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                     When we first met Cynthia Vo, almost two years ago, we instinctively knew that our daughters would be in good hands. We did not realize that they would be joining an extended family or that we would be gaining such a strong sense of community. Cynthia and her preschool carefully cultivate both. Our girls have learned so much from their older and younger classmates. They’ve built their first friendships, and their school feels like another home. We’re excited to see how these kinds of relationships develop as Cynthia expands her home-based preschool into a registered Montessori daycare programme. We hope that the girls will meet more new friends, including residents of the Yee Hong Centre. Over the past many months, we have seen how much care, work, and soul has been invested in opening the doors of Early Blooms. We feel unspeakably lucky that our daughters will be growing along with Cynthia and her school. As they approach their third birthday, it’s amazing to watch our daughters master conceptual skills, like recognizing numbers and sounding out letters. They’re so proud when they grasp something new! They have also been gaining habits and confidence with the really hard stuff: how to communicate, how to recognize and manage their emotions, how to be perceptive of other people, and how to care for their indoor and outdoor environments. These skills take so much practice to develop. From the start, Cynthia has always engaged the girls with patience, intelligence, humour, and respect. As parents, we’ve learned a lot from Cynthia too, and we find ourselves building many of her practices into our home. The other day, we watched her not only defuse a sibling conflict but use the opportunity to teach one of our daughters a more peaceful strategy for getting what she wanted. “Watch,” she said, taking one girl by the hand. “Your sister will be over here in five seconds if you try this.” She was right, and we all went home feeling a little wiser.