In an earlier post I wrote about how our two year old daughter is in a great day care but that we are starting to look around for a pre-school for her. On Saturday we went to the open day at Fish Hoek Pre-Primary; today it was the turn of Fledglings.
Fledglings is not one of those businesses that shouts about their prescence. It is run from an unassuming property on Kommetjie road and unless you know it is there, or you see all the comings and goings in the morning, you are going to think that this is just another house.
The first positive is that security is very good. There is only one gate in, which is opened from the inside, and no access at all from the back, so no chance of anyone just wandering in uninvited. Also, it seems that it is very difficult for the kids to find their own way out.
Fledglings is very small, with currently 25 children, ranging in age from 2 and a bit to 6, although they can and do take up to 30. It is staffed by Hilda, Sue and Leanne and all seem very ‘teacherly’ in an old fashioned way.
Fledglings is very much a prep school for the junior schools in the area. Hilda told us that the standards required by Sun Valley School are very high. There is definitely an air of learning to this place, but thankfully tempered with a good bit of fun. The kids were busy preparing for their farmers market when we were there; making posters, colouring in vegetables etc. They have been growing beans and carrots for weeks and are selling them for two rand a bunch to parents. From the proceeds they have to pay for the seeds that they used, the profits then being split between the kids. Inspired.
I was impressed by Fledglings, my wife is determined about it, but all is not rosy as far as I am concerned. The school closes at 12.30 and doesn’t have after care, a problem for two working parents with no family in the area. Also, for me, it is too small. Our daughter is an only child and I think that it is important that she socializes with as many children as she can. Not only will this make her more confident and less dependent on us, but also teach her important lessons about social structures, how to share and that she is not the center of the universe.
My bank manager likes Fledglings because it is the cheapest place we saw and also only charges for 10 months of the year, being that December and January are so reduced.
The over-riding thing in its favour though is the closeness to our house: literally it is quicker to walk than it would be to drive, and it is that which I feel will win out. We still have Milkwood to look at but they were rude on the phone, so it looks like the old adage about location, location, location will hold true again, although I can see there been many a battle about after care.