No Child's Play in a Learning Adventure
By Meera Bhardwaj | Published: 19th March 2016 10:00 PM |
Nuclear families who are experiencing parenthood for the first time have found a support system in Bengaluru. Anju Cherian and Jose Paul are simplifying the lives of new parents struggling to look after their newborns with their three early learning and development centres for toddlers that make learning fun for children.
A J Plackal Eduventures started operations in Bengaluru in October 2014 with an award-winning parent-child programme, Baby Sensory, for infants. They launched Toddler Sense, a programme for children from 1-5 years in July 2015 and started centres in Domlur and Banashankari in the city.
“Our programme helps in social skills, interaction, parental involvement, etc. Mothers look forward to coming to our classes and they have become more reactive, enjoying the sessions that are full of fun and high energy,” says 35-year-old Paul.
The couple gave up their corporate careers to set up A J Plackal Eduventures and invested all their savings in it. Their daughter Talia’s birth in 2012 triggered them to venture out on their own. “We took our daughter for early learning programmes when she was two-and-a-half-months old. One among them was Baby Sensory. It benefited her as it focused on providing the right kind of sensory stimulation for the child while offering valuable parenting tips,” says Paul.
They took a master franchise from Baby Sensory’s UK-based company and were trained on all the programmes directly under its parenting expert Dr. Lin Day and her team.
Activities conducted in a Baby Sensory programme for infants from birth to 13 months is focused on stimulating the senses of the child for accelerated physical and brain development. Every activity has been scientifically designed to provide a rich environment full of interesting sights, sounds, smells, colours and materials to boost a child’s cognitive and physical development.
“Giving insights and information on what milestones babies have to reach for their age and what needs to be done for their brain development is a full-time passion for me,” says 35-year-old Cherian.
The couple then started Toddler Sense, which introduces a child to a galaxy of magical worlds. Here, structured activities go hand in hand with the freedom to explore and imagine. Each week has a unique theme constructed to stimulate a child’s brain, coordination and physical development.
“Every rhyme or a song played and every activity has helped in their development, be it vision, hearing, hand-eye coordination or brain development. Today, my seven-month-old son responds and understands baby signs like milk, sleep, thank you, reading a book, etc.,” says Reshma Rakesh, who enrolled her child in these classes when he was three-and-a-half months old.
Kushal M Shah, father of three-year-old twins, says: “We enrolled Maneet and Maanit in Toddler Sense for three months and found it to be extremely helpful. Our focus was to develop their understanding towards various themes such as space, zoo, circus, etc. Maneet is a Down Syndrome child, and it helped us a lot in driving his attention to details and providing him the much needed physical and mental simulation as part of early intervention.”
The couple’s Alchemy Nursery, an early learning and development centre, has international standards for learning, hygiene and play facility, and attracts expats. Catering to children between three and seven years of age, this is a day care and play school.
They charge `4,000 for a 10-week course, and `500 for an independent session, and plan to set up two more centres this year. A J Plackal Eduventures is also evaluating franchisees to represent the programmes, and aims to have 20 centres across India and other countries. They are in talks for establishing a centre in
Sri Lanka. They will also be launching their third programme, Mini Professors in Bengaluru in May, which will introduce toddlers and pre-school children to the world of science.
Another centre will be launched in Mumbai in June, and will mark a big step for them as the programme will be going out of Bengaluru for the first time.