The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Multiple activities at care centre for kids

Karate and dance lessons, yoga and bhajans, GK and value education. All under one roof and after school hours to keep the children smiling and their parents placid.

A “unique” day-care and activity centre set to roll around the middle of this month at Kislaya Playhouse & Montessori on Loudon Street promises to provide an early avenue to tiny tots to showcase their talent and calm the ruffled feathers of working parents.

“With the breakdown of the joint-family system and given the hectic pace of life today, working couples are often faced with the painful choice of leaving their children behind with domestic help. At the day-care and activity centre, we hope to provide a better alternative, where the child gets a chance to spend quality time in an enriched, stimulating and specially-prepared environment,” explains Vandana Kanoria, directress of the Montessori house.

The centre will cater to children of the Montessori age bracket (two to six), offering organised co-curricular programmes under trained supervision, besides books and educational aids. “Through structured sessions between 3.30 and 5.30 pm, we will concentrate on mental, physical, spiritual, intellectual, cultural and creative development of the child, which in turn will help in total personality enhancement,” says the directress.

Thus, craft will mingle with music lessons, moral science with conversation skills, histrionics with storytelling. “Children need to be free in thought, word and action and our centre has been conceptualised to encourage freedom of expression and to build confidence through independence,” explains Kanoria, who is also the president of Montessorians of Calcutta, the sole umbrella body of city Montessori houses.

The Kislaya management is offering different options for using its day-care centre, which can be used by children from other institutions as well. Its own children can stay back after school gives over at 12.30, while others can join either at 12.30, or at 3.30 when the structured activities begin.

Kanoria, who conceptualised the novel care corner, feels the multiple activities under one roof can help identify a child’s drift of proficiency and talent at an early age, which can then be carried forward. “It will save parents the cost and time of ferrying their children from one extra-curricular stream to another, since our environment is designed to nurture natural abilities,” she stresses.

The centre, with its “definitive co-curricular activities”, hopes to boost intellectual development and keep children away from the idiot box — “most parents’ nightmare”.

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