A look at the inspiration behind the establishment of a new business in Basel.
The Happy Hedgehog is a big success with both kids and parents!
Article by Darka Marie Steinmann
There are many boxes in life; the ones that we put ourselves in, and the ones that others only feel too happy to push us into.
My colleague Anasztazia and I worked in the trenches together for years as preschool educators. We often discussed our thoughts and feelings about early childhood education and the barriers that exist in creating a stress-free environment for children to learn and grow.
“Children need to play; that is the most important part of their educational journey” is a phrase that we uttered many times to parents upon pick-up time. “Yes, structure is important, but if your child is overstressed and never has time for free-play, then they will begin to switch off and not take in any information”.
Both of us grew up in different countries; Canada on my part and Anasztazia is from Hungary. We both moved to Switzerland by way of marriage. We bonded quickly over our shared passion for the early years. Having grown up in different countries we were bright eyed and full of different experiences, ideas and angles to bring to the table. But as with all jobs, you have to play by the rules and the wishes of your employer….
….and we wanted something more.
We talked a lot about what our ideal vision would be for a learning environment where children could learn and grow. For us, early years education is the perfect time to start implementing a sense of boundaries, community and living a healthy lifestyle – all while having fun of course!
The only solution was to quit going around in circles and complaining about what we would do, break out of the box and forge our own path.
We decided to create our own company where we could turn our dreams into reality, implement our own concepts and indulge in our passion for learning.
Opening our own business has been full of learning curves and surprises, but we hope that our endeavor will continue to break more boxes for us and in early years education!