Sunday, 5 March 2017

Visist to an amazing nursery in Doha

In the search of a right nursery for our little one, yesterday we went to a nursery located in the West Bay Lagoon. As soon as we entered, the security asked us to enter the details and gave a balloon to my little son. Holding the balloon in one hand my son was excited to run towards the safe and weather-friendly play area, where other kids were playing.

The coordinator welcomed us and took us inside the building. We were asked to fill the pre-registration form and then taken for a tour of the nursery.

The whole nursery campus has two wings and we were first taken to the wing which houses under two-year-olds. We saw a well maintained room where babies from four weeks to maybe one-year-old are kept. They had six baby cots.

Each room is so beautifully designed catering to the needs of kids that my son kept exploring by touching and feeling toys and study materials kept around. When he saw finger puppets, he ran and took a panda and kept saying “bow”, “bow” (his code language for dog), and when the coordinator corrected him that it’s not a dog, but a panda, he was happy to say after her, “pa”, “pa”.

All the rooms were large enough and most of them had floor to ceiling windows, making the rooms bright with the natural light. All the rooms had a tiny wash basin, where kids are assisted to use them independently.

We were just taken aback when we saw how kids can use wash basins and toilets specially meant for their size and age. It was literally like walking into the land of lilliputs, where little ones can easily access washroom or kitchen.

As the coordinator showed us the clean washroom – wish I had taken some pics -- my son was over excited that he could easily access the wash basin. He loves to play in the water and god knows how many times he washes his hands in a day just to play in the water. He went near them, checked two-three wash basins and was excited that taps were at his hand’s reach. Once he saw that the hand wash which he uses at home were kept there, he started saying that he wants to wash his hands! Luckily, the coordinator took us to show the other rooms.

It’s all about making the kids self-independent and the kids not only learn to use toilets, washing their hands, but also learn to use sunscreens before going outside to the play area. Imagine, all these things done by themselves!

The very idea of making children self-dependent was something which impressed us. Moreover, the way kids can learn by playing, imagining and creating is something great. Getting the little ones engaged and keeping them busy in activities that they love to do is what most of the nurseries fail to do.

The plus point here is the ratio of students and teacher, which is one teacher for three kids. It’s an amazing thing as each kid gets the required attention. In fact, we felt like it’s an extended family and we loved the place so much that we are still unable to imagine our little one in any other nursery.
No wonder, each kid can become independent and develop not only communication, collaboration, besides developing creative and critical thinking with so much of attention, love and care from the staff. Just imagine how we were enrolled when we were kids in nurseries where one teacher looked after anywhere between 20-25 kids in a classroom!

The classrooms were named after Crayola and kids can easily recognize their classrooms remembering the colour of Crayola. They had a separate room for story-telling, a room for nap, a kitchen with little dining table. Even a separate room to handle those kids who throw occasional tantrums. We were informed that teachers get that particular child to this particular room and soothe him/her emotions and then take back to the classroom. They had an open air classrooms which reminded me of Rabindranath Tagore’s concept of Shanti Niketan classrooms.

We were told that children not only learn Cryola Art and Craft, but also music and dance other than learning to read and write, gardening, etc. They have children from different cultures and nationalities and each month they conduct special special classes on a particular country. For instance, if they choose Canada, all the activities for that month revolve around that country. Kids can learn and explore the culture of that particular country. They even skype and interact with the teachers and kids from those countries, which is simply amazing.

The most important aspect was they even had a transition room for mothers to wait. Moms can wait in this room till they feel comfortable to leave their little ones in the nursery. A right way to deal with separation anxiety for both mom and the child!

Last but not the least, home and nursery are connected online and parents can view their children online. It was indeed a wonderful experience and we as parents felt that it was a great place for our little one. Though the fee structure was beyond and above our budget, it’s worth the money. My son loved it, I loved it and my hubby loved it. All was great, but, but...

But we gave a practical thought on sending our kid there. The nursery has the British curriculum and as Indians with Indian passports, one day or the other we will move back to India. So it’s better for him to study the Indian curriculum. He has less than one year for himself to be ready to face an interview for the kindergarten.

Had we visited this nursery 4-5 months earlier, maybe we could have enrolled our son for at least one term, so that he could have had a feel of it and become independent and learn whatever he could. 

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