By Carlie Connolly
Tamara Lee- President of Tiny Tots in Redcliff, A non-profit organization in Redcliff, Tiny Tots has been open for 20 years, and helps children prepare for their educational journey in later years. It is run by parent council with parents of the children in the school as volunteers. There is a president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary.
Tamara Lee, the president of the play school said that the children learn a lot through play.
“They are not going to sit there in class and just write their names down, they’re coming together so they can play together with students, and so they can learn the skills of sharing and get away from the conflicts and how to resolve the conflict.”
If one of the students for examples takes a toy, they have to learn that the other took the toy first. They also learn the goals of life in even the simple act of getting their coats on to go outside and play. The children also take part in baking and learn to work with measuring cups and pouring, and have water tables and a dry station present in the learning environment.
Lee said the main goal is getting them ready for pre kindergarten and kindergarten. They can take in children aged two and half but prefer ages three to five better, because of development and trying to have conversations with them.
A teacher has recently resigned and so the school is a bit short staffed at the moment, and so they are hoping to get another one in as soon as possible. The other Tamara, Tamara Steinkey is the teacher with the children at the moment, and Lee will go for her level one to be a substitute, so that they still have a second teacher on hand. Any teachers wanting to join the centre are welcome.
Tiny Tots has been declining in numbers as they are unable to run a daycare as they currently don’t have the staff for that at the moment or the room. Currently there are 15 children who are a part of the centre, whereas last year they were over 20.
This year, they are only running morning classes from 8:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m, Monday through Thursday, as they can’t afford to pay teachers in the afternoon unless they bring in more children like previous years where they had playschool in the afternoon as well.
Lee said that Tiny Tots is a great environment and her son has been attending the school and has improved dramatically by going there. Before he started there, his speech wasn’t that great and he didn’t know how to play with younger kids. By going there, his speech has improved lots and his potty training became easier as he saw other kids doing it, and so he was able to mimic that and learn to do the same.
“They learn through visual, so they see what’s going on and they’re always learning and experiencing around there, so they know what’s happening,” said Lee.
The kids with separation problems handle being there very well once their parents drop them off, as they play with the other kids and get distracted, not noticing that they are having that fit anymore.
Since the business opened, they haven’t heard any complaints. It’s just a matter of finding more people to join the team so that they can grow, and help children reach their next steps of learning.
“We’re hoping that we do get more students to come in so we can keep running as a business, and that we can help out more kids and get them prepared and ready for school,” Lee said.