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Wizz for Kids: teachers with ideas

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“If you start early, no matter what the kids end up doing later, if the base is structured, they’ll be ok wherever they go, whatever they do,” says Andra Ciorba, Manager at Wizz for Kids.

Andra used to work in a private school for ten years and recently became pregnant. During that period of maternity, she started to set up workshops for very young kids and their mothers, relying on her double expertise as a mother and a teacher. “Parents want more workshops. They want to engage in more experimental activities with their kids – that’s the kind of thing they are looking for today: teachers with ideas. We know what we are doing, so it took off.”

Wizz for Kids is an education centre based in Cluj-Napoca, working with children of pre-school age (nursery). Going from strength to strength, they recently opened a second location and have been encouraged by parents to keep going and start a primary school. “So we did it,” says Andra.

The school is based on different principles compared to public schools, following the Waldorf education philosophy, and there is strong demand for its services. “We started small, with just two groups and around 30 kids in total,” she explains. “We wanted to implement something different, using a curriculum that’s more flexible, so we have been aiming for the British Overseas School (BSO) accreditation.” To make this plan a reality, Andra secured an EU-guaranteed loan from BTMic, backed by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. “The accreditation was expensive, as was setting up, buying all the necessary material and equipment, ensuring high quality etc. But we’re taking it one step at a time. We haven’t done much marketing yet, no website or anything like that. Just word of mouth. We will slowly become more public.”

As a manager of a school, Andra is always looking for new ideas in teaching but is at the same time acutely aware of the challenges. “Today, we have so many tools to teach the right way, no matter what the children’s needs are. Technology for example, can be used to help us a lot. But this advantage is also a huge challenge: With so many tools, we need to know when to stop, let the child be, and create space for emotional development. Let them make sense of life, not just school life. I think we have an important role in teaching them to read their feelings and accept who they are from a young age,” she explains.

Location: Cluj-Napoca

Financial Intermediary: BTMic

SME: Wizz for Kids

Sector: education

Number of employees: 17

Job creation: 6

Financing purpose: expansion

EIF financing: Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot; EFSI

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Romania, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/ro

 

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