Thank you for taking the time to get to know the story behind Green Beginnings.
I was surrounded by children for as long as I can remember. My mother was a family day care provider for 18 years, and from the age of about 9 years old and right up until I left for university, our family shared our home with other families. I woke in the morning to the sound of children talking and came home from school to a little one sleeping in my room. It was the norm for me, and when I continued on my professional journey it was only natural that some of us (my sister is a PE teacher) continued on with this relationship with children.
I went on to become an Early Childhood Teacher and formed a very strong vision about what early childhood should look like, not just for children, but for the adults too who spent their days with these little people, together. I have always been passionate about play space design and aesthetics, and in particular to how the environment we create influences how the people within it feel, interact and play. I had dreams of creating my own play space for children very early into my career and would save vision boards on my laptop of what my child centre would look like. When our own children came along it was easy to convince my husband Andrew that the world needed a place like Green Beginnings.
We lived on acreage at the time with cows and sheep and chickens, and had veggie patches and fruit trees. Our children were harvesting fruit and veg, bailing hay, collecting eggs and keeping fox's out of the chicken pen. They were muddy outdoors every day.
We saw just how powerful the role of the natural world was in children's lives (not just for the connection with nature but the connection it fostered with each other), and wanted to replicate something like this in the design of the centres we planned to create for children . Having three boys of our own back then (little Archie has since made it four) and being parents ourselves, we thought we had a pretty good idea of what it was children in our community were longing for, and more importantly, what they had a right to experience.
We had a vision for creating something different to the way early childhood education was being portrayed in our community at that time. We wanted to challenge the institutionalised norm that was being sold to families as the best place for children to grow. We knew there were like minded families out there, and were excited to start the next part of our journey
...and that my friends was when Green Beginnings was born.
Since opening our first service in 2011 we have since had the pleasure of sharing our days with more than 1000 families. We look forward to sharing in this joy for many more years to come, and hope to meet you soon,
Narelle and Andrew Whatham