Name of Recipient:
Mr. Ivan Ee
Montessori is an educational approach, which emphasizes on self-directed activities, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In a Montessori classroom, children are given the opportunity to explore and learn at their own pace. They work in groups, teaching and learning from each other, while participating in age-appropriate activities under teachers’ guidance.
Whizland Montessori Pte Ltd is a childcare and educational centre for children aged 18 months to 6 years old. They strike a unique balance between a fun and structured learning environment for preschoolers. Borne out of his love for children, Ivan made the switch from his sales job to pursue the childcare industry as a long-term career plan. He specifically chose to work with preschoolers as he felt that these were formative years for them to grow into leaders of tomorrow.
Like many entrepreneurs, Ivan faced problems with finances and cash flow when he first went into business. To make matters worse, Whizland Montessori also encountered a lack of teachers, as many local educators were not keen in their line. In order to overcome these challenges, Ivan had to take measures to ensure the centre held on to their current crop of teachers. Additionally, he cut costs and budgeted where he could as well as doubled up marketing efforts to attract more parents.
Today, Whizland Montessori boasts an extensive integrated program executed by their young and dedicated teachers. Building upon the Montessori principles of allowing children to have the free space they need to discover the world in order to develop a sound emotional disposition; Ivan keeps up with the latest knowledge on Singapore’s education industry ensuring that his centre is able to adapt the best of both worlds.
The Montessori method at first glance is seemingly at odds with the rigorous examination-based education in Singapore. However, Ivan explains that the hands-on design and freedom when learning is a holistic approach, which builds critical thinking skills and promotes independence. As a result, preschoolers who undergo the program benefit from a well-rounded development, which allows them to adapt better when they enter Primary School. Whizland Montessori further differentiates themselves from competitors by offering full day programmes, enabling children to learn the importance of managing their time; knowing when to have fun, when to sit down and listen.
Despite having set up two profitable centres within a short amount of time, Ivan is looking at both local and overseas expansion for his business in the next 5 years. Motivated by the thought of helping less fortunate children, he has identified Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia as potential targets. Ivan is also looking to augment the learning pedagogy at Whizland Montessori; seeking ways to improve a preschooler’s language and literacy skills while simultaneously honing their motor skills and development.
For Ivan, the allure of entrepreneurship is having freedom and doing something that you are passionate about. As someone who made a career switch, Ivan is able to relate to the daunting prospect of leaving a stable job to pursue a passion. However, he has no regrets and goes on to explain that the rewards for taking such a leap of faith have been well worth it. In his spare time, Ivan finds way to give back to the community and grow as an individual. For instance, he has been able to take this newfound freedom and channel his time and efforts into other humanitarian pursuits; such as going on a missionary trip to teach the poor in Thailand life skills.
According to Ivan, the key quality one needs to succeed in business is a good mindset. He explains that to find this mindset as an individual, one needs to start by knowing what you want in life and figuring out why you want it. He goes on to elaborate “Once you know the why, you will know the how” encouraging future entrepreneurs to do some soul searching; to ask themselves what are they willing to do for their passion and would they still pursue it even if it means not getting paid.
In the short amount of time they have been established, Whizland Montessori has quickly grown and made remarkable strides in the childcare industry. Under the careful guidance of Ivan, the Whiz brand of childcare centres is poised to continue implementing and updating their quality programs to better the development of all preschoolers in Singapore and beyond.
T| 9061 0123
Whiz Kidz Montessori
Blk 862 Jurong West Street 81
Whiz Land Montessori
Blk 151 jaln Teck Whye