fbpx

Tracey Urquhart

Tracey Urquhart

Principal and Owner Baby Steps Early learning Centre

Baby steps is a dream come true for me!

From the 1st day I entered my Grade 1 class, many years ago there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a teacher.

I was really blessed to have amazing teachers that have had a huge impact in my life.

School was my happy place, my security, my stability and my second home.

I had many role models and amazing teachers that have to be mentioned; Mr. Weiner, Mrs. Shepstone, Mrs. Pappin, Mrs. Zuza, Victor and Derryn Randal, Mrs. Lamont, Mr. Naude and Mrs. Westphal just to mention a few. These are some of the teachers I had at Primrose Primary School and Dawnview High School.

These educators all played a huge role in shaping my thoughts on education and inspired me to make a difference one day.

Childhood is such a precious time where children need to be loved, nurtured, moulded, guided, praised and encouraged to believe in themselves and to reach their dreams.

The task of a teacher is a big responsibility. When I interview teachers for our schools, I look for the type of teacher that is best described in the poem below.  I came across this poem in 1993 during my first year of studies and have kept it in my possession ever since and like to reflect on it from time to time

I am looking for a teacher

(Marilyn Pattison)

I am looking for a teacher who is beautiful inside

Honest with the students giving sense of pride

I am looking for a teacher with a healthy self-esteem

Who clearly states the rules and doesn’t have to scream.

I am looking for a teacher who creatively prepares

But whose first priority is to convey that she cares

I am looking for a teacher who is interested, not aloof

Who treats her students with respect even when they goof

I am looking for a teacher who knows how to laugh and smile

Who enjoys what she’s doing and goes the extra mile

I am looking for a teacher who believes children can learn

Who praises their efforts and talents when they give their best return

I am looking for a teacher who communicates with parents well

Gently and carefully selecting words when there’s a problem to tell

I am looking for a teacher who will fill a child with desire

To love to learn more everyday with curiosity that won’t tire

I am looking for a teacher who encourages children to have a dream

To work at solving problems building their self-esteem

There are teachers out there, the kind I’m looking for

For their student’s future success, they have opened up the door.

Some of my accomplishments include:

  • I have taught at two preschools and both government and private primary schools in the area.
  • Twenty five years of experience teaching foundation phase.
  • I am an ongoing student and currently doing my Masters in School Management.
  • I have had 6 workbooks published and sold by reputable book sellers.

I have always loved teaching. My need and want to open a preschool came after I worked at a private boy’s school in the area. I saw how excited these boys ran into class, so happy to be a big boy in Grade 1. Their joy was so short lived. So many of them were just not ready for Grade 1, and had to go for Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy etc…, thus starting them on a negative mind set.

I was determined to change this as it was heartbreaking for me to see. I needed people to take preschool seriously and to bring professionalism into the preschool setting. I want every child that passes through my care to be more than ready for formal schooling. My children MUST have the edge. I was not sure how I was going to achieve this; it was merely a Dream at that stage, but I was determined to do so.

Seven years ago, my world turned upside down and I was at the lowest point in my life. This is when I realized that I was merely a vessel for God to do his work. He had a plan for my life and I had to trust in him. I have 3 beautiful children that where looking to me for strength and answers, and I was now all they had. This was motivation enough for me to turn my pain into power and use it to fulfill my Dream.

On the 1st of April 2015 Baby Steps on Kings Road Opened, a dream come true for me! Teaching is my true passion, being a businesswoman happened due to circumstances.

Given half a chance you will find me playing with the children, which is my daily fix! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by innocence and unconditional love on a daily basis.

Someone asked me the other day, “So how many schools do you want?”  

This was a difficult question to answer as I never thought of having more than one. Again, a reminder that this is not MY plan.

How many children do I want to give this solid foundation and loving environment to?

As many as possible!

I grew up in Primrose in a very modest home. My Dream as a young girl was never to be wealthy; it was always to be the best teacher I could be and to make children feel happy and safe.

Baby Steps is an environment where each and every child is LOVED first and EDUCATED second. A happy child is a learning child.

Baby Steps on Kings Road filled up very quickly and after 2 years I could not take on any more children. I felt so bad turning parents and children away. Luckily the Riley Road property became available and was ideal for our second school.  Baby Steps on Riley opened in January 2018 and after 2 years it has also reached full capacity.

2020 is going to be a busy year, with Baby Steps 2 Assumption opening in January and our 4th School opening in Linbro Park in April on our 5th Birthday.

It has to be known that these OPPORTUNITIES presented themselves; I did not go looking for them. I strongly believe that things happen for a reason and that we meet people for a reason. Every opportunity God brings my way, I accept with open arms. If He brings me to it, He can bring me through it!

I believe in speaking positively over our children, our husbands, our families, our businesses, our educators and each and every child that walks through our school. We don’t always realise the power of tongue.

Mr. Knight said very casually to me one day, when dropping his daughter at school after I told him we were opening our second school, ‘YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE FIVE”.  It’s all his fault!

Empowering woman is a topic very close to my heart. All our staff members are encouraged to study and we continuously motivate each other to grow. Besides formal studies, we complete a lot of in-service training and evaluations throughout the year.

We have a teacher who started with us as a domestic worker. She is now a Teacher and has built her children a beautiful home. Another Staff member never thought she get a degree and qualifies at the end of 2019.

Looking after my staff is a huge key to the success of Baby Steps. I truly believe that if you take care of your staff and they will take care of your business!

The rapid growth of Baby Steps was not my plan and at times saddens me as it takes me further away from where I want to be, and that is with the children. What makes it worth it, is seeing my staff thrive and more children benefitting from the service at Baby Steps. I feel really blessed and give God all the Honor and the Glory for the journey that he has taken me on.

I am unfortunately very competitive and driven. I will not rest until I know that Baby Steps is without a doubt the best Environment for EVERY child!

Mistakes are made as we learn and grow, but they are only made once. I am constantly on the look out for any changes in education, development and technology; and I keep on top of health and hygiene issues.

Growing, evolving and improving needs to be constant.

One thing you can be assured of at Baby Steps is that your child will be receiving the very best!

To finish off, I have to thank all the amazing people in my life that support me on a daily basis.  I could not have done this without the help of my amazing husband, Selwyn Urquhart.

I am so blessed to have the most incredible ladies in management (Boni Longhurst, Avril Yip, Taryn Koch and Melony Vorster) who work 24/7 to make sure that everything runs smoothly; and Anita Pereira, for looking after the accounts, which is not an easy task!

To all our current and future parents, thank you for entrusting Baby Steps to pave the way for your children to achieve their BIG DREAMS!

1

Baby Steps Kings

082 616 5830

23 Kings Road, Bedfordview

baby_steps@outlook.com

2

Baby Steps Riley

082 616 5830

22 Riley Road, Bedfordview

baby_steps@outlook.com

3

Baby Steps 2 Assumption

082 616 5830

Cnr Pandora & Mullins Roads, Germiston

baby_steps@outlook.com

4

Baby Steps Linbro Park

082 616 5830

43 Reid Avenue, Linbro Park, Sandton

baby_steps@outlook.com

1

Baby Steps Kings

082 616 5830

23 Kings Road, Bedfordview

baby_steps@outlook.com

2

Baby Steps Riley

082 616 5830

22 Riley Road, Bedfordview

baby_steps@outlook.com

3

Baby Steps 2 Assumption

082 616 5830

Cnr Pandora & Mullins Roads, Germiston

baby_steps@outlook.com

4

Baby Steps Linbro Park

082 616 5830

43 Reid Avenue, Linbro Park

baby_steps@outlook.com

Contact us by filling in this form