Interview with Centre Manager Fiona Cai
In February 2021, Toongabbie Montessori Academy opened their doors and welcomed new families to their childcare centre at 7 Station Road, Toongabbie.
The 55-place early learning centre, led by Centre Director Fiona Cai, showcases three classrooms and two generous outdoor spaces for children aged six weeks to six years.
Fiona shares her insight and commitment towards early childhood education and the City of Parramatta community.
How did you make your start at Montessori Academy?
I was initially introduced to Montessori education by a friend while studying at university. I was instantly captivated by the Montessori philosophy and how it takes a well-rounded approach to early childhood education.
Not too long after, a room assistant opportunity at North Parramatta Montessori Academy became available and here I am today.
What is your favourite thing about Montessori education?
My favourite thing would have to be the freedom of choice within the Montessori work cycle. It is so exciting to see children come in every morning and actively choose activities that they are interested in.
Not only are Montessori activities intuitive and designed to unlock different learning outcomes, but children’s empowerment to direct their own learning plays a huge role in their self-motivation and confidence.
What is your personal philosophy towards early childhood education?
I believe that children can be as independent and confident as we encourage them to be. Early childhood is such an important time for children to nurture these traits, so I strive to inspire happiness and build confidence in my community through my everyday teaching.