Melissa Peck, Owner and Director of Mama Melli Childcare Center, is first and foremost a mom. She has two beautiful children that she and her husband are raising in South Austin. It is incredibly important to her that she creates an environment for her children, and all children, where they can feel loved, safe, and happy and free to play, be curious, explore and imagine.
At Mama Melli Childcare Center, we foster the children's independence, we help them explore their interests and curiosity, and we allow them to BE. All our caregivers practice conscious caregiving. We are present in each moment, we are very intentional in our play, we let the children lead while we are there to help guide, and we let them be who they are. All the while, we have so much fun!
Here'a an overview of a joy-filled day at Mama Melli Childcare Center:
Our morning begins at 7:00 a.m., but drop off is at any time. We understand that all parents have different schedules and different needs. We start the day with free play, reading, singing, whatever the children need to make the transition from home to Mama Melli's. At 8:30 we have our morning snack, which we provide. It's very important to us that we provide the children with nourishing foods that are free from toxins so we do our best to do just that, and make sure it's delicious so that the children will enjoy them! After snack, the children put their napkins in the laundry and wash their own dishes. When they are finished with that, it's off to play while we get ready to go outside!
Time In and Yoga
When we get outside, we begin our mindfulness practice, which is called Time In. This was created by Heather Feinberg, the creator of the non-profit organization here in Austin, Mindful Kids. We use this designated space to spend time inside our bodies, inside the present moment, introducing mindfulness concepts and ideas as we sing, imagine and create. It is the heart of our practice, yet it's only a piece of it at the same time. Mindfulness is something we practice and teach throughout the day.
Also, once a week, we have a yoga teacher come in to teach the kiddos!
More Outside Fun
After our mindfulness practice, the kiddos just play and BE. We have a great space for this, including a sand box, play house, painting wall and a screened-in front porch with lots of activities.
Often at this time we go on adventures and explore the farm. There is so much to see and experience! We can feed the horses, run with the chickens, climb trees, feed the goats, and run wild and free!
Then we enjoy lunch, at about 11:30, on our beautiful front porch. It's so peaceful to eat outside!
The Fun Continues
After lunch, we prepare for nap and we are usually down by about 12:30. This rest period ends around 2:00, when the kiddos clean up their nap stations and we prepare another snack. After snack, they again wash their dishes and put away their napkins. While we clean and get ready to go outside or prep our afternoon activity, the kiddos can be seen laughing, playing, running around, dancing, singing.
Finishing Up The Day
The day concludes with an afternoon activity or craft or intentional play with the caregivers. We then head outside and enjoy the fresh air while parents arrive to pick up their precious littles ones.