Getting to know you: Enya's Childcare
Monday, July 19, 2021
This month EYE'S editor interviews Enya Mooney, the co-founder and director of education at Enya's Childcare, a Reggio-inspired setting offering Forest School provision and working hard on sustainability and eco-friendly practice.
Angelica Celinska, EYE editor
For this month's issue I was honoured to visit Enya's Childcare and spend the morning in their wonderful woodlands during Forest School. The setting focuses its efforts on eco-friendly practice and, deservingly, Enya's Childcare was the winner of the Nursery World Eco-Friendly Early Years Award in 2020. Take a look at Enya's story.
Tell us about your background
From a very young age, I knew I wanted to work with children. Just a child myself, my role model was my early years teacher. I would go home from school and pretend to teach my teddies, take registers, give out stickers and always enjoyed helping others. As a teenager, I did a lot of work experience and volunteering in different settings and schools, so when it came to choosing an area for higher education, it came as an easy decision to study a degree in early years.
What led you to setting up Enya's Childcare?
I lived in Dubai for almost three years and worked as an early years teacher in a setting called Kidville. It was here that I really found my niche as an educator and my confidence flourished. It was also in this setting that I was introduced to the Reggio Emilia approach and a whole host of new perspectives as my class was made up of children from nine different countries – none of which were English. I immersed myself in the varied cultures and it was this invaluable experience that really secured my passion for early years. It was only when I began to miss home that I decided to return to the UK with my partner of 12 years. Arron and I put everything into researching and building a business plan together to create our own setting and after just 6 months of being home, we opened the doors of Enya's Childcare.
What values underpin your setting?
Arron and I are so proud to provide a unique setting, inspired by revolutionary and child-centred approaches like Reggio Emilia and Forest School, combined with our own pedagogy. At the core of our ethos is the desire to help the whole child grow in confidence, as they are encouraged to discover and experience the world around them while respecting nature and all it has to offer. Sustainability and eco-friendly practice is an integral part of our practice and instrumental in all that we do at Enya's. I have recently become a member of the ECEC Sustainability Forum, and our goal is to promote life-long learning and empowering children, families, professional educators and administrators, in making more informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society, in the interests of present and for future generations to come.
What are your plans for the future?
We are currently expanding our service to offer care for birth to two-year-olds and can't wait to see what this new chapter will bring.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Being mummy to Forest Aria is my life's joy. I adore giving her new and inspiring experiences, being creative and making special memories with her. I have just started attending yoga classes and take time for meditation and mindfulness, this is also something I have included in Forest's daily rhythm.