Edith Ziolkiewicz enjoys driving her young charges to school in the daycare bus. On one occasion Edith, owner of Fraser Montessori Daycare, encouraged a little girl to hurry to her classroom after dropping her off. "No," said the girl, "because then I won't get a hug."
Edith is full of anecdotes like this about the children in her care. They hide under tables when parents come to pick them up because they don't want to leave. "My priority," says Edith, "is that children are happy, emotionally fulfilled and academically challenged."
Although she runs the daycare, three infant centres, and Edith's Montessori Preschool along guidelines established by the Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori, Edith emphasizes that the methods she uses are child-centred and designed to encourage social fun and a love of learning.
"I want them to learn to love learning. The children choose their work and they enjoy it," she says. "So much so that they don't even know that they're learning. That stays with them for the rest of their lives."