If you’re the parent of a preschool going child, these questions would perhaps have come to mind at some point of time -
Is my child’s preschool meeting with the learning objectives of early childhood? Can any preschool for that matter, adequately address the learning needs of my child?
An Integrated Learning Centre (ILC) takes on the learning & developmental responsibility for your child for a longer time horizon and hence adopts a more holistic approach to education.
Without getting into pros and cons of different preschool brands, we’ll try and address why and how the conventional wisdom of enrolling your child into preschool followed by admissions into various after school programs should be critically looked into. And we’ll also critically look at why an integrated learning centre is the answer that all the 3 stakeholders, the parent, the school & the child were looking for.
So you’ve heard of preschool’s that focus on the delivery of early learning objectives of infants till they reach the requisite age and gain the necessary faculties to join a high school. You’ve also heard of afterschool activity centres that enhance learning of school-going children and focus on delivering various skill-building programs that are nowadays so fundamentally ingrained as a part of “growing up”.
Then there are also educational service providers that deliver teacher training programs & miscellaneous support services which enhances an educational institution intellectual capital along with serving as an additional revenue model.
However, for an educational institution, in serving multiple needs of multiple stakeholders, there is a degree of ‘focus dilution’ that occurs as an organic consequence of diversification. This ‘focus dilution’ is dangerous when an organization assumes size and scale as the early childhood learning centre becomes more process-driven and less person driven.
Running a preschool is no child’s play. The “more the merrier” approach works neither for the child nor the preschool in the long run.
The idea is simple. You are a preschool owner. You have 10 kids in school and you know their names, their family history, their strengths & weaknesses, their stage of development on the learning objectives of the curriculum. Heck! You even know which worksheet they last filled up (and I don’t mean as a consequence of having a daily planner in place!). Now a couple of years later you have a hundred kids in school and you also run multiple businesses under the same roof with another 50-100 kids and/or grown-up adults who you cater to and several disconnected programs that they are going through. You may still know all their names and family history, but the heart of hearts you know that any interaction around curriculum would inevitably lead to a great deal of guesswork on your part.
This is where the concept of an integrated learning centre starts reaping dividends, as the focus remains irrevocably with our most important stakeholder – our kids. Multiple educational programs focus on different inter-related aspects of a child’s formative years.
So a child entering our integrated learning center at the age of 6 months through The Toddlers Program picks up invaluable pre-learning skills in a safe & caring environment for a period of about a year, after which he goes through our extended Preschool Curriculum which is supplemented by a fantastic range of Top Up Programs like Writo – a multi-sensory handwriting developmental program, Super Phonics – an early literacy program on the principles of Jolly Phonics, Minimax Abacus – a whole brain development program & Bonjour – our French Curriculum.
These programs have been conceptualized after years of research, mapping of supplementary skillsets that traditional preschool curriculum often avoids incorporating & feasibility of scale-up & relevance of curriculum as part of a primary year’s program as a child grows up.
All these programs merge seamlessly with our Afterschool Activity Center Programs thereby ensuring continuity of learning for the child on the one hand and a predictable revenue model for The Integrated Learning Center on the other. For parents too, it is a win-win proposition as an integrated learning centre becomes a learning partner for them from where they get assured continuity of their child’s developmental process right from his toddler stage through to his teens. Plus, the child is not exposed to unnecessary pseudo-academic inputs that become irrelevant in just a few years.
The Knowledge Academy at The Beanstalk carefully pre-selects the academic inputs necessary as per the developmental need of children. All programs being conceptualized & implemented have passed the test of time and validation from international experts in their respective domains as part of the ratification process.
For instance, Super Phonics is based on the celebrated Jolly Phonics guidelines. This pre-validation saves time & assures quality for prospective parents as well as The Learning Centre. The third leg of the ILC tripod, teacher training, is also firmly in-tune with the central tenet of an ILC – to remain focused on our main stakeholder, our kids. This is a vital cog in the wheel, as the development of intellectual capital of teachers is finally what ensures quality delivery which in turn results into the achievement of the developmental agenda planned for the child.
To summarize, an integrated learning centre meets & surpasses expectations of different stakeholders at all levels –
Parent – It’s a one-stop-shop for all educational needs for the child. There is cumulative wisdom resident in an Integrated Learning Center, one which inspires confidence enough to entrust your child’s academic enrichment with. Learning outcomes are clearly visible with the passage of time and is traceable. As an example, your 6-year-old child’s abacus tutor will not discover that pre-number skills were under-developed or right-brained development for the child did not happen as anticipated in preschool. The Minimax Abacus program in preschool leads into the MaxBrain Abacus curriculum in afterschool. And the Minimax Abacus program is blended into the preschool curriculum itself. Super Phonics, which develops early literacy skills through a comprehensive Phonics program, seamlessly moves into Super Phonics Grammar for school going kids.
Get in touch with us to know the most interesting Abacus training school franchise model.
Proprietor – If you haven’t started a preschool yet, you may be led into believing that running a preschool is the solution for financial independence that you were looking for in a noble field that you are comfortable in. Think again! Underutilizing your infrastructure is a criminal to waste of resources. At the same time, engaging yourself into a myriad of ‘revenue-generating’ avenues is also fraught with the risk of focus dilution from your core product & service. An integrated learning centre with its focus clearly on the child’s progress from infancy to teenage, gives you the middle path to tread whilst maximizing earning as well as learning per child (!) - an important measure in evaluating an ILC. And if you already have a preschool, well you know what we are talking about here! Moving into an integrated learning centre mode will see you reaping dividends from your existing student base in preschool – from Day 1!
Child – Our most important stakeholder and so often the most ignored in most traditional ‘business models’ in early childhood education. The human brain is wired to learn in these early years with as much as 90% of brain development happening till the age of 5. Hence making dalliances with pseudo-academic courses that have no long-term relevance at this stage is detrimental to the realization of a child’s potential. An integrated learning centre gives academic direction to a child’s journey from infancy to teenage and makes sure that the focus of the learning centre stays irrevocably with the child. At the end of the day, that is precisely what makes enriches a child’s learnings besides fulfilling the parent's aspirations for the child. And in doing so, the learning centre fulfils the purpose of existence.
This is what led us to conceptualize and adopt an integrated approach to delivering early learning objectives as opposed to the traditional silo-based approach of preschools and afterschool activity centres. Do get in touch with us if you feel you want to learn more and feel you can benefit from this too.