As New Year's Eve draws to a close, we stop to reflect on the year here at Kids R Kids.
It has been a busy one! Although that is not unsual for us. So incredibly hard to believe we have been open for 19 years! Really???? 19???? But yes, really it has been that long. Some of the team are encouraging for me to have a big celebration for the 20th anniversary but I still remember the massive undertaking to celebrate our 10th LOL.
As our building has now been here for 19 years, we replaced our roof this past year as well as our flooring and we just installed a new furnace and air conditioner. Over the time, I have learned the approximate lifespan of a commercial tricycle, a cot for children to sleep on, a refrigerator, a light table etc. So we now reached the point of learning the lifespan of floors, roofs, furnaces and air conditioners. We are now going about replacing our sign. It is looking pretty shabby next to our beautiful learning environments that we have achieved and definitely needs a refresher.
We have been travelling to California for years now to the Good Stuff for Kids Conference in Roseville and that really began a change for us both philosophically and from an environment perspective too. Several of us went on study tours of Chicago Commons centers as well as the London Bridges Centres and acquired environmental ideas from that.
With new furniture in the classrooms in the past year as well, we moved forward with our plan to make all the rooms more inviting, warm, "real" and "authentic". We purchased some signature pieces for the rooms and some beautiful rugs as well as some cozy lamps to create a home-like ambience. We also added wainscotting to all the rooms which added tremendous warmth and authenticity to the rooms. We purchased wig-wam tents and new indoor hammock swings too. We could not be more pleased.
We then honed our invitations and provocations by adding lights, mirrors as well as a more rich array of loose parts. We deepened our documentation of the learning processes. We had our annual retreat with Liz and went into an analysis of our values, where we are at with them and strategized moving forward around key points.
We enhanced our parental communication by implementing the use of the program Tadpoles which sends parents a daily report of the child's day through email as well as photos and videos! The teachers had a learning curve as did the admin team but we are now really enjoying it and the parents seem to love it!
We finalized the needed structural changes (roof, floor, furnace) and had the classroom makeovers too. Now that we have added so much more to our curricular approach, we are planning to add some beautiful touches to our playgrounds: planters, a weaving stand, canopy supports, a dory (or two). So we will be focussing on our outdoor classrooms this year. Our landscaper is working on some of the pieces over the winter months for implementation in the spring of 2015.
We are also staring the new year with a new logo about to be launched, planned changes to our website, a revised policy manual and a name change! We just don't rest for a moment on our laurels here do we? : )
Wishing you all a truly wondrous 2015!