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I’m not crying, you’re crying! 

When it comes to our kids, we want to make sure they have the absolute best start in life, allowing them to connect, explore and grow. And when we reach that retirement age, we want access to beautiful accommodation and facilities that are comfortable and stimulating. Say hello to a place that offers both of these things…

Located in Modbury, this state-of-the-art building is home to a gorgeous SA Montessori Early Learning Centre and ECH’s stunning Encore Apartments for independent retirement living. This intergenerational village is a place that’s shared between kids and their grandfriends, and it’s not only the first of its kind in SA, but also at the forefront of a global movement.

Echoes Montessori is one of seven centres operated by SA Montessori. Founded by CEO Barbara Langford in 1989, the first centre, called Jescott Montessori, was created so her daughter Jessica could attend. Jessica loved it so much that she became a teacher there, before eventually becoming her mum’s business partner — making Echoes Montessori an intergenerational project in more ways than one.

Montessori education provides an exceptional foundation for a child’s lifelong learning journey. It nurtures a child’s natural curiosity and empowers children to develop independence while also cultivating respect and empathy for others.

Image Credit :: Ahsan Qureshi 

The amazing foundation of Montessori learning is enriched by the presence of the Encore residents. “Day to day, we have our children come into our classroom, but we have the added bonus of interacting with our beautiful grandfriends who join us for our intergenerational learning,” says Jessica Langford, Co-Founder of Echoes Montessori and Managing Director of SA Montessori.

Whether it’s planting and playtime in their shared community garden, building and fixing in the workshop, or story time and baking, the activities enjoyed by the kids and elders are something so special. And this didn’t just happen by chance — it was designed that way.

“The village was built in a partnership between ECH and SA Montessori, and we worked really closely with the amazing Walter Brooke architects to identify exactly what we needed in the preschool space, the apartment space and the shared space to really facilitate that intergenerational living,” Claire Scapinello, CEO of ECH explains.

Ross and Jeanette are two of the residents involved in the program and absolutely love it. Jeanette said while putting a dollop of cream on the scones delivered to her by the kids, “It’s so lovely to mix with the children. Our grandies live interstate, so we’ve made so many friends here both young and old; it’s truly amazing!”

The community garden, workshop and art studio allow the intergenerational learning to flourish, while giving the grandfriends a real sense of purpose. “If you don’t have grandchildren, you miss that opportunity and I think it provides a great environment for them to form one-on-one bonds that they wouldn’t get in the outside community,” says Claire.

The residents can interact with the children as little or as much as they wish and they all bring their own unique skills with them. There are former teachers, engineers, doctors and tradies who pass down their skills, bringing the village to life. And the kids LOVE it! “They read to me and play with me, and sometimes we bake and get our hands messy,” says five-year-old student Emily. This gorgeous place will make anyone’s heart sing, because no matter your age or stage of life, you’re never too old to learn and to grow.

Image Credit :: Ahsan Qureshi 

Echoes Montessori





Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson

Co-Creator and Writer for Adelady, she still gets goosebumps that she’s combined her creative passion with sharing the best of her stunning home state.

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