In May 2012 my husband and I moved from Sydney, Australia, to Tidenham on the boarder of Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire. Andrew had grown up in the area however for me it was all new.
- Love for the area - Quickly I fell in love with the area; the activities for the children in the Forest of Dean, the access to the outdoors and the warm and inviting community. On the door step I found Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Newport and Cardiff - a stone's throw for shopping and entertainment. And, in two hours by car, train or coach I could be in London. To some of you this might not be as exciting as I found it, however bear in mind I had just come from a country which requires a 26 flight home and 2 hour flights between its largest cities.
- Love of Montessori - With family relocated and our furniture cleared through customs, I started to look for childcare for my son. Whilst we had been in Sydney, Ted had attended Forrestville Montessori School. As a parent and a Psychologist I did quite a bit of research into the options available to me and as I read more about the Montessori approach to education I decided that this was what I would like for my own children. Forrestville Montessori School was a wonderful, calm and child sized environment filled with beautiful materials to support age appropriate learning. It only took my husband and I one visit to see and understand, how the learning under this philosophy promoted positive behavioural development as well as intellectual stimulation and growth.
- The Joke - So you can image my disappointment to find that no Montessori facility existed in the area local to Chepstow. What I did find were a number of busy Mum's that could not find good childcare in the local area and two excellent Montessori settings in Bristol, Stoke Bishop Montessori School and The Clifton Children's House. However this was just too far to travel. As the missing link to my contentment lingered, a joke on a car trip "why don't we just set one up ourselves" turned into the opening of a Montessori setting in March 2014 designed to combine the benefits of a nursery with the intimacy of a childminder setting.
- The Journey - In between I had my second child, Elizabeth, qualified as a child carer and undertook my Montessori Teaching Diploma. We have now converted a house on our property into a specific facility for looking after children, hired two full time child carers and this summer we will be introducing a full suite of baby, toddler and young children furniture and teaching materials. We continue to challenge ourselves in how we can improve and add new services. Watch this space!
- And the Gratitude - It is has been an exciting time creating this setting. Without all our early adopters and supporters this would not have been possible. So thank you for your trust and confidence in us delivering our vision. And also for your kind words and introductions to new parents and their children, which enables us to continue to grow and develop.
Dr. Maria Montessori was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize three times. She had one son, called Mario.