I always knew I would take a career break when I had my baby and would re-join teaching once V starts big school. But I am also aware that I’m privileged to be able to take this break. My profession is also such that there wouldn’t be an astronomical leap in technology or content in 5 years and I can take off from almost exactly where I left off. Not all parents have this privilege and I still feel nostalgic and doubt my choice once in a while.
What happens when a millennial family in a nuclear set up has a baby? It isn’t always possible to put career on hold, and take care of a baby with minimal support. What does one do in such a case? Enter “Prep Schools”.
When I was choosing a school for V, my priorities were, curriculum, trained faculty, prepared environment and a parent-friendly school with open lines of communication. Basically a school where V would first be happy, and then learn without pressure. Recently, I was invited to visit Klay Prep School, Sholinganallur branch, (which is a part of the Klay prep school chain all over the country) , and I must say, a part of me wished I could use their services right away.
Let me take you through, what impressed me the most.
I had the pleasure of meeting their curriculum head and was surprised that the school follows learning based on multiple intelligence theory and inquiry based, hands-on learning. All the prep schools across the country follow the same standards and curriculum! Can you imagine play based, but planned learning, right from infancy?
A lot of thought has gone into setting up the creative classrooms, and the cushioned pillars, child-sized furniture, curtains outside the changing corner, strategically placed glass on doors, etc are testament to that. There are various zones in the school- library zone, art zone, music and movement zone, outdoor zone, etc which focus on specific learning. I was pleasantly surprised to see the curriculum chart and sensory activities laid out, even in the infant room.
Each class room has an enterprising and trained teacher along with an assistant and helper, maintaining a beautiful adult:child ratio. The infant classroom has trained nurses as well.
Lines of communication
At Klay prep school, parents are not only given live video access to the school, but also daily reports of the child’s food, activities, etc. I especially loved how involved the curriculum head seemed to be, about each and every child. They also hold regular parent meets to update on the child’s progress with a photo report card. The school also actively works with the parents on discipline, potty training, independence, etc.
For me, personally, food is a big point to consider in V’s school. At Klay, a monthly breakfast, lunch and snack menu (with no repetition throughout the month) is shared in advance with the parents. I also got a chance to see their chef in action and the beautiful lunch tables, where the children eat together.
If I was working in the same campus or nearby, I would have definitely preferred to leave V at a prep school like this one, than at home with a nanny or grandparents and be an overbearing parent, myself. If you have a Klay campus near you, and are considering putting your child in a prep school or daycare, do book a visit with Klay to understand them better.