As the owner and director of Shantivanam Children's Community, the healthy emotional and psychological development of young children has been important to me for many years. Many studies show that a child's first five years set a foundation for the rest of their life. Whether the child is a baby or preschool age, the environment has a tremendous impact on the child, so our efforts are dedicated to creating a place where those first years can be a positive and beneficial experience for each and every child in our care.
Family childcare was chosen to fulfill this purpose because the small, intimate environment seemed to lend itself best to accomplishing this goal. With carefully chosen helpers and a small number of children, we are able to truly get to know each child and give them individualized attention. Being small, we can also focus on creating strong and positive relationships with the families as well as with the children.
The name "Shantivanam" (pronounced shan-tee-vah'-nam), means, "forest of peace" and is symbolic of the key intention of our Children's Community. Our interactions and activities are designed to support an environment of joy, peace, and harmony. We work to create an atmosphere where each child knows they are loved and will be treated fairly and with respect even when their outer behavior may need to be redirected. We strive to give each child a sense of his part in the community. Since the most powerful way to teach a child is by example, we not only encourage positive virtues in the children but we also try to exhibit them ourselves.
We have many activities for the children to participate in, from the babies through the preschool years, but we are also aware of the importance of providing a balance between stimulating activities and quiet times. Likewise, we provide a balance to the competitive society our children are growing up in, by offering non-competitive games and activities with an emphasis on helping one another and experiencing the benefits of group cooperation.
Free parenting classes and workshops are provided for all parents to help create consistency in the methods used to care for the children in the home and the childcare environment. The goal of this consistency is to help the children develop a sense of predictability and security in their world.
Knowing the tremendous impact the early years have on a child, it is our goal to provide a supportive environment where we work together with the parents to make each child's first five years a positive and beneficial experience.