New daycare aims to help meet demand in Lantzville

LANTZVILLE – Thinking Garden Early Childhood Centre is scheduled to open on Sept. 12.

A new early childhood education centre is coming to Lantzville.

The Thinking Garden Early Childhood Centre is set to open its doors on Sept. 12 and will operate out of Woodgrove Christian Community Church.

Thinking Garden will offer full-day, half-day, kindergarten preparation classes, morning and afternoon preschool curriculum classes for children between the ages of three and six.

Elidah Jewer, owner and teacher of Thinking Garden said her school’s curriculum will be a blend of Waldorf education, Montessori and Reggio Emilia philosophies.

“It’s going to be a curriculum fusion of Steiner imagination and fantasy rich learning,” she said. “The program is enriched. It offers something a little bit outside the norm. Our material is nature based, our program is nature based. One of our main philosophies is to bring the outside in. So, it’s educating the whole child.”

Jewer has been a teacher since 2001 and previously operated a school in Qualicum Beach. She spent time in Italy learning about the Reggio Emilia philosophies.

“It started in Italy after the war to encourage children’s natural curiosity,” Jewer said. “If the teacher is able to facilitate and provide material and experiences that are in line with what the children are curious in already then the learning will take off.”

Jewer said she can have 16 students per-day, with potential for as many as 50 students to be part of the school overall.

Early childhood education space of any kind in Lantzville has been in demand for awhile, according to Jennifer McNevin, supervisor with the Boys and Girls Club of Lantzville and Seaview.

She said that the demand is so great that she has people inquiring about space as far as two years in advance.

“I have the Lantzville club, which can hold 30 kids and I have the Seaview school, which can hold 20 kids and I still have about 20 families on the wait list,” McNevin said. “People are calling me everyday to book spots for 2018.”

She said a new early childhood education centre in Lantzville will help, but said the demand will still be high regardless.

“If we opened up another location it would fill up so quickly because there is such a big need for it here,” McNevin said.