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Little Elly: Defining early childhood education with Concept Preschools

Bangalore-based Little Elly is the flagship brand of Learning Edge India Pvt. Ltd, and is recognized as a developmentally enriching learning space designed to make learning fun for 2 to 5 year olds. Little Elly Preschool was founded and established in 2004-05 with the first preschool started in Bangalore. Mr. Vittal and Mrs. Preeti Bhandary, founders of Little Elly enlighten us about the notion of the Concept Preschool, and also present a rundown of the Little Elly concept preschool in a detailed joint interaction with Mommy & Baby Times (MBT).

November 11, 2019

Mrs. Preeti Bhandary, Co-Founder & Curriculum Director of Little Elly

MBT: Kindly take us through the idea of a ‘Concept Preschool’ and how it is different from conventional preschools while also charting out the story of Little Elly.

Preeti Bhandary: Our approach has been designed completely based on individual child’s development. Little Elly caters to the most formative years of a child’s life. Each and every Little Elly Centre meets the requirements of a child’s Social, emotional, physical and cognitive developmental needs. We strongly believe that children should be allowed to explore around the environment in which they are. That was the idea behind the “Concept Environment” approach. The space is planned in such a way that every concept covered in the early Childhood years at Little Elly takes place in a dedicated area. That is why Little Elly is a Concept Preschool. We had began our journey from a small Preschool in 2004-05, and the preschools have now grown in leaps and bounds to include close to 120+ centers all over India, and overseas footprints in Seattle, USA and Kathmandu, Nepal. Our approach towards preschool is the concept environments that we have planned inside the preschool. There are various concept environments like:

● Early Learning Program (ELP) Room
● The Music and Movement Stage
● The Montessori Space
● The Reading Corner
● The Creative Corner
● Outdoor Play Area

MBT: Please elaborate on the presence of your company globally.

Vittal Bhandary: Today, there are more than 120 Little Elly preschools spread across 15 cities in India and beyond India, we have marked our presence in Seattle, USA and in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Vittal Bhandary, Founder & Managing Director of Little Elly

MBT: Since the idea of a Concept Preschool is fairly recent, how do you plan to enlighten Indian mothers who are unfamiliar with the concept?

PB: When a young parent comes with her child to our centre, we sensitise them with the importance of concept development. In the ELP room: when the child listens to the wide eye story and says something that is grammatically (conceptually) incorrect, we model to them the correct way of saying the sentence. In the Fine motor skill area: We demonstrate using the Montessori materials to the child what to do when giving them an instruction so that they can ‘see’ what the concept within the instruction looks like. In the Focused learning room: We describe to the child what they are doing e.g. when the child is packing up their toys we might say: “Put the toys in the box” or when dressing/undressing we might say: “Put your shoes on/Take your shoes off”).

VB: Moreover, during most of the theme activities, we emphasize on the words we want the child to learn about and repeat the concept in a variety of concept area settings like creative corner / music and movement area so that the child sees the different ways in which a concept can be used.

“We had began our journey from a small Preschool in 2004-05, and the preschools have now grown in leaps and bounds to include close to 120+ centers all over India, and overseas footprints in Seattle, USA and Kathmandu, Nepal.”

MBT: Is there any recent development at Little Elly that you would like to share?

PB: There are a number of developments at the moment that we want to share:

a. We are continuing to embark on our success journey with couple of upcoming Little Elly centers in Coimbatore.

b. Revolutionizing education since 2004, Little Elly has been winning accolades for its Excellency throughout. As we approach the end of this year, Little Elly is currently moving on with its next award “Times Education Excellence award for Franchise Model Preschool.”

c. Little Elly plays a very unique role in environmental protection. We help our students to become environmentally conscious and to take action to keep our environment healthy and sustainable for the future. Recently the students of Little Elly Kasavanahalli, Maruthi Garden and Carmelaram implemented a campaign “SAY NO TO CRACKERS” to be environmentally responsible.

MBT: How do you plan to expand your reach in the country?

VB: We believe in any life venture, your odds of success are higher if you have the zest and drive to achieve your desired goal. To develop a program, service and a brand to improve learning for our future generation is a goal close to my heart and I have been working through all my life and continue to do so. Our franchisees when they set up Little Elly preschools have a predetermined desired outcome to ensure quality education for young children and building a stable future for them. We will continue with our franchisee model by connecting with like-minded people and, ensuring our goals and ability match in unlocking and strengthening the developmental potential of our children.

“Each and every Little Elly Centre meets the requirements of a child’s Social, emotional, physical and cognitive developmental needs.”

MBT: What are your various marketing strategies?

VB: We initiate pre marketing and post marketing campaigns along with out-of-the-box promotions during the festive months. Marketing Calendars are prepared accordingly for BTL and ATL planning and implementation. In fact, 10-15% of the overall revenue goes into marketing and promotions.

MBT: What are the different criteria and means to get associated with Little Elly Preschool Chain?

PB: First and the most important criteria is you need to be passionate about early childhood education. Edupreneurs who have previously or are currently involved with preschool education are more than welcome to be a part of our brand. Having a good track record for franchise business background and having resources for Initial Capital Outlay is also one major stipulation to be associated with Little Elly Chain of Preschools.

MBT: What are your future plans for the business venture and how do you envision the ongoing evolution in the Indian education system?

VB: In the 21st Century, there is an immediate need in restructuring our education models. We need to provide effective and skill-based education to the younger generation, ready to step into the real world. In the fast paced and rapidly transforming world of today, a school is not the only place where one can get education. The millennial generation needs an education that has access to information anytime, anywhere and most importantly learning process design should be personalized.

PB: Also, the existing models in the field of education are more archaic. A traditional classroom or a one size fits all learning is not completely effective in terms of learning, for a very simple fact, that to begin with all the students do not possess an equivalent base knowledge. Also, every student has their individual speed and rate of absorption. The present education system lags far behind from what the employers are expecting. I am fairly confident that the future models of education are going to evolve to incorporate more skill-based learning.

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