Anushka Hayes: Founder of The Little Club

Jun 10 2024.

views 172


Anushka Hayes, the founder of The Little Club, has created an inspiring haven for students to unwind and explore their creativity after school. Recognizing the growing concern of excessive screen time among children, Anushka established this daily after-school club to offer a variety of enriching activities such as clay moulding, yoga, handwork, and chess. The Little Club's mission is to provide children with fulfilling experiences that promote their overall development and foster a balanced lifestyle away from digital distractions.

Q CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START A DAYCARE CENTRE? In 2019 I returned to Sri Lanka from the UK as I wanted to be closer to my family. My decision was driven by a desire for my daughter to be immersed in Sri Lankan values and culture, which I aim to instil in her upbringing. The inspiration behind starting Little Club stems from my desire to provide my child with all her favourite activities in one convenient safe location.

Q WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND? I gained my professional qualification from England in Accounting and Finance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I focussed on Child Psychology and Counselling. I firmly believe in the significance of continuous learning. The more we educate ourselves, the more we evolve and grow.

Q CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF STARTING THE DAYCARE CENTRE? WHAT  WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED? Securing a safe and ideal space posed a significant challenge. Fortunately, I am grateful to have discovered Little Leaf International Preschool, and I appreciate Amat for generously renting the space in the afternoons to start Little Club. Building a team of staff who aligned with my vision was a tough task, as I consider a teacher's role to be paramount. Engaging children and making learning enjoyable are key aspects, and I firmly believe that the right approach can inspire children to learn anything. I am proud to have assembled a fantastic team of staff members who collaborate effectively and share a passion for early childhood education.

Q WHAT AGE GROUPS DOES YOUR DAYCARE CENTRE SERVE? Ages 1 years to 10 years.

Q CAN YOU DESCRIBE A  TYPICAL DAY AT YOUR  DAYCARE CENTRE? A typical day at the Little Club begins with supervised free play, allowing children to unwind and socialize with their peers after a full day at school. We have thoughtfully selected specialist classes to promote holistic development in children. Yoga and meditation sessions encourage mindfulness and help children regulate their emotions. Drama classes foster self-expression, confidence, and socialization skills, while chess enhances strategic thinking.

At the end of the day, children come together to prepare snacks and set the table for a group meal, promoting teamwork and life skills development. All age groups gather for story time, followed by age-appropriate arts and crafts activities. Older children often take on the role of reading to their younger peers. Every Tuesday, we host a clay moulding session, a favourite among children of all age groups. Clay moulding, with its hands-on approach, helps ground children, develop motor skills, and problem-solving abilities, increase attention span, and improve communication. Our daily programme is meticulously designed to enhance various aspects of children's skills and facilitate their overall growth and development.

Q WHAT IS THE STUDENT-TOTEACHER RATIO?

  • Age 1-2 is 1:1
  • Age 3-5 is 3:1
  • Age 5-10 is 5:1

Q HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF THE CHILDREN? Ensuring the safety and well-being of children is paramount at our daycare centre, Little Club. We are fortunate to have secured space within Little Leaf International Preschool, which upholds stringent health and safety standards on its premises, including 24/7 CCTV surveillance.

Furthermore, Little Club has implemented rigorous measures to establish a secure and safe environment for all children under our care. Our teachers and nannies are all certified in First Aid, equipping them to respond effectively in any emergencies that may arise. Prior to hiring, we conduct thorough due diligence checks on all staff members to verify their suitability for working with children. This comprehensive process includes background screenings, reference verifications, and other vetting procedures.

In addition to our qualified staff and strict safety protocols, we also have a doctor on call to provide immediate medical assistance if needed. By maintaining a team of qualified professionals and implementing stringent screening protocols, our goal is to create a safe and nurturing setting where children can flourish, providing parents with peace of mind. We strive to have an all-female staff; however, in the presence of a male specialist teacher, a female teacher will always be present as well.

Q WHAT KIND OF CURRICULUM OR EDUCATIONAL APPROACH DO YOU USE? Each specialist teacher for the respective subject follows an age-appropriate curriculum tailored to the children participating in the programme. This ensures that the activities are engaging, educational, and suitable for the developmental needs of the children.

Q HOW DO YOU HANDLE  SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN OR THOSE REQUIRING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT? We have employed two permanent teachers at our daycare, each with extensive experience in special needs education and specific training to offer essential support for children with special needs and those on the Autism spectrum. At our centre, we are committed to inclusivity and ensuring that every child receives personalized care and attention to support their growth and development.

Pix courtesy AH


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is a journalist specialising in travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also the Deputy Editor for Hi!! Magazine. An intrepid traveller, she likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno [email protected]

RELATED ARTICLES


0 Comments

Post your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Instagram