“Children are not things to be moulded, but are people to be unfolded.” Jess Lair
This is a statement that holds true to our philosophy at Eskay Kids Karana. Each day we welcome, with open arms, every child that enters our doors and expect nothing more from them than to feel safe, secure and loved. Once these basic needs are met, then and only then, can they explore and learn through a rich play based environment. The children at Eskay Kids have the freedom to be themselves, follow their interests and do what comes naturally to them – play!
Some children are naturally outgoing, find and make friends with ease, connect with adults around them and transition into kindy without a care in the world. These children need support, albeit, a different kind of support from the shy, timid, child who needs cuddles and reassurance as they say goodbye of a morning. What a privilege it is to be in a position to help, connect with and observe the changes in each individual child as they become familiar with their new environment. As a teacher, I find it endlessly satisfying to watch as each child is given the time and space to connect with the adults and children in their day. Children, as cliche as it sounds, emerge from their own cocoon, in their own unique time.
At Karana, we love the spontaneity of heading on community outings, visiting the frogs in the gully or heading to say hi to the ladies in the Pharmacy down the road. A particular child comes to mind in these instances. Ella has always declined the invitation to come along for the walk. An amazing thing happened though, this reserved child, given the time and space to sit and observe, develop trust and confidence, initiated a community outing. “Can we head over the fence today?” she asked.
During our outing that day, the children discussed which way they walk home after kindy. “I go that way” one child said, pointing down the lane way. “Yes, that’s the way I go too!” Ella said. “Maybe we could visit my house one day?” And in that moment, as I walked along side her, I knew in my heart, that our way of being at Karana, of allowing children the time, space and endless cuddles, is truly respectful of each individual journey, their metamorphosis. What an absolute privilege it is, to witness that, time and time again.
Early Childhood Teacher, Karana