A Place to Grow embraces “How does learning happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early year’s document” as a learning resource. Our objective is to support positive interactions among children, parents, educators and the community. We aim to inspire interest within the classroom in which children will use all of their senses to learn.
How Does Learning Happen? is organized around four foundational conditions that are important for children to grow and flourish: Belonging, Well-Being, Engagement, and Expression. These foundations, or ways of being, are a vision for all children’s future potential and a view of what they should experience each and every day. These four foundations apply regardless of age, ability, culture, language, geography, or setting. They are aligned with the Kindergarten program. They are conditions that children naturally seek for themselves.
Belonging refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual’s experiences of being valued, of forming relationships with others and making contributions as part of a group, a community, the natural world.
We encourage all families to visit the centre prior to child’s first day, to help them feel comfortable in the environment and familiar with those who will be around them. We also have an open door policy, and want you to feel welcome to call or drop in anytime. Please feel free to enjoy the learning stories and photos posted of your children, inside and outside the classrooms. We want all children to feel that A Place to Grow is a home away from home and that they can trust and feel safe with us.
Well-being addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation skills.
A Place to Grow will provide a program that nurtures your child’s well-being thus promoting the development of their sense of self. We will give them the tools to develop strong social skills, and become confident in problem solvers.
We work on teaching children the ability to control their behaviours, emotions and thoughts, and how to adapt to different situations. We will use strategies such as, re-directing, active thinking, supportive talking and when necessary time away. A quiet safe area is offered, where the child can re-focus and calm down, with calming toys/activities.
Outdoor physical activity is offered daily, where we provide safe, yet challenging activities that give your child the opportunity to take risks and attain their own physical well-being.
Engagement suggests a state of being involved and focused. When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged. Through this type of play and inquiry, they develop skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and innovating, which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond.
A Place to Grow believes, children who have the opportunity to take charge, will engage in learning. They spend most of their early years engaged in play, as they are learning many valuable things. We will offer small and large group activities where children are encouraged to participate.
Expression or communication (to be heard, as well as to listen) may take many different forms. Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication. Opportunities to explore materials support creativity, problem solving, and mathematical behaviours. Language-rich environments support growing communication skills, which are foundational for literacy.
At A Place to Grow, we will encourage children to express what they want and how they feel, we want them to communicate. Allowing them to express their feelings, emotions and thoughts in a safe environment is beneficial to their development.
Our educators will respond to a child’s language whether or not it is spoken or not and regardless of age or ability. We are able to support children to expand on their knowledge based on what we know about and what they understand.
Childhood is a unique and valuable stage of human development. As Childcare providers, all of our infant, toddler, preschool and school age programs rest on this strong foundation, providing children the opportunity to be supported in a loving, nurturing, safe and creative environment that respects their unique stage of growth and development. We are committed to supporting children’s social, emotional, intellectual and physical development, respecting individual differences and helping children learn to live and play cooperatively. We will do this by having regular inspections of our childcare, we will work with the Health Unit and use the heathy indicator tool to provide maintain and monitor nutrition in our program. We will have daily interactions with parents regarding our program and their children. We will also be sending home annual parent surveys to get input on how parents feel we can better improve our program, and to get new ideas and suggestions on what they would like to see happening in our centres.
The number one goal of A Place to Grow Childcare centre is to provide the highest quality childcare to every single family we serve. As a foundation to our high quality programs we are dedicated to upholding the College of Early Childhood Educator’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practise. As professionals we are committed to life-long learning that builds on our solid education of child development and care. We believe in continuously gaining new understanding of best practices as research emerges and advances are made in related fields of study. As part of our commitment to quality, our staff are encouraged and supported in ongoing professional growth and development by attending a minimum of 4 workshops per year. In an effort to achieve these goals, we will strive to:
- Make children and families our number one priority at all times
- Respect and support families in their task of nurturing children
- Listen and respond to the needs of our children and families
- Treat all employees, children and families fairly, regardless of race, religion or origin
- Keep informed on current matters affecting childcare
We believe that quality childcare is about genuine concern about the quality of everyone’s day. We believe it is about being accepted and respected without reservation.
Whatever special need a child has, he/she is still first of all a child and should whenever possible, be able to attend and be included in an early childhood program. Inclusion is about belonging, being valued and having choices. It is about providing the necessary support so that all children and their families can successfully participate in the programs of their choice.
Our goal is to foster skills that encourage attitudes that promote inclusion as a central component of excellence in early childhood. To accomplish this goal, we strive to expand childcare options for children with disabilities and the families. We believe an inclusive program must consider the unique experience of every child and family. It must also take into account how the program can address the child’s strengths and needs as well as family priorities. In addition, our staff is provided with training, assistance and information that enables them to feel comfortable teaching children with special needs and to be successful in including and interpreting them into our program. At A Place to Grow we also try to keep trained Child and Youth workers on staff. From time to time throughout the year, we may also be involved in training students through high school, university and community College programs. We cultivate a positive and supportive working relationship with community support agencies that provide us with resource information and classroom support to better meet the needs of children, families and educators.
In an inclusive setting we will we will be working with outside agencies as well such as Children First and Children’s Aid and may refer parents to agencies such as Talk to Me. Here at A place to Grow we regard the physical environment too with special importance because of the range of differences among children. Our indoor and outdoor play spaces are arranged so that children with disabilities can be included easily and naturally. All kinds of children can play together and have fun. Having fun together promotes genuine inclusion of all children.
Parents are the most significant adults in children’s lives and the best outcomes for a child are achieved when childcare workers have a good working relationship with parents. We strive to create mutual respect between parents and teachers to achieve a common goal – to provide the best care possible for their child.
We will help to teach children to self-regulate and offer a quiet area to promote self-support
Our primary concern is for the well-being of every child enrolled at the centre. However, we understand that parents will have feelings of anxiety and apprehension. Our goal is to earn the trust of parents as well as children and to establish a level of comfort for both. We instill an atmosphere at the centre in which the parents as well as the child feel welcomed. We encourage every teacher to respond to the parents’ interest and communicate clearly, sensitively and respectfully to them. We will encourage parent involvement whenever possible as well as positive communication and interactions amongst children, parents and staff. Our doors are open to all parents at all times.
Play can be fun, pleasurable and spontaneous activity, expanding children’s imagination and creativity. Our program promotes an interest in learning through play.
We believe play is children’s unique way of experiencing the world and the opportunity to play in a safe, free and expressive way is vital to a child’s healthy physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. It promotes the growth of sensory abilities and physical skills and provides endless opportunities to exercise and expand intellectual and language skills. Play has the ability to be flexible and take many directions, thus offering endless situations for open ended learning, which we believe, is essential for the development of every individual child. We believe that a child uses “play” to develop: independence, resourcefulness, curiosity, creativity, responsibility, self-regulation and most importantly, a sense of self-worth.
Our image of the child as competent, capable, curious, rich in potential and capable of complex thinking, must not just be words, but rather actions that we live out daily within our classrooms, by providing daily learning experiences, such as small groups, large groups, fine motor, gross motor, dancing, free play, open snack, singing, dramatic play and outdoor activity. We will foster children’s experiences by providing opportunities, tools, objects and equipment to expand on their imagination and ideas, and foster independence.
Our approach to working with young children continues to focus on supporting, encouraging and responding to the developmental needs of every child. We seek to improve the quality of childcare experience for ALL children.
As the days unfold, staff will take photos of your children to document what he/she is learning in the classroom. This is posted for you to view and enjoy. Staff as well will post pictures of other fun activities going on within the classroom.