Join Jacqui Grant for A Place for Play, RIE inspired parent & baby classes suitable for children ages 0 to 2 years.
A qualified Early Childhood teacher, Jacqui has launched RIE inspired parent and baby classes. RIE stands for resources for infant educarers and was founded in Los Angeles, California by Hungarian infant specialist Magda Gerber in 1973.
Magda focused on the excellent care of babies through teaching parents how to demonstrate respect for their child and how to provide a safe space for babies to develop in an authentic way. Magda advocates for “do less; observe more; enjoy most”.
Jacqui is an early childhood teacher with many years of experience. She was drawn to the teachings of Magda Gerber as it was similar to her beliefs about childhood development. Inspired by the Gerber philosophy, she had been wanting to travel to America to complete in-person training for a number of years but hadn’t managed to do so. However, a silver lining of the pandemic meant that online training became available allowing Jacqui to study remotely.
Jacqui explains the philosophy that underpins A Place for Play baby and parent classes. “It’s about respectful parenting, slow parenting and guiding parents not to feel like that they have to rush through the baby milestones but enjoy each stage as it comes.”
The principles of RIE are:
- Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer, and a self-learner.
- An environment for the child that is physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing.
- Time for uninterrupted play.
- Freedom to explore and interact with other infants.
- Involvement of the child in caregiving activities to allow the child to become an active participant rather than a passive recipient.
- Sensitive observation of the child in order to understand their needs.
- Consistency and clearly defined limits and expectations to develop discipline.
Parent and baby classes are held weekly at Jacqui’s home studio in Dudley. It’s a warm inviting space and safe for babies to navigate. The studio is set up with a free-flowing indoor and outdoor space for your baby to explore the environment and socialise with other babies.
Small class sizes allow for a personalised approach for both the parent and their baby – classes are capped at 6 families. Classes run for one term with a one and a half-hour weekly class. There are classes for both non-mobile and mobile babies.
Active exploration and freedom of movement are encouraged. Resources at A Place for Play are open-ended to provide your baby with opportunities to explore in a creative way.
Instead of the traditional baby toys, Jacqui instead uses items like baskets, bowls and rings. These resources are open-ended meaning that they can be used in multiple ways by babies.
The weekly curriculum is your baby; rather than a pre-planned approach. The focus each week will be on a parent’s needs and the stage of development where your baby currently is.
A key component of the class is observation. Parents are encouraged to sit down on the ground and watch their baby play. Participants will learn to engage in a period of sensitive observation for about 20 minutes, where babies are allowed uninterrupted time to play. This is followed by a conversation about the learning that we have observed.
Jacqui explains why it’s important for parents and caregivers to watch babies play.
“Part of what we do in the classes is observing the children while they play and then talk what that means in terms of their play and what developmental stage that is, and what parents can do at home to support that stage of development. It’s socialisation for babies and parents but also education as well.”
As Jacqui is a qualified Early Childhood teacher and trained in RIE foundations, she will guide you to understand your baby’s needs and development and offer support in your parenting role.
While your baby plays under supervision, you’ll have the opportunity to speak to Jacqui and discuss your week, any concerns you may have and any new development for your baby.
All classes will teach the practical application of the 7 RIE principles:
The RIE philosophy is based on respect and respectful love
- Respect for confidence and competence
- Respect for authenticity
- Respect for moods and feelings
- Respect for stage-appropriate competence in all areas of development
- Respect for self-expression and communication
- Respect for individual style and tempo
- Respect for age-appropriate choices
- Respect for uniqueness in perceiving and interacting with the world
- Respect for yourself, the parent
Classes run for 10-week terms and cost $250 a term. First class free to experience a RIE class.
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