Did you know Bal Swan is recognized as one of the highest quality early childhood learning centers in the country? We are truly blessed to have them right here in Broomfield!
Debbie Kunz, executive director of Bal Swan Children’s Center, elaborates on Bal Swan’s unique, interdisciplinary approach to early childhood learning. Equipped with a staff highly trained in early childhood education, the teachers and therapists are able to apply interdisciplinary methods in order to meet each individual child’s specific needs, or “meet the child where they are, developmentally” as Debbie explains. During Circle Time, a creative way to identify a conducive learning environment for a child is to offer a variety of seating options. There are cubed seats for the kids who crave stability, or wobbly and sliding ones for the kids who thrive on motion. Kids are even encouraged to go barefoot, if the sensation of “being grounded” enhances their learning experience.
Using this strategy, the staff finds a balance between prioritizing the individual child’s needs while easing them into the demands of a social environment. Methods such as these take the focus away from punishing the child for not yet possessing the skill to pay attention, and focus on teaching them to pay attention; thus meeting the child where they are developmentally, and furthermore preparing them for the reality of their school years ahead.
Debbie emphasizes that there should be “respect on either end of the age spectrum,” and young children should not be held to adult expectations for life-learned attributes such as a seasoned attention-span.
Allowing the child to identify their own needs is crucial, Debbie points out, because when a child becomes absorbed in the need to please others, they lose a sense of self and a sense of the unique traits they may offer the world. Of course balance is key, so in addition to helping them develop a sense of their own identity, they also place strong emphasis on accepting and helping others. This is where the “love” aspect of the four pillars of Bal Swan comes into play. They teach this so effectively that as children age out and enter other school systems, other educators can often easily identify Bal Swan kids by the way they treat others.
Bal Swan’s education philosophy and style is well-supported by its environment. One of Bal Swan’s stunning features is the four separate playgrounds totaling more than an acre. Children love to explore the natural world, and Bal Swan encourages that! They will enjoy the grass, trees, and plants, and a prairie for collecting bugs. While Bal Swan has the usual climber and bike style playgrounds, they have made it a point to partner with nature. Bal Swan also has an indoor gym, heated pool, and therapy room.
Debbie said that the four main cornerstones to the “Bal Swan Way” drew her to this specific establishment, which boast inclusion, interdisciplinary teaming, individualized education, and love. “As a social worker, we are always thinking about a child’s hierarchy of needs,” Debbie explains. “And the very base of the pyramid is human connection. So, if we could all live this dream and create a place where children feel valued and good about themselves, there would be no better place than that.”