The Agnes Scott Connection
For years, students, faculty, and staff at Agnes Scott College dreamed of an environment where children could receive attentive, research-driven care close to campus in the City of Decatur. In 2016, a bunch of academics formed a committee and conceptualized Grand Magnolia: a small, close-knit learning community for little ones that could be cutting edge and timeless simultaneously. One of the core missions of Grand Magnolia is to provide accessible childcare in line with the mission and vision of Agnes Scott to serve the wider community that Agnes Scott calls home.
Mission + Philosophy
Grand Magnolia is a cozy, learning home for children. We believe in play. We believe in enrichment. And we definitely believe in adventure. We envisioned a place where children could socialize with other little people while also benefiting from one-on-one attention from caregivers. Our children work closely in low, typically 3:1 staff to child ratio environments to explore the amazing world around themselves.
Every day is an adventure. Grand Magnolia is a home-based, learning environment that attends to children in a holistic and tailored way. Grand Magnolia uses a research-informed approach to foster each child’s natural curiosity, drive towards social engagement, and love of discovery. Through developmentally-attuned methods rich with creative activities, each child is attended to in a nurturing and inclusive environment. Grand Magnolia strives everyday to support the growth of young people who are caring and curious.
Goals + Target Outcomes
The learning environment expands the Georgia Early Learning Standards to attend to how the whole child plays, moves, thinks, and creates. Each day, every child will have a flexible, student-led schedule that incorporates 1) a small adventure to a local, enriching environment, 2) a rotating enrichment activity (e.g., Spanish, music, art, science, gardening, yoga), 3) developmentally-appropriate play-based learning, 4) well-rounded meals and snacks made on premise, and 5) outdoor play. Activities will follow a theme and respond to the children’s interests and natural curiosities.
The program’s learning environment balances cultivating cognitive development and skill acquisition, effective formation of positive personal attitudes, and the ability to be responsible in action. Emphasis will be placed on:
THINKING: Individual intellectual development and school-readiness in a play-based, developmentally appropriate way that eschews rote for more active, vivid forms of learning.
FEELING: Social and emotional development with a focus on fostering self-awareness, emotional regulation, and empathy.
DOING: Independence in action manifested through play in nature and field trip-based physical experiences.
CONNECTING: Child-led theme generation that builds upon sparks of interest and curiosity and present materials in various modalities to promote children’s ability to understand our multi-faceted, incredibly diverse world and function effectively within it.