The meanings of Zia are as varied as its origins and is the source of all that we do in our playschool.


The ancient zia

The arabic meaning of Zia as 'splendor, light, glow' call upon us to imagine a time when families, tribes, and city-states kept a fire lit to stay warm, transform the food of the earth into edible meals as well as serve as a place of gathering, storytelling, and healing. There is a continuous light that also exists in us. This sparkle is one of curiosity and joy and it is easy to spot in the young child. Through observation a parent can gain insight into whether a caretaking arrangement is inspiring to a child or whether it only succeeds in dampening the natural inquisitiveness present. At Zia Playschool we strive to keep the inner light engaged and to be a comfort when developmental milestones and the obstacles of life seem overwhelming for a child and obscure his/her light momentarily.


zia tribes & the power of four

Zia is not only a tribe in Papua, New Guinea which is divided into four clans but also an indigenous tribe in the state of New Mexico.  The New Mexican Zia are known for their skilled pottery designs and use of the sun symbol. They regard the Sun and the number four as sacred. Their symbol, a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions embody the four cardinal directions, the four periods of each day, the four seasons of the year, and the four stages of life. Monica Snavely, the founder of Zia Playschool began her career teaching early childhood in Albuquerque, NM where the Zia symbol on the state flag served as a reminder of the powerful yet subtle effects of these rhythms present in our lives. In homage she created her own circle of life to act as a compass to balanced living and teaching. The new symbol curves playfully and includes eight dots representative of the infinity of movement.


the italian zia

From Late Latin thia, from Ancient Greek θεία (theía). Zia in Italian means 'aunt'. In this manner we hope that Zia Playschool will become an extension of your family and that traveling to our daycare will be as if you are taking your child to see one of his/her favorite aunts or a beloved family member.