The kids aren’t the only ones on a learning curve though.
The combination of Aleisha and Amanda’s award winning experience - Aleisha as an academic and physical education teacher and Amanda’s teaching, writing and research background - meant the pair were well equipped to create and run the classes but they were challenged by the administration aspects of running and growing a business.
“Starting off is okay but once it started growing you don't think about how much admin and business stuff you're going to have to do,” says Aleisha. “We did expand quite quickly so it's non-stop, 24/7. It's always on your mind.”
For every activity offered in the program, evidence-based research is used to inform the design and implementation of each learning experience. “The children are not thinking they're learning but via stealth we're embedding learning opportunities in every single activity we do,” explains Amanda.
What started off as six families in a community hall has rapidly grown to a program with 10 staff and hundreds of families. And Amanda and Aleisha are still in touch with the original six families.
“The joy of sharing the journey of people's lives and seeing their families grow and the ups and downs they go through, that's a really amazing part of the journey for us,” says Amanda. “This place has an inclusive feel - we actually do care about the people that come here it's not about just the money or anything like that. It's about the people.”
Aleisha says the quality of the program is a great source of pride.
“It's really hard on us both mentally and physically [but] if we just put the basics in, I don't think we'd be happy with ourselves knowing we haven't done the best that we can do,” she says.
“We're so proud of what we've created and we have so many fantastic families that come through here. Just to see the smile on the kid's faces says it all.”