The school is small (all children in one class) with a real family atmosphere and kids are taught to look out for each other and care for one another. My son was initially very distressed to be separated from his mum but I was very impressed at the time and care the staff gave him to help him through this - Laurena even had a box full of special toys (distractors!) to engage him and he was given a very funky little sand clock to play with at nap time to help him focus and drift off.
Another teaching assistant would sit by him and stroke his head to help him settle in nap time in the early days. We have tried a couple of other kindies on the Gold Coast, which were truly awful, and I haven't found anything quite like Friday's Child. My second child will certainly be attending in a couple of years' time. Highly recommended ..."
Do you want your preschool children educated by a teacher who is also invested in their learning outcomes as the owner/operator of the kindergarten you send them to?
Fridays Child Montessori Preschool was established on the Gold Coast in 1986 and has had the same owner and principle teacher since then - Laurena Rakauskas. This is unique on the Gold Coast where other centres are owned by conglomerates or investor/managers. Also did you know that none of the Montessori centres on the gold Coast are affiliated with each other - each one has their own blend of traditional Montessori and modern teaching methods depending on the knowledge and experience of individual Montessori trained teachers.
Laurenas experience, vision and passion for teaching and developing young minds has successfully helped hundreds of children grow up to become adults who are leaders in their fields. Both of her (now adult) sons were taught at her preschool.
Laurena is one of those rare people who knew from a very early age that she was destined to be a teacher. She started early, as a Sunday School teacher at her local Uniting Church at age 14 , and also as a netball coach. She was also a very keen tennis player at a very high level. Other comunity activities included Rotaract and Guides.
After matriculating at Girton Girls College, Laurena gained her Primary Teaching Diploma (a three year Degree equivalent back in the "old days") at Wattle Park teachers College in Adelaide. After a year of contract work she suffered a horrific motor vehicle accident which left her unconscious for a week, and with ongoing brain injuries which she has had to live with her whole adult life.
She learned to walk and talk again, and during this time of her life met and eventually married her husband, Rick. Unfortunately she had to give up her sports, something she has always had regrets about.
She was whisked away from family and friends to live in Boulder, Western Australia, where she gave birth to her first son Ryan. During this time she gained her Montessori Qualifications at the London School. She was employed by the Family Services department to help aboriginal and underprivileged women learn how to play with their children and conduct educational activities with them. During this time her baby was a novelty at the local aboriginal gathering point. In those days they were still very tribal, and nomadic in their lifestyle, and Ryan was the only white baby they had ever seen.
In 1984 she moved to the Gold Coast, and in 1986 set up the Montessori room and program at Blinky Bills at Currumbin. In late 1986 she converted the back part of her home into a childcare centre and gained a license for Fridays Child - A Montessori Preschool with eight places. She thinks it was the smallest license ever issued in Queensland.
Since then she has built Fridays child up to what it is today through hard work and some sacrifice.
Whilst building her business and teaching young children full time, she brought up a family who she is very proud of and who are a credit to her skills as a teacher and a mother and role model. During this time she also managed to study for post graduate qualifications and gained a second degree (in Early Childhood as required by still evolving Government regulations), whilst putting her children through school and doing all the family things you do like sport and other extracurricular activities. She was very chuffed when her youngest son went to Uzbekistan in 1999 as Australia's representative in the Under 16 Asian chess Championships. He went on to teach chess to juniors...
What sets her apart as a professional is her deep practical knowledge of children gained over many years. She knows how and why they behave the way they do, how they learn and how to teach them so they love learning and the education process.
She is very good at discovering and solving potential challenges in children and has on call a wide variety of specialist early childhood professionals who can support your child to become the best they can be.
Laurena is in the classroom teaching every day - this is where she belongs as a fully hands on early childhood educator who knows and understands busy young minds and moreover how to lead them towards their fullest potential. As well as her formal teaching qualifications which include her three year Diploma of Teaching (Primary), a diploma from the London Montessori School, and a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) she also has first aid training and a number of other workplace and health and safety certificates. Laurena also spends a lot of time keeping up to date with the latest Early Childhood education practices, and substantial numbers of regulations which are designed to maintain or improve learning outcomes for your child.
Laurena can be contacted on (07) 5578 2092 and you may visit Fridays Child Gold Coast Montessori anytime between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday. We are at No 10 Pilbara Place, Worongary QLD 4213.
Our hours of operation are 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and our mixed age group is 2.5 years to 5 years of age. No after school hours care is provided - Fridays Child is for littlies only.
Let your child experience Montessori for themselves
Call Laurena on (07) 55782092 to book a free trial day now.