If you're looking for a safe, nurturing place for your young child, consider St Michael Playhouse. The first Waldorf/Steiner inspired Daycare in the country, we offer unhurried, loving care for the whole child – mind, hands and heart.
We are tucked in a quiet street in Makati, near the thriving Rockwell community. Once a week, you may see a dad preparing the morning snack while his son plays, or a mom making toys in our once-a-week Parent-Child Program. On other weekdays, you'll find the smiling face of a Nurturer holding a puppet or doll as she recites a cheerful story to the children, or mindfully watches them as they engage in free play or painting in our Daycare Program. Each day follows a a gentle rhythm, a balance of "breathing in" or quieting activities where the child relates to herself, with "breathing out", or expansion activities where the child relates to others and the world.
How We Started.
Mikael Playgarden was set up in 2007 by a group of visionary professionals and Waldorf parents and mentors who saw the need of having a full-day Daycare for working parents, guided by the gentle principles of Waldorf/Steiner education. Located on the ground floor of the Institute for Steiner’s Ideas in Practice (ISIP) building on the fringes of the growing Rockwell community in Poblacion, it attracted enthusiastic parents looking for alternative care for their child.
Interest was high in the beginning, then seemed to have tapered off after about 3 years when the initial group of children moved on. The timing for such an endeavor just did not seem ripe, and right, at that time. Mikael Playgarden then chose to close operations.
But a few parents refused to give up. Like many Waldorf initiatives throughout the world where parents are the driving force, these parents took on the reins in 2010 to move it forward. The Daycare was re-named St Michael Playhouse (SMP), reincarnated as a separate legal entity, and now entered a different phase of its institutional biography. Systems were set up to streamline operations, and a conscious, concerted effort was made to develop resources and promote its programs to the community.
The momentum then took on a life of its own. In 2011, enrollment was high enough to expand to the second floor of the ISIP building. More Nurturers were hired, and word about this lovely little Daycare on a quiet street in Makati spread.
Today, parents thirst for a better, more conscious way to raise their children. A tipping point of sorts has been reached in the Philippines, and interest in the Waldorf way has spread quickly. Through word-of-mouth and positive experiences, parents come to learn about this Daycare in Makati, and see it as an oasis of early childhood care.
What We Aim For.
St Michael Playhouse implements a wholistic approach in child care paying special attention to the evolving physical, psychological, intellectual, social, moral and spiritual nature of the growing child. The toys and educational materials, the methodology applied by the Nurturers, and the activities and how they are organized within the day, are all based on the different phases of development the children of these ages are in, their evolving consciousness, and how they can be appropriately guided in the gradual unfolding of their individual capacities.
What We Look Like.
SMP is tucked at the corner of a quiet street in what is informally and fondly called the Backwell community (at the back of, well, Rockwell!) It is located in a bluish, three-and-a-half storey building that itself has been re-invented time and again according to its owner’s evolving ideology.
The Daycare rooms themselves are lined with bamboo and wood, creating a homey and inviting space. Toys and objects from the natural world allow a child to fully explore with her senses, and soft colors are used so as not to over-stimulate his mind. There is not a blackboard in sight, no plastic playthings nor electronic gadgets.
A secure outdoor deck on the ground floor has a well-loved sand box, a balance beam, and climbing ropes. Two to three times a week the children are taken to the park inside Bel-Air Village, the adjacent residential subdivision.