Thamarai funds a safe environment, in 2 classrooms and outdoor areas, for 36 preschool children (2 - 3 years) to thrive. The playgroup offers a 5 day, 9 am - 3 pm, activity-based learning program and is under the management of Udavi School.
All these children are assured a place for further education in Udavi - an Auroville outreach school. Play is essential for children of this age. We have a program of activity and play-based learning and also have special emphasis on fine and gross motor skills development. The outdoor and indoor programs support children with early childhood development and give parents, especially mothers, more independence and free time.
A Strong Foundation
Independence is encouraged in every activity especially concerning self-care such as dressing and toileting however support is always available as needed. In principle, we encourage the child to do what they can for themselves. In addition, nutritional snacks and juice enriched with spirulina are offered and teachers maintain a register for each child of height, weight, and hygiene. We expect this early childhood program will prepare the children to enter the more challenging environment of pre kindergarten in the following year with some basic language development and skills that give them a foundation for the increased demands of school as well as beginning to establish friends.
Families frequently report that the children look forward to going to "school" and meet their friends and play with materials that are not typically available in the home. Many, report a significant improvement in the use of language at home and enthusiasm to use new words, for the families, such a facility also provides a respite from child care and in most cases, frees up one or both parents to work outside the home contributing a much needed additional income to the household.
The playgroup is managed by Malliga, 3 teachers and an international volunteer and in June 2020 will move into a bright, new building.