Program Statement

The Point Edward Early Learning Centre believes that all children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential.

The Vision of the Centre is to create an environment where every child is treated with dignity and respect, every family feels welcomed and respected for their uniqueness, and the staff embraces the concept of “Every Moment is a Teachable Moment’.

We believe that children and their families are deserving of programs that support the child’s individual development and foster active learning in all areas.

The Point Edward Early Learning Centre promotes:

Learning Through Play…Individuality and Multiculturalism…Kindness, Respect and Consideration.

The FOUR FOUNDATIONS that guide our programs are outlined in the Ministry of Education’s document: How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (hereafter HDLH). These FOUR FOUNDATIONS are embraced here at the Point Edward Early Learning Centre and they “Ensure optimal learning and healthy development in the Early Years”.

The Four Foundations of LearningBelonging – a sense of connectedness to others, being valued and forming relationships

Well-Being – the importance of physical and mental health

Engagement – a state of being involved and focused

Expression – communication…to be heard as well as to listen, words, body language and use of materials

These Four Foundations and how we embrace them in our programs are presented in our Point Edward Early Learning Centre “Visual Display Chart” found in the Parent Handbook.

The document “Early Learning For Every Child Today” provides a framework for Ontario Early Childhood settings developed through the Ministry of Education (2007) (hereafter ELECT). It is a professional learning resource guide intended to support pedagogy (the understanding of how learning takes place) and the early years program development.

The Point Edward Early Learning Centre utilizes this document as a guide for educators and as a tool for documentation and observation.

The Point Edward Early Learning Centre follows the established goals of the Ministry of Education’s Child Care and Early Years Act (2015).

These goals are:

a) Promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of the children in our care.

b) Support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents and staff.

c) Encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate

d) Foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry.

e) Provide child-initiated and adult-supported experiences.

f) Plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported.

g) 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.

h) Foster the engagement of, and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children

i) Involve local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff

j) Support staff, home child care providers or others who interact with the children at a child care centre or home child care premises in relation to continuous professional learning.

k) Document and review the impact of the strategies set out in clauses a) to j) on the children and their families

The approaches we use to implement these goals have been developed through the years by the Centre’s directors, the staff members and ultimately the Board of Directors. As a committed non-profit organization dedicated to the development of quality child care in our community, the approaches are constantly evolving and improving, following the lead and direction of the families and children in our care.

 

Point Edward Early Learning Centre Implementation Plan

a) Promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of the children in our care

  •  The Point Edward Early Learning Centre encourages outside play for a minimum of two hours per day, weather permitting.

Equipment and outdoor activities enhance the use of large motor skills; developing endurance and fostering a healthy, active lifestyle.

  • Children are taught the proper use of equipment, respecting guidelines established by the staff with safety in mind and listening to their own internal sense of competency as a guide for playing safely.
  • Snacks and Meals are planned in accordance with Canada’s Food Guide. Menus are posted for families to view and rotated through a 3 week cycle to offer variety. Consideration is given to allergies and special requests from parents. Seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables and water are emphasized daily. The menus are reviewed seasonally and changes are made to reflect the interest of the children and their families.
  • Children are taught the art of relaxation. Quiet time occurs daily after lunch. Each child is provided with a cot, blanket, quiet music and an opportunity for a gentle back rub. For those children who need a nap, sleep may occur during this time. Staff will follow specific guidelines as outlined by the parents.

b) Support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents and staff.

 Our goal is to help build a sense of belonging with the children and their families. We are happy to see them each day and we want them to feel like this is their home.

 Children, parents and staff are encouraged to interact and communicate in a positive way. We encourage the use of language to express our feelings to one another and as a means to work through situations as they arise throughout the day. Children are taught the value of self-regulation and their feelings are validated. Feelings are used as a means to understand ourselves and our actions.

  • Children and their families are respected as individuals each with their own unique qualities. They are welcomed warmly each day, supporting positive and responsive interactions.
  •  Parent comments, suggestions and requests are acknowledged respectfully through personal conversation, email or phone. They are acted upon as efficiently and quickly as possible.
  •  Our programs remain flexible, building around the different needs of the family. Weekly schedules for child care are established according to what the family requires. Full Day, Half Day, Six Hour Day, Nursery School, Before and After School Care, and Summer/Holiday Care are all programs we offer to support these varied needs.

c) Encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate

  •  Children are encouraged to interact and communicate in a positive and respectful way. The use of language to express feelings to one another helps children deal with matters as they arise throughout the day.
  • Visual tools are made available and are encouraged as another means of communication.
  • Children are taught the value of self-regulation. Their feelings are validated and named so that they learn to understand themselves and the reason for their actions.
  • Staff follow and respect the children’s lead, “For it is in exploring our questions that learning happens” (ELECT)
  • Children are seen as competent and capable of dealing with situations in a positive way.
  • ‘Quiet areas’ are established within each classroom to offer personal space and a tool for self-regulation.

d) Foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry

  •  The environment is seen as a key element in fostering the children’s exploration, play and inquiry. Staff observes the children’s interests, build upon them and provide materials to encourage and support these interests as they arise.
  • Every child is seen as an active, engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind and senses.
  • Play materials are available and accessible throughout the day, allowing for the children to make their own choices. Play materials encourage exploration and inquiry. They also support learning and development.
  • Program Plans are used by the staff in each classroom area as a reflective guide for observing the children’s play and as a tool for building upon the children’s interests. These plans are posted in each classroom area.

e) Provide child-initiated and adult-supported experiences

  •  Each classroom environment is established to provide opportunities for child-initiated activities and exploration. Building upon the foundation of ENGAGEMENT, educators support these experiences, looking for opportunities to expand the learning and challenge the individual child.
  • The Point Edward Early Learning Centre supports the child as competent and capable, each with their own personal interests and abilities.
  • Small group activities (5-8 children) provide a unique opportunity for learning that may be adult supported and directed. The adult (educator) participates as a co-learner, getting involved in play with children to support their development, challenge their thinking and extend their learning. Small group activities occur throughout the day in all programs
  • ‘Special Visitors’ are invited into our Centre. They provide opportunities for children to listen, ask questions and explore new concepts.

f) Plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported

  •  The Board of Directors, Directors, educators (RECEs), ECE students, classroom assistants and volunteers all work collaboratively at our Centre to create a positive learning environment for the children and their families.
  • Our planning comes from within, from the established values at the Point Edward Early Learning Centre and the vision we work hard to create.

It is a vision that believes:

** Each child will be treated with dignity and respect.

** Every family will be welcomed into our care and respected for their uniqueness.

**Every moment is a teachable moment.

  • The world around us, the changing seasons and the community in which we live provide us with the framework to build upon. Children are taken to the local parks, allowed to explore the walkways and encouraged to be curious. Educators build upon the children’s interests and explore together in sandboxes, on climbing equipment, during “water fun” days, picnics and so much more. Educators document the learning through pictures and written stories. These are shared with the families and displayed at our Centre.

g) 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

  •  The ‘Proposed Schedule’ is established as a guideline for our days. It reflects that we open at 7:00am and close at 5:30 pm. The schedule provides a basic plan.  We call it ‘proposed’ because educators may choose to change the plan depending on the weather and interests of the children.
  • Active play occurs both inside and out. Children attending our full day programs have the opportunity to be outside for a minimum of two hours daily. Our Inside spaces include cozy library corners, block building areas, literacy/writing centers, painting easels, ‘science’ exploration areas (complete with pets to cuddle and feed), pretend play centers (with dolls, dress up and more), and sensory play areas (sporting sand/waterplayetc.)
  • Planned walks, picnics, water days and trips to the park are all outlined on a monthly calendar for parent information. Spontaneous activities occur throughout the days considering the individual interests and needs of the children.
  • Rest time occurs after lunch with quiet music and the opportunity for relaxation or a nap. Educators foster the individual children’s needs by offering quiet activities at this time.
  • Our Half Day Programs are very similar in nature. The proposed schedule reflects a maximum of six hours per child per day. We offer many options for families, working around their schedules and their needs.

h) Foster the engagement of, and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children

 Communication is key! Educators understand the importance of regularly sharing with parents the exciting stories about their child’s day.

  •  “Written tools” are in place to ensure that messages and stories are relayed to the families. These messages are either placed in the child’s individual file (which the parents/guardians check daily) or handed out personally.

Examples of these “tools” include:

* A Special Story To Share

*A Note from Us

*Ouch, I hurt myself today

*ELECT Documentation including staff observations, pictures and learning

stories.

  • Monthly calendars are distributed to highlight special events, planned activities or visitors. The calendar also offers parenting information. Parents are informed of planned walks, picnics, skating dates and Library Story times. Parents and grandparents are always welcomed and encouraged to join us for any of these events.
  • Upon registration with the Point Edward Early Learning Centre, each child is given a ‘portfolio’. This is a binder that offers space for all documentations, pictures, artwork, completed ASQs (Ages and Stages Questionnaire Developmental Screening Tool) and any other item pertaining to the individual child while they are in our Programs. When a family leaves our Centre these documents becomes the property of the child.
  • Each program has access to an IPad and a camera. Educators use these tools to take pictures daily which then may be shared with the children and their families. Copies of these pictures are placed into the child’s ‘individual portfolio’ and displayed around the Centre.
  • Directors communicate with families in person and through email. Monthly invoices, scheduling changes and any pertinent questions or comments about the program may be sent through email.
  • A website is in the process of being established.

i) Involve local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff

 “We all know that the stronger our partnerships and the deeper and more valuable our connections, the greater the benefit.” It’s an investment that allows us all to grow. (HDLH) 

  • The Point Edward Early Learning Centre welcomes the expertise of local community partners.
  • Pathways Children’s Centre offers support with their resource staff, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, support facilitators and resource toy lending library. Pathways staff will work closely with children, establishing goals and program plans specific to their personal needs. They are supportive of the Educators working daily with the children at Point Edward Early Learning Centre, complementing the activities and schedules of the Centre. Families who utilize Pathways Resource are kept informed through the use of specific tools:
  • Communication books
  • Family service plan meetings and
  • Verbal communication with resource employees and educators.
  • Lambton College partners with the Point Edward Early Learning Centre through the placement of their current ECE Students. These students enhance our Centre with their varied activities, their engagement with the children and their current views.
  • The Village of Point Edward offers the community and the Point Edward Early Learning Centre with a Preschool Skate each week from September to March. We enjoy this opportunity, walking to the arena with our Preschool age groups. Parents/grandparents often join us. Engagement occurs through the tying of skates and the enjoyment of conversation and hot chocolate after.

j) Support staff, home child care providers or others who interact with the children at a child care centre or home child care premises in relation to continuous professional learning

  •  Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) employed at the Point Edward Early Learning Centre are required to keep current in the field through the Continuous Learning Program offered through the College of ECEs. This is part of our Professional Obligation. Educators here at the Centre are also required to participate in an additional 20 hours annually of Professional Development. Participation in courses offered through Lambton College, Parent Professional Resource Centre (PPRC) and workshops outside our community are encouraged, researched and paid additionally for.
  • Educators employed at the Point Edward Early Learning Centre all have current First Aid and CPR Training.
  • Educators employed at the Point Edward Early Learning Centre are required to attend bi-monthly staff meetings. This is an opportunity for workshops, guest speakers and networking within our own Centre.
  • Educators and support staff network continuously as we strive to create a Centre that offers Quality Child Care. We often STOP, PAUSE and REFLECT on the opportunities we have as we learn from each other.

k) Document and review the impact of the strategies set out in clauses a) to j) on the children and their families

  •  Point Edward Early Learning Centre is continually learning, evolving and striving for excellence. Our Policies and Procedures are under constant review with changes reflective of the Ministry of Education requirements. A complete review of the policies is conducted annually by the Director of Programming.
  • The Board of Directors is kept current with quarterly meetings and reports given by the Director of Programming and Director of Operations. New policies are presented for approval at the Annual General Board Meeting in the spring.
  • Educators acknowledge their understanding and commitment to following our policies upon employment.  An annual review of all policies is completed in the fall. Through constant discussion and the utilization of the policies in their everyday practice, educators have the opportunity to experience the policies “first hand”. The staff meeting agenda includes a review of one specific policy each meeting, with discussion.
  • Parent Surveys are distributed annually in November utilizing criteria from our Program Statement (Established in May 2016). Parents are encouraged to offer reflection on the impact of our strategies.
  • The Program Statement is a tool used for reflection at Staff Meetings. Examples of educators using the strategies in their daily programs ensure that our goals are being achieved.

 

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