Our Centre offers a program that is consistent with the Ministry’s Policy Statement on programming, pedagogy, and curriculum. The ministry documents we reference in our program include the following:
- Early Learning For Every Child Today (E.L.E.C.T)
- How Does Learning Happen! Ontario`s Pedagogy For Early Years
- Think Feel Act: Lessons From Research About Young Children
We believe that the early years of a child’s development set the foundation for life-long learning in all developmental areas. The premise of our framework believes that children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. Our centre provides a program in which children have the opportunity to make choices, learn and practice skills and express themselves.
We promote health, safety, nutrition and well-being of the children by ensuring that the guidelines set out by Toronto Public Health, Canada Health and Food Guide and the Centre’s Nutritionist are followed. We provide daily opportunities for children to be physically active and to explore with their body, mind and senses. We incorporate opportunities for the children to build and practise self-help skills. We also provide healthy meals and snacks.
Our centre supports positive and responsive interactions with, and among the children, parents, child care providers and staff by modeling appropriate interactions and reactions and encouraging on-going communication. We believe in building partnerships with the families in our centre in order to give the best care to the children. We always welcome families’ views in the centre as they are viewed as experts of their children.
We provide opportunities in which the children can interact and communicate in positive ways and we model appropriate interactions with children, families and staff. The children are presented with positive options and solutions and are given the personal space needed to reflect in order to build their ability to self-regulate.
We foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry by providing enticing materials that sparks their natural curiosity, by asking open ended questions and by giving them the time needed to explore their environment. We believe in and promote both child-initiated and adult-supported experiences and we facilitate this by following the lead of the children, providing meaningful opportunities and materials the children are interested in. Our staff follows children’s interest, records the observations and use them in planning activities for the group or an individual child. Children are free to explore through activities, including adult lead experiences, to further enhance their interests and by using all moments as teachable moments.
Our staff strives to provide a positive learning environment and to create experiences that support each child’s learning and development. Our program provides a wide range of topics including science, language, music, drama, arts/crafts, building, and physical play and is based on observing the children’s interests, needs and strengths. We develop a weekly program with learning opportunities for both group and individual needs. Our Centre is committed to providing a well-rounded, play-based program that meets the ever growing and changing needs of a child’s development and where all children are encouraged to engage in meaningful play and express themselves freely in any form.
Our spacious, well equipped playground provides great opportunities for outdoor active play as well as quiet reflection, and opportunities to be a part of our ever changing flower displays. Our indoor space provides an environment for language, science, music, drama, arts and crafts, as well as many spontaneous activities.
We accommodate children’s rest and quiet time by providing age appropriate cribs and cots, enhancing the sleep and rest experience by providing soft music and dimmed lighting. While addressing and supporting the needs of the group, our staff continuously interacts with individual children facilitating their needs and requirements.
We strive to foster outreach, engagement, and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children’s learning experiences. We believe families know their children best and that sharing information is essential to the success of the child. Our goal is to insure that the families we provide care to have support and have reliable, safe, high quality licensed child care for their children. Respect, trust, empathy and integrity are essential values in all our interactions with families. Families are invited to participate in our program, share their ideas and input on their children’s interests. They are invited to contribute to our monthly staff meetings and have the option of receiving the weekly program by email or by photocopy. The staff can arrange times to meet with families to discuss strategies, child development and concerns. Parenting literature, safety and health related resources, and the curriculum are available throughout the centre for parent use.
We are committed to involving local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff. We support our community by providing learning opportunities and practical work experiences to volunteers and students on placement. We invite a variety of community workers such as police officers, fire fighters and community workers to our centre to enhance the children’s learning. We have built an ongoing relationship with the resource staff and use the service for consultation and support. Our preschool students visit local libraries and the story reading librarian enhances our infant and toddler program at least once a year. We believe the community is a vital learning tool and it provides real life experiences for the children.
Our committed and well trained staff uses their knowledge, experience, diverse background and heritage to enhance the learning experiences of the children in their classrooms. We believe that learning never ends and therefore we seek out and offer opportunities for on-going training to staff including workshops, seminars, mentoring or other forms of professional development. These professional development programs, minimum 2 per year, can be chosen by or for staff and should be relevant to the area in which the staff needs professional growth. These programs empower staff to contribute and progress their classrooms.
Our centre recognizes that pedagogical documentation is a way for our program staff to learn about how children think and learn. The observations staff document are used to further the children’s learning as well as to reflect and monitor appropriate development as the children grow. The documentation is also used to keep an open and ongoing dialogue with families about their children’s experiences and development.