ISSA Member Hestia Early Learning Centre Opens Elementary School with Region Approach in the Netherlands
ISSA member Hestia Early Learning Centre from the Netherlands runs several bilingual day cares in Amsterdam and Amstelveen. When their first bilingual day care was opened, a little boy who did not understand any English or Dutch attended the day care. He felt unhappy during his first weeks, and day care professionals had a hard time communicating with him. Then one of the teachers came up with an idea and spoke to his parents asking them to write down a number of words in their own language so that the teachers could at least help the boy to understand what kind of activity he was going to engage in. This helped the boy quite a bit and gradually he eased into the daily schedule and felt comfortable enough to start learning two new languages.
Hestia Early Learning Centre aims to be the children’s day care of ‘tomorrow’ – a sustainable, open, inclusive, continually-developing day care with a creative, passionate and diverse team. They strive to be an organisation where everyone can feel at home. The organization encourages children to be ‘world citizens’: competent people who are conscious and compassionate towards others and the environment. Children should be ready to face the world feeling secure in their personal development, aware of their own talents and knowing that each one of them is unique in their own way. For that, the organization uses Reggio Emilia pedagogic approach in their child centres.
Hestia Early Learning Centre is interested in cooperating with other service providers in the childcare branch, such as organizations that focus on (mental) health and wellbeing, early education, family support, sustainability, etc. With these other organizations, Hestia would love to share their ideas on how to shape truly inclusive childcare. Additionally, the organization is currently working on starting an elementary school that will also use the Reggio approach. Since finding a suitable space is one of the biggest challenges in the larger Amsterdam area, Hestia Early Learning Centre is open to suggestions on locations.