In 1999 my husband and I were new parents looking for quality, safe, nurturing childcare for our precious baby to be. We decided on a quaint old farmhouse that was warm and nurturing environment for our Son. Three years later we were blessed with our Daughter and she also attended the center. In 2004 my husband Joe and I decided to invest in our children’s early childhood education and in the Highland community. We were presented with the opportunity to purchase this charming farmhouse and business. This was going to b e the place that we could insure that the children who attended would have great nurturing teachers, a safe and exciting learning environment, creating fond childhood memories and a sense of community for the families we serve. In conjunction with a great surprise that baby number three was on the way. Although this farmhouse had some rough edges and needed a lot of tender loving care, we knew it was filled with heart. We chose to build on the natural and organic beliefs that children are respected and where children are given the opportunity to experience joy in where great childhood memories are created. For this is what originally attracted us here. As a mother of three, I have watched my children experience various educational philosophies from private to public schooling. I was inspired to create a new learning environment where children are respected as individuals and are inspired to learn from the heart. I am an advocate for children of all ages. The Reggio Emilia approach to learning falls within my strong belief that all children are filled with joy, competency, power and resourcefulness. I believe in the, 100 languages of a child and that young children need many mediums to express themselves and the world around them.
Being a leader and visionary to develop a strong early childhood learning community is my passion. I continue as a life long learner to grow in this practice. I have been making strong connections with like minds in the ECE field. Following centers who are incorporating best practice standards. I have been an active part of Michigan Inspirations since 2011 as a steering committee member.
In 2014, I had the opportunity to visit and study at the Municipal Infant Toddler Centers of Reggio Emilia, Italy with CMU and Michigan Inspirations study group. For two weeks to study and learn about early childhood from the Italian perspective. The main part of the trip was visiting the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy. We visited Loris Malaguzzi International Centre and Guided Tours of Exhibits and Ateliers, Ray of Light and Atelier of food, Presentation of a Research Project from the School, Sharing Reflections, and Tour of the Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood Centers of Cavriago. Reggio Emilia is the birthplace of the Reggio Emilia Approach. This educational philosophy started after World War II and is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery. Being on this journey for over 10 years at the time was a validation for our school and an inspiration of where we can still go. We continue to be inspired by this practice and love growing deeper in this context. I have presented at Baker College on best practice in ECE, MIAEYC Infant Toddler Nature Presentation, and Team Facilitated two day works shop on Really Seeing children with Deb Curtis and Margie Carter through Michigan Inspiration workshop.
I believe that given challenges, support, kindness, and love their accomplishments are vast and outstanding. With guidance, children together, work hard, play hard and care for each other and the community around them while exploring new and varied topics and questions. It is all about the relationships and we cultivate them everyday. I am so proud of our teaching staff, here at our school. We are on a great journey and making an impact in our community with family’s and young children is a blessing. They are amazing and wonderful people who care deeply about children and making each day here engaging with wonderful learning opportunities and fun. Today is the present enjoy every minute of it.