KLAY Schools conclude India’s first-ever International Summit on Early Years in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: KLAY (Kids Learning And You) Prep Schools and Day Care hosted India’s first-ever International Summit on Early Years (ISEY) in MLR Convention Centre, Bengaluru earlier today. This Summit has served as the single largest platform where KLAY brought together educators and researchers in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and created a community that is ready to take responsibility for the future of ECCE in India, given the importance that it brings to the table with regard to overall development of our future generations.

With “Happy Adults = Happy Children” as the central theme of the summit, this one-of-a-kind summit was attended by 800 participants including early childhood care professionals, managers, head teachers, directors, principals, parents, and students pursuing courses in education, psychology, child development, and human development.

Priya Krishnan, founder & CEO, KLAY said, “This summit was our first step towards highlighting issues around modern early childhood in India where ECCE is still at a nascent stage. The sessions and workshops were designed to deliver to our attendants some global techniques and best practices that can further enhance their ECCE practice. It’s great to see that ISEY 2019 has received an overwhelming response in its first year with industry experts in the field of ECCE sharing their thoughts. We at KLAY, are certain that we will keep the momentum going and make a difference in the quality of ECCE in India by giving it its due importance and weightage in a child’s overall development.”

The conference witnessed globally acclaimed keynote speakers including:

● Dr. Peter Gray, Author and Researcher at Boston College, who delivered the keynote address on ‘Why play is far more valuable for children’s mental growth than academic training’

● Ashish Karamchandani, Managing Director – FSG, who spoke on the ‘Ground Realities of ECCE Professionals’

● Jackie Harland, Director-London Learning Center, who enlightened the audience on ‘Emotions are Contagious – successful strategies for emotional regulation’

● A panel discussion on how we should sustain the cycle of “Happy Adults = Happy Children” moderated by KLAY’s Chief Strategy Officer, Pooja Goyal. Panellists included Preethi Vickram – Founder & Director of Leadership Initiative for Education (LIFE), Ramya Venkataraman – Founder & CEO at Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA), Prachi Windlass – India Education, Shamin Mehrotra – Director at Ummeed and Meghna Yadav – Head of Training at KLAY.

While delivering his keynote, Dr. Peter Gray emphasized the importance of play in children’s lives and said, “We look at play traditionally as a recess, but it is far more than that and is crucial in a child’s overall development. Play raises the level of creativity as it involves some element of imagination. Moreover, academic training should never be an excuse to not let children play as it takes away their opportunity to learn from self-chosen and self-directed play.”

He further added, “Adults should understand that though they think of educating children a certain way, children usually learn by observing their surroundings and explore the world in their own way.”

Commenting on the current scenario of early childhood care and education in the country, Meghna Yadav, Head – Training And Development, KLAY said, “In addition to working on ‘What & How’ of pedagogical functioning, a preschool educator needs to focus on ‘Why’ element of teaching; a teacher needs to know the reason behind singing songs and doing art & craft with young children for instance. This therefore calls for a formal training program of international standards that has been curated by established institutes for teacher training, ECCE techniques and career mapping for teachers across anganwadis and private preschools in India.”

As part of the summit, experts also conducted workshops around topics including the power of mindfulness and play, mindful adults build resilience in children and emotional regulation.