Lambton Rural Child Care Program Statement
Lambton Rural Child Care views all children as competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. Each child can help guide us in their learning. We value and respect children and believe that their theories and ideas are an important source of learning. To enhance these beliefs LRCC has adopted the “How Does Learning Happen?” Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years document as our professional learning resource. Pedagogy is the “understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practice that support the understanding of learning (reference: Early Learning for Every Child Today: a Framework for Ontario Childhood Settings Ministry of Education, Ontario, 2007) pg.90: elect). Learning and development happens within the context of relationships among children, families, educators and their environments. The “How Does Learning Happen?” document is based on the 4 foundations that are necessary for optimal healthy child development and learning. These 4 foundations are: belonging, well-being engagement, and expression. The “How Does Learning Happen?” document helps educators and providers focus on the importance of the 4 foundations in the early year’s programs.
LRCC’s philosophy is one that builds upon the child’s interests. Environments are a planned and thoughtful approach to learning where children discover about themselves and the world around them through investigation and exploration. Environments foster creativity, promote wonder and encourage each child’s natural curiosity and desire to explore and learn.
To further assist the educators and the parents of the children in care LRCC is utilizing the program HiMama which provides daily digital updates on their child to complement the important face-to-face interactions with parents. It is the continuing goal of LRCC to implement HiMama throughout our programs. The program allows educators and providers to record on tablets, children’s activities as they happen throughout the day. It includes; real-time email updates through photos in a journal format that can be accessed through the HiMama mobile app.
Programs offered by LRCC that do not utilize HiMama will continue to utilize the Daily Journals/Logs, Menu & Snack Plans as well as the Program Plans or Weekly Log within Home Child Care. This still allows the Educators and Providers to record the children’s daily and weekly activities and interests for the parent’s perusal.
LRCC Educators/ Providers are nurturers; they are partners, facilitators, observers and co-learners who have a deep understanding of developmentally appropriate practices for children within their early years. The Educators/ Providers understand the individual differences and arrange their program/ home so that children can explore at their own pace.
Children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential:
- When given opportunities to choose from environments with open-ended materials meaningful experiences evolve. These experiences foster engagement and exploration along with collaboration and relationship building.
- Educators and Providers foster healthy relationships by providing the scaffolding where positive self-esteem and decision making skills are built.
Lambton Rural Child Care Program Goals and Approaches are as follows:
Promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of children:
- Promote Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide and develop healthy attitudes towards all foods.
- Practice physical activity and incorporate areas of discovery and inquiry in the indoor and outdoor environment.
- HiMama enables Educators and Providers to observe patterns in children’s health and provide consistency in patterns of eating, physical activity, and sleep.
Support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, child care providers and staff:
- Educators and Providers create a welcoming environment for families.
- Educators and Providers are engaged at the child’s mental, physical, emotional and social level to support play with the children.
- Educators and Providers encourage children to listen to others and share ideas.
- Educators and Providers role-model and help children learn to express their feelings and recognize other’s feelings.
- Educators and Providers have a solid understanding of each child in their group, through interests, backgrounds and current life happenings.
- Educators and Providers share their own knowledge of interests and backgrounds through their resources.
- Educators and Providers support parents to be active participants in their child’s learning. Communication and sharing of ideas from home to child care and child care to home is fostered both face to face and utilizing the HiMama program.
- Educators and Providers are encouraged to develop professionally through ongoing training opportunities.
Encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate:
- Educators and Providers respect and celebrate the unique spirit, strength and character of each child. There is sense of mutual trust and respect.
- Children feel safe and secure in the environment in which they are supported to learn how to feel empathy for others and express emotions.
- Educators and Providers recognize and reduce the stress levels in children by being aware of some of their key stressors.
- Foster a sense of belonging through daily conversations and interactions.
- Foster engagement through social interaction.
- Educators and Providers label how the child is feeling during times of distress and support self-soothing behaviours.
- Educators and Providers support and re-direct children when behavior is challenging or disruptive.
Foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry:
- Provide an environment that fosters emotional and cognitive development through sensory experiences, elements of nature, creative expression and physical activity.
- Educators and providers organize materials in the environment to allow easy access and visibility, invite investigation and allow choices (Reference; Think, Feel, Act Lessons From Research About Young Children pgs. 11-14)
- Educators/ Providers, through a flexible daily schedule, provide opportunities for children to explore with interesting, complex, open-ended learning materials that can be used in many ways for long periods of uninterrupted play.
- Support the development of strategies, dispositions, and skills for lifelong learning through play and inquiry
Provide child-initiated and adult-supported experiences:
- The Educators and Providers participate with children as a co-learners, co-researchers and co-planners (Reference: “How Does Learning Happen?” pg 37-39)
- Emphasis on social and emotional learning, focusing on positive child-adult interactions.
- Educators and Providers recognize the importance of building positive relationships with all children and their families in order to help guide the child in building on their strengths and maximum potential.
- Educators and Providers value the parent’s point of view. Building strong relationships with the parents is essential. Parents are offered various opportunities to join in programs, observations of the classrooms, viewing documentation through HiMama, and shared verbal experiences throughout the day.
Plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported:
- Respect for the inclusion of all children.
- A multi-sensory environmental approach for learning will be practiced using the four foundations of learning – Belonging, Expression, Well-Being and Engagement as the framework.
- Create programs that respect the pace of each child’s development
- Create a stress free atmosphere that is in the child’s best interest
- Provide flexible programming.
- Educators and Providers observe the children at play daily and capture snapshots through photographs, written notes/documentation, and videos.
- Individual Support Plan’s will be developed with the educator/Provider and family when needed.
- Foster empathy and provide accurate information about differences to enable children to think critically about and challenge bias.
- Promote positive attitudes in children about ethnicity, gender, sexuality, differing family structures and ability to relate to self and others.
Incorporate indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time, into the day, and give consideration to the individual needs of the children receiving child care:
- Individual needs around rest times are provided during the day for all age groups
- Educators and Providers create environments, both indoor and outdoor, that promote learning through play, discovery, relationships and collaboration: (Reference; Think, Feel, Act Lessons from Research by Anne Marie Coughlin and Lorrie Baird, pgs 16-20.)
- Support self-regulation by providing children opportunities to make choices about when and how to engage in active play.
- Physical literacy opportunities are encouraged.
Foster the engagement of and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children:
- Educators and Providers talk with parents/ guardians daily and provide feedback about the children’s experiences and learning that happened throughout the day.
- Establish mutual respectful relationships with parents
- Recognize and value that all families have unique needs and diverse characteristics.
- Educators and Providers invite the families perspectives and provide opportunities for families to participate in a meaningful way.
- Educators and Providers offer families support and guidance when needed.
- Daily documentation based on observations made of the children is readily available for all parents. HiMama reports are available for families to access at any time.
- HiMama enables connections between home and the early childhood program, invites families to participate in children’s experiences, and builds trusting partnerships between families and educators and providers.
Involve local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff:
- Educators and providers welcome professionals from the community to their programs and are committed to developing positive relationships for the benefit of the children and families.
- Communicate and share opportunities, resources and interests.
- Educators and providers support all families in helping them make connections with formal supports (community agencies) and informal supports (connections with other families and/or their own support networks) (Reference: “How Does Learning Happen?” pg 32-34)
- Educators and Providers partner with integration and support agencies in each community to consult with and support children that have special needs.
- Educators and Providers plan community outings with their children and families to local community/neighbourhood destinations such as libraries, fire halls, recreation centres, parks, playgrounds, and OEYC’s to support learning and inquiry and health and wellness.
Support Staff, home child care providers or all individuals who interact with the children at a child care centre or home child care location in relation to continuous professional learning:
- LRCC is dedicated to continuous professional learning. We provide opportunities for educators to share experiences reflect and collaborate. All staff and providers are encouraged to participate in community events and initiatives with other professionals.
- LRCC encourages mentorship among staff/providers and believes that we are all “learners”.
- LRCC welcomes students to our programs for their practicum/co-op placement experiences.
- LRCC educators and providers are represented around various community tables, working groups and committees.
It is the continued vision of Lambton Rural Child Care to adopt the “How Does Learning Happen?” Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years document. By utilizing this Program Statement, the Educators and Providers will provide a environments that foster creativity, promote wonder and encourages each child’s natural curiosity and desire to explore and learn within a licensed childcare setting.