Are you the parents of an adorable infant, an amazing 3-year-old, or maybe even both? No matter your child’s age, choosing a childcare program that suits your specific needs is a very challenging and difficult decision.
Understanding the cultural differences
One of the renowned diamonds of the “Ministère de l’Education Nationale” is the famous “Ecole maternelle”, whose program is respected all over the world. France cares tremendously about the quality of its early childhood educational program, so much that they designed a separate training and recruitment for preschool and primary teachers, as opposed to middle school and high school teachers.
In France, children start attending school at the age of two and following a very structured, very progressive program, designed to fit different age groups, which guarantees the best retention of early learning fundamentals such as language, reading, and numeracy. French public daycares (la crèche) are also committed to a comparable pedagogical goal by preparing children from 2-months to 2-years-old to their future transition to “Ecole maternelle” (preschool), especially by developing their social skills.
In the United States, the average family takes a different approach. Typically, children start attending school in Kindergarten, which is 3 years later than French children. While many American children do have full schedules from an early age, it is often with activities chosen by their parents that are more geared towards activities like sports, arts, yoga, music, and gymnastics. It is not uncommon for a nanny to rush a child from one activity to the next one all day long, keeping the schedule as busy as a congressman’s. In the United States, the approach which tends to focus on the physical and artistic facets of the child’s development is often favored as it is believed to allow them to achieve more than their counterparts as they progress in their academic career.
Considering children’s basic needs
Whatever the educational system or childcare you choose, American, French, or bilingual, you want to make sure that the fundamental needs of your child’s development are being met:
- Physical needs: healthy eating, cleanliness, remaining active
- Intellectual needs: building language and basic early learning skills
- Emotional needs: feeling safe, listened to, welcomed, invited to express oneself through speech and any mode of artistic expression
- Social needs: belonging to a group, building friendships, interacting with peers
Due to the current pandemic, your priorities may have changed. However, be aware that your children’s priorities have not changed. Today, like ever, children need to be in contact with nature to develop their imagination, to continue experimenting and expressing their creativity, to continue learning and above all, children need socialization to grow emotionally!
The best of the two worlds!
VHG Group Inc, early childhood language schools, represent 4 daycares/preschools in Manhattan and (soon!) in Brooklyn: Arc-En-Ciel (2014), Petits Poussins Too (2016), Bilingual Nest (2017), Petits Poussins Brooklyn (2021). We welcome students ages 3 months to 5 years old. We are located in Manhattan (Upper East Side and West Harlem) and, soon, in Downtown Brooklyn. Our centers are specifically designed to benefit from the strengths and assets of both educational systems. Our bilingual programs (in French/English or in Spanish/English) combine the principles and curriculum of “Ecole maternelle” and “crèche”, with the standards of American pedagogy to offer your children the best educational and stimulating age-appropriate programs. Our curriculum is enriched by numerous stimulating activities led by teachers of music, dance, yoga, and art in both languages! Our preschoolers often go on field trips (community visits, culinary outings, farm visits, museum visits, and more). Indeed, we offer the best of both approaches!
VHG Group Inc. welcomes over 200 students yearly with a team of over 45 staff members. Our schools strictly implement the New York Department of Health (DOH) guidance and recommendations to keep our children and staff safe and healthy. We carefully consider the developmental stages of each age group to stimulate their natural curiosity while respecting their individual rhythm. Our teachers, who come from all over the world, motivate our students and guide them in becoming independent, confident, and caring, all in a bilingual environment and with a strong awareness of social justice.
At VHG Group Inc., we make learning FUN! The well-being, happiness, and bilingual academic development of our students are at the heart of our values.
We continue to welcome, depending on our availability, new students for this academic year (2020/2021) and have also started our admission period for next year (2021/2022).