Footprints: Stepping Stone for a Better Future

 Amita Bhardwaj, Vice President and Curriculum Head

Amita Bhardwaj

Vice President and Curriculum Head

With beautiful toys, safe play areas and colorful patterns on walls and floors to suit the young, bouncy and eager kids, most of the preschools in India may look alike. However, at the core, where the actual learning takes place, they bring different philosophies. Developed by Dr. David Weikart, a Michigan educator, in the mid of 1960s, High Scope is one such approach used by thousands of preschools all over the US, UK, Europe, China, Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Portugal and rest of the world.

Established in 2012 by IIT,IIM alumni, Footprints is the only preschool who is following the High ScopeCurriculum in India. Currently operating in five cities - Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. Footprints offers opportunities for children to explore and learn through carefully designed method of High Scope Curriculum called "active participatory learning" to achieve overall growth and development.The High Scope approach to learning supports children at their current developmental level while helping them build upon their abilities. The active learning that is promoted
means that students directly engage with objects and ideas through hands-on experiences.

Footprints has 24 centers out of which 20 are functional with over 900 active children

"A child absorbs from the environment they live in, thereby the learning happens through the environment we give them,"says Amita Bhardwaj, Vice President and Curriculum Director, Footprints. The preschool offers programs for children according to different age groups;Toddlers program for 9-18 months, Playgroup program for 19-30 months, Pre-nursery for 31-42 months and Nursery program for 42 months on wards."Through listening and observing, they learn the most and we provide the best ways they could learn.While, there are different requirements by children in different age groups, every child is provided with a particular pace of learning and tons of activities for all ages," adds Amita. Footprints programs are engineered to help the kids to explore and celebrate their learning abilities.

Amita opines, "The process of learning, its intensity and accuracy are the most important factors to be taken care of."An active learning occurs when the process of learning is measured on their activities supplemented by materials and are being undertaken by Footprints according to well-designed planner. Intended to create more learning options, the preschool updates parents about the planner so that parent can take efforts on the same
topics at home."We intend to teach life values such as confidence, courage, communication, trust,initiate, choice etc. A teacher gives encouragement to a child so that a child makes a choice; the reason being, they start making and expressing their choices, which enhances the learning process," explains Amita.

The preschool takes pride on being able to provide services, which are unique in comparison to their counterparts. Through CCTV cameras, mobile updates about latest activity of meals and sleep of kids, Footprints allows parents to monitor their child whenever they want.However,Footprints is highly focused on earning the trust of young parents, who are looking for a parenting partner for their child. Footprints also offers franchise of their centers to women entrepreneurs, believing the potential of women to nurture children along with business. At present, Footprints has 24centers out of which 20 are functional with over 900 active children. Every centre has 100-120 children with a teacher-children ratio of 1:8 in an average among the courses. With over 180 staffs including teachers and caretakers, Footprints have various departments working in their premises such as IT, Administration, Curriculum team and HR.

Footprints looks forward to operate across the country without compromising on the quality as their goal for near future. "We have 2500+ happy parents with us as of now reminding our successful pursuit so far and by 2020, we want Footprints to be an IPO company expanding across the country," concludes Amita.