Pre-Schooling Takes a Giant Leap

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KLAY Schools is making balanced growth a culture for its pre-schoolers,” says Priya Krishnan, CEO, Klay Schools, during her  conversation with Mansi Bansal

Please give us a brief about KLAY Schools.
KLAY Schools are a chain of high-end preparatory schools that cater to preschoolers between the age group 1-10 years, provide day  care and after-school services setup by VBHC Education Service (VES).

According to you, what distinguishes KLAY from other pre-schools?
Our focus is on the quality of care providers. We also have early childhood trained teachers who know how to deal with children in  their early childhood days.
We also consult psychologists to frame the curriculum. This team comprises of people who have worked in the US, Singapore, and  Korea, in child psychology and knows what behavioral hassles are and how to deal with them.
We follow a multiple intelligencebased approach. When a child comes to us, we make him go through a regular schooling system. We  use primary learning styles so that the children are able to understand the materials teachers use in the school.
Parents choose our school because we believe that school is a community of parents and they also have a say in how their children are  educated and taken care of.

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What are the different digital solutions used in your school?
We use iPads. There are a lot of applications for kids that make things interesting and easier for children to learn. We have digital  boards also but we do not use digital content. We use these boards for growth and skill development. The children today are technology freaks, so taking them away from these things does not make any sense. KLAY applies the multiple-intelligence teaching approach that encourages individuals and focuses on team-based learning. It also uses teacher- and child-directed activities and ICT  to teach various concepts.

How do you see the market of KLAY and other play schools in the coming years?
Currently, we have more demand than we can cater to. We believe that we should not compromise on the quality and hence the slow  pace. We can open 10 schools in place of one, but we want to get the right kind of people and all the other things too. The market is  very fragmented. Our attempt is to really see how we can create a good structure which can replicate itself across the nation.

What is your primary focus as a school and as a provider of day care facilities?
We are the day care that provides schooling services. We do have kids who come from school. We concentrate on stimulating the child  positively through different activities and structured learning. You cannot be a day-care provider without these things in the system.

What about your expansion plans?
We plan to be in all the major markets where we have our corporate edge like Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad,  etc. The day-care market emerges in the bigger areas. We do not have a franchise model because we do not think that we would be able to maintain the quality aspect of our school then. The capital requirement for expansion is not an issue for us.
We had made four in the first year and we would look to do another eight or nine this year and then we would plan to do 100 in five years’ time.

What training model have you adopted for the teachers? 
We have our training team that goes to train our teachers for six weeks within the centres. Our mode of training is also not only  theoretical; we have quite a lot of innovative activities too. We record what is going on in the classrooms and then we use that for  training our teachers.

How have you planned the day for your day care activities?
Here, the children do three hours of schooling from 9 AM to 12 noon. At 12, they have their lunch, and at 1 pm, they are put to sleep.  They sleep for two hours and from 3 pm onwards, they have outdoor play and other activities like reading and yoga. By 6 pm, they are ready to leave. You will be amazed to know that we don’t find difficulty in handling the children for so long everyday because children  learn by seeing each other.

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