The four walls of an early childhood classroom tell many stories. One is the history of the building — in our case, a hundred year old Quaker Meeting House in Chester County, PA that has been shared by three organizations: Westtown Monthly Meeting, Westtown School, and Oak Lane Day Care. Another is the story of the children in that class — infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are at different places in their development and their environment should reflect where they are at that point in time. Teachers have a story, too — their creativity, organization, and preference for clean lines vs. layers of materials place a personal stamp on the intentional spaces they create for the children in their care.
While typically Oak Lane is a welcoming school that values hospitality, during the pandemic we have had to place health and safety first. We have refrained from sharing our spaces and welcoming into our classrooms parents of our students as well as visitors. Several families have enrolled at Oak Lane this year not having ever set foot in the building, a fact that still amazes me. For them, and for families who are looking for childcare, we offer this video tour to complement the individual video calls we have been scheduling for new families and the daily peek in the windows for our current families.
The spaces captured by the camera today will evolve and change as soon as teachers and children inhabit the space after the weekend. Blocks will be formed into castles, babies will empty an entire shelf of books on the floor, personal belongings will crowd the cubbies, and teaching materials as well as lunch bags will clutter the counters. Daycares are messy places, no doubt about it, and like our own homes, there is never enough storage space.
What you see through the camera’s eye is simply the space we occupy. You can get a sense of the floor plan and of how we have organized our rooms for infant, toddler, and preschool programs. Pictures throughout the website and on our Facebook page tell even more of the story of our school — the important part — how we use the spaces we occupy. And, when your child comes home from her first day of school* saying “That is the best school ever! Thank you for sending me to that school Mommy!” you’ll know that the best part of Oak Lane is how our kiddos feel inside — both inside the building and inside their hearts. For, after all, our building is only worth all the love it holds inside.
Kath Houlahan, Director
Feb. 13, 2021
*Quote from a thank-you note written by the parent of a four-year-old who enrolled at Oak Lane after we re-opened in August, 2020.
Please click here to take a virtual tour of Oak Lane. Click on the circles to move from space to space and use your mouse or touchscreen to scan the room.
Courtesy of Cynthia Farnese Photography.**
**Cynthia’s daughter attends Oak Lane and we are very grateful for her time, talent, and trust in caring for her little one.