14 Jun, 2023
11 : 29
The opening ceremony of the Shanghai Yew Wah Infant and Toddler Discovery Centre (hereinafter referred to as "Discovery Centre") concluded successfully on 12 June.
The newly upgraded Discovery Centre, in Shanghai’s Changning District, has a dedicated team of Chinese and foreign teachers; it offers a child-centred learning space designed to meet the developmental needs of infants and toddlers up to 3 years old. The Discovery Centre also serves as a centre for caregivers to learn interactive strategies so that they can effectively respond to the unique needs of infants and toddlers.
Dr Betty Chan, CEO and School Director of Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network, Dr Xuejun Xu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Business Development Officer, other institutional leaders, Changning District officials including Kai Guo, Director of Hongqiao Sub-district, and Wei Weng, Chairperson of Xianxia Sub-district Women's Federation, attended the opening ceremony.
In her speech at the ceremony, Dr Chan said: “Several years ago, the Changning District Bureau of Education extended an invitation to us, asking YCYW to establish a benchmark of excellence in 0-3 infant education and share our expertise nationwide. We have gathered here today to deliver on our promise.”
“As Yew Chung Yew Wah commemorates its 90th anniversary, we reaffirm our belief that the foundation of children’s education should begin in their early years,” said Dr Chan. She elaborated on Yew Chung Yew Wah’s educational approach, “The Yew Chung 12 Values form the core of our educational philosophy. Our educational philosophy emphasises ‘learning through play’ and recognises space as the ‘third teacher’. The deliberate choice of the name ‘Discovery Centre’ reflects our commitment to cultivating a sense of discovery in young children.”
In the early 1970s, Dr Betty Chan emerged as a trailblazer in the field of early childhood education. She has served as a part-time and guest lecturer at universities in the United States and Hong Kong, and has promoted the concept of "learning through play." In the 1980s this approach was introduced into the Chinese mainland.
The design of the new learning space was jointly created by Yew Chung Yew Wah’s Artist-in-Residence Ms Haruka Ostley and an internationally renowned design agency specializing in educational spaces for infants and toddlers. YCYW’s team of Early Childhood Education experts meticulously guided the professionals to ensure that every detail was considered to create an optimal learning environment.
The design adheres to the “child centred” principle and breaks away from the traditional physical layout of classrooms. The entire space becomes a diverse play and learning community, featuring multiple layers and interactive elements. This thoughtful design meets the specific teaching needs of the "learning through play" philosophy, enabling children to triumph at a crucial turning point of their lives.
Ms Lihong Yu, Head of the Discovery Centre, explained that the commitment is to provide respectful and responsive care while meeting the physical and mental developmental needs of infants and toddlers. The goal is to foster the children's overall and harmonious development in areas such as health, language, social interaction, science, and art. This holistic approach is facilitated through close-to-nature experiences, hands-on activities, and immersive learning.
The Discovery Centre will offer various programmes, including half-day classes and full-day classes, as well as hourly and evening care services, to meet the diverse needs of infants and toddlers up to 3 years old and their families. In addition, as part of its commitment to the community, and to allow more families to have access to professional infant and toddler education services, the Discovery Centre will provide public welfare education services on a regular basis.
The Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the Yew Wah Infant and Toddler Discovery Centre in Shanghai
Dr Betty Chan (4th to the left), CEO and School Director of Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network, Dr Xuejun Xu (5th to the left), Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Business Development Officer, other institutional leaders, Changning District officials including Kai Guo (2nd to the left), Director of Hongqiao Sub-district, and Wei Weng (4th to the right), Chairperson of Xianxia Sub-district Women's Federation, attended the opening ceremony.
Dr Betty Chan, CEO & School Supervisor of Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network delivered an opening speech.
Lihong Yu, Head of the Discovery Centre, introduced the centre's developmental vision