About us

  • No hearth no sense of security

    Feeling safe and secure is one of the themes that stand out at Hestia. This goes for children, parents and staff alike. Our childcare’s name comes from the Greek goddess Hestia. She is the goddess of hearth and family.

    Hestia Early Learning Centre is a day care and afterschool care organisation with locations in Amstelveen (Amstelland Hospital, School of Understanding), Amsterdam Rivierenbuurt, and Amsterdam Noord. Our childcare’s name comes from the Greek goddess Hestia. She is the goddess of hearth and family. The Greek often sacrificed towards Hestia, which helped them to be protected against evil. At the daycare’s start in 2003 the director, Ileen Purperhart, found this name covered just what she wanted Hestia to be: a second home to children, parents and staff.

  • Art, culture & nature Discovery is key

    Art, culture and nature are core items in the Hestia concept. Director Ileen Purperhart made it her personal mission that every child gets to visit the Rijksmuseum before age four.

    At Hestia we practice what we preach. Excursions with art, culture and nature themes are continuously organized. Also, children help with daily activities such as cooking and getting groceries. Life is fun, we play outside and it’s ok to get a bit dirty! 

  • Critical thinkingReggio Emilia

    The pedagogical vision of Reggio Emilia is a central theme at all locations. Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) was a teacher, philosopher and politician and inspired this pedagogical vision.

    Right after the Second World War, parents and professionals in the Italian region ‘Reggio Emilia’ founded child centres. The reconstruction of society would start with the children, by teaching them to think critically for themselves instead of following obediently.

    The Reggio vision sees the child as rich and competent from the day it is born. Children have a hundred different languages they can use. Therefore we approach them as wise creatures, and let them play in order to develop themselves.

  • Pedagogical staff

    Depending on their knowledge and skills, staff members are trained on site. Our starting point on the one hand is finding and maintaining a balance between quality and quantity with our staff, and on the other hand offering enough quality in guidance. We try to balance the number of MBO, HBO and academically trained employees.

    Every location has a self-managing team in which co-workers support, help and learn from each other.
  • Learn and exchange knowledgeCooperation

    To learn and exchange knowledge are key points of Hestia's approach, we like to have a central position in society. We therefore have partnerships on national and international levels.
  • Sharing knowledge

    What is a better place to learn about the Reggio Emilia philosophy than the ‘Scuola Diana’, the cradle of the vision? We visited there several times, as well as Stella Nova in Sweden. Teachers are being exchanged in order to learn about other cultures and methods. Hestia is also a knowledge center: we have had many guests from home and abroad who want to learn more from us. In the past years we had visitors from Turkey, Belgium, France, Norway, Finland, Germany, China, Japan and Russia.

    On site training

    Our teachers are trained on the job to assimilate the Reggio Emilia approach. Hestia is always learning and therefore founded the Hestia Academy. This is an in-house educational plan for staff. Themes are, amongst others, multiple intelligences, baby gestures, the Gordon method and childrens’ yoga. In the context of professional development and quality assurance, we co-operate with Purperhart Training en Advies (PTA). 

    Week of the Young Child

    De Week van het Jonge Kind

    Hestia initiated the Week of the Young Child in The Netherlands.

  • Artists

    At all locations Jillian, our in-house artist, works with the toddler and after school groups. In the past we co-operated with WG Kunst and there have been projects by visual artists such as Linda Okello Ruijzenaars and Adzer van der Molen. Susana Lopez exhibited her beautiful bellies of pregnant women and djembé teacher Ego Emecheta gave a numbe of workshops.


    Since a couple of years, we have been working together with JINC: an organisation that provides activities for youngsters aged 8-16. These can be e.g. short internships (bliksemstage) and  job application training. For a ‘bliksemstage’ primary school pupils from group 7/8 and VMBO-pupils come and have a look at our locations. During a few hours, they get acquainted with child care. Hestia shows them the different types of jobs. We often see participants enjoying themselves! The job application training is given by Hestia staff. Through role play, pupils of VMBO learn how to present themselves in an application interview: how do you shake hands, what type of interview can you expect? Our locations also collaborate with schools such as Maas- en Waal and welfare organisations such as Dynamo.

    • Safety

      Hestia is committed to offer your child that safety.

    • Inspection

      You can find the inspection reports on the pages of our locations.

    • House rules

      General information and house rules can be found on the pages of our locations.