years. As parents are the first teachers in a child's life, the management asks for at least one parent to be present during the first week of their child's admission in the preschool. This has been helping teachers to understand more about the kid's behavior when they are in their comfort zone with their parents. On the flipside, it is an opportunity for parents to understand the activities at Footprints and its security features. "Parents are largely concerned about their kid's security at the preschool. For us, highest level of transparency and security of the children is as important as learning," reveals Amita, whose preschools have taken the security features a step ahead of their counterparts by launching a mobile app where parents have the access to the live CCTV footage of all the classrooms and open areas. The app also provides the meal and nap updates and details of various activities their children have participated in real time. Along with the mobile app, the preschool has created a platform named 'Support,' where parents can send their concerns, suggestions and appreciation about the institute's quality. "It is essential for us to know our parents' experience and valuable inputs for continuous improvement. Hence conduct a quarterly feedback for parents that they can fill anonymously. Parents can also write email or give a call for anything they want to communicate. All these communications are recorded, tracked and closed to parents' satisfaction and then used for further training and development of our staff," claims Amita.

The management of Footprints is confident about their quality of service and it is evident from their policy called 'If not Satisfied, Don't pay.' "We ensure that the parents get the best service with the payment they provide and if they are not satisfied with the experience on a certain day, we return the payment for the same," asserts Amita. While, Amita and her team is ready with the well-drafted expansion plan for their preschool, which has four centers in Gurgaon and one in Noida, the proven HighScope Early Childhood Education Approach coupled with trained facilitators and high profile security features manifest the emergence of Footprints as a household name in the Indian preschool education sector.

Amita Bharadwaj
She is the Curriculum Director at Footprints Play School and Day Care and is the only certified trainer in India in the area of High Scope Early Childhood Learning Approach. She has 27 years of experience in leading playschools.

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