Families are the first and most powerful influence on children’s early learning and development. Early childhood settings can reinforce the care, learning and benefits of families’ participation in their children’s early learning. Planned programming for children and their families are based on mutual trust and respect. We are sensitive to family culture, values and language.
Every parent and child are greeted upon arrival and departure. This allows the staff and parents to talk daily and share information. We feel this builds strong relationships and a rapport with our families. We also connect with our families through newsletters, website, e-mail, open house, learning stories and documentation.
When children are strongly connected to the staff, they feel safe and have the confidence to play, explore and learn about the world around them. Children’s sense of belonging and feelings of security are also strengthened when they have opportunities to make and explore connections between home and preschool. Positive interactions support the development of social and cognitive competence and communications skills. As children engage in various forms of social play and are supported to recognize the varied capabilities and characteristics of other children, they learn to get along with others, to negotiate, collaborate, communicate and to care for others. As staff start to recognize the individual needs of a child, they can begin to support them in their environment. Daily routines such as meal times or getting ready to go outside can provide an ideal opportunity for children to practice their growing self-care abilities as well as promoting self-regulation, persistence and a sense of competence.
Our staff support emotional development by encouraging caring and responsive relationships, providing opportunities for independence and autonomy and attention to individual needs. Staff show warmth through voice tone, posture and physical contact. Staff engage in many one-on-one and small group conversations with the children daily.
We feel all children have the right to be respected and appreciated as individuals. They have the right to be listened to with respect and interest when they state their opinion or comment. All children have the right to try and test the limits of the impossible making the impossible every opportunity for growth and development.
We provide a positive learning environment that expands on their inquiring minds. Through play based learning, the children show a natural curiosity while developing personal skills such as independence, creativity, motivation, problem solving techniques, social and intellectual skills and much more.
In developing our early learning and child care programming for the children, we use purposeful play-based learning curriculum and a growth mind set. The staff plan a developmentally appropriate curriculum by following the children’s lead and interest.
Our program provides environments and experiences that engage the children in active, creative and meaningful exploration and play. Staff engage the children by providing a wide variety of interesting and open-ended materials for the children to explore. Daily routines are planned as children participate as co-learners and seek new ideas to facilitate the children’s exploration in meaningful ways.
Play is how children make sense of the world. Staff engage the children’s attention and offer challenges that are within the child’s capacity to master. Staff support play and help the children to use language and thinking skills to problem solve, negotiate and extend their play. Staff plan curriculum with goals in mind for children’s learning and development, while respecting the children’s interests and choices. As leaders, we create learning experiences to foster creativity, encourage curiosity and provide opportunities for the children to think and work together.
Staff document through observations, learning stories, picture boards and books. Staff display photos and learning experiences for the children, families and others to see. Staff engage the children with stories, small groups and large groups. Staff engage in communication with the children and help them to listen and express themselves to one another. Staff provide time, space and materials to encourage expression and to help foster close relationships. Staff talk with children about ideas related to their play and help with resources to enhance the play.
Staff members introduce children to play materials and activities that are likely to match emerging interests and skills. Staff plan activity sequences to promote emergent literacy, (reading and writing) skills. Staff read frequently to children daily.
We promote an appreciation of each child’s own individuality. We support each child’s creative development by providing opportunities for creative self-expression and exploration. Creative expression materials are available for exploration and manipulation. Children are given daily opportunities to take responsibility for their surroundings.
The children will have the opportunity to play in a safe, secure, clean and supervised environment. The play will be age appropriate and constructive. Staff create opportunities throughout the day that enable the children to explore and make connections with others. Staff use opportunities for one on one interactions during daily routines to nurture and support the children in relationships and their growing sense of self.
Staff respect and support inclusion and sense of belonging for all the children. Our early childhood program provides information and resources that families can use to enhance development as well as early interventions that can help children experiencing developmental difficulties and delays. Children with needs can benefit from participation in quality early childhood settings with other children, mere exposure to age appropriate activities and peers help support play opportunities and social skill development.
To support physical development by encouraging growth and fine motor play, a balance between active and quiet activities, and sensory exploration and discrimination, by providing nutritious meals and snacks, and by ensuring safe and hygienic practices.
Staff use proper health and hygiene practices to ensure the centre is a safe place for others. Daily observations of the children are made upon arrival to detect possible symptoms of ill health.
Upon enrollment, parents provide up to date immunization records. A written procedure signed by a parent is required for administering medication to a child. An individual emergency plan for each child with anaphylactic allergies with input from the parent will be posted in their classrooms. All staff will sign off on the individual plan. All staff are trained in emergency First Aid and CPR. All staff have a Vulnerable Sector Check on file.
Menus reflect a variety of nutritious meals and snacks that are liked by most of the children most of the time, using Canada’s Food Guide. The cook and supervisor have their Food Handler Training Certificate. The children have morning and afternoon snacks and a mid-day meal. Additional snacks are available at the end of each day. Staff sit with the children in small groups modelling positive social interactions at lunch and snack times. Table manners are also encouraged.
Naptime is scheduled daily for all children. Rest is an important part of their growth and development. Children are invited to bring a blanket from home. This helps them to feel safe and secure in a different place of rest. The calming atmosphere of the room; music playing, lights off and staff rubbing their backs makes it an easy transition to sleep time. Children are encouraged to rest, but are not actually required to sleep.
Our belief is that children learn and grow by being actively involved in their environment both indoors and out. The children are given outdoor space that provides regular opportunities for active play. Equipment is readily available and sturdy to encourage a variety of motor skills. The environment is textured for tactile exploration to stimulate sensory awareness.
Our school is monitored by a Board of Directors consisting of community partners and parents working together for the growth of our children. We believe in bringing the community together to raise our children. The Board of Directors meet monthly making decisions always having the schools best interest in mind.
Our school is regularly involved in community activities that benefit the children. Some activities have included planting with the town’s ‘Community in Bloom Program’ and helping the students take care of a variety of plants in our local schools. We access other knowledgeable community partners such as fire and police personnel to help educate the children in fire and safety. The children also participate in our local library programs that expands on early literacy.
Our school encourages families to participate in fun activities going on in the Windsor/Essex county communities. We post flyers, workshops and information for our families to access.
Throughout the year, we are involved in training students through high school, college and university programs. We build positive and supportive relationships with community support agencies that provide us with resources and classroom support to better the needs of the children, families, and our educators.
The childcare staff at Story Book Early Learning Centre consists of dedicated, well qualified, experienced teachers. We have Registered Early Childhood Educators who belong to the college of Early Childhood Educators. Only members of the college can use the protected title “Registered Early Childhood Educator” (RECE). The College of Early Childhood Educators regulates Ontario’s profession of Early Childhood Education in the interest of the public, children, and families. We are accountable for their actions as Early Childhood Educators and are responsible to abide by the College of ECE Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice. Additionally, only individuals who have met the registration requirements of the College and hold a Certificate of Registration in good standing may practice the profession of Early Childhood Education. We also have experienced assistant teachers that complement our programs. All staff have an obligation and a duty to report any alleged abuse or neglect.
Our staff believe in gaining new understanding of best practices of child development and advances made in our field of study. Staff are encouraged and supported in on-going professional growth and development. Staff actively participate in workshops, reading material and many forms of learning. These opportunities of professional development mostly happen in the evenings and on their own time. This truly demonstrates how committed the staff are to the children and the families we serve.
Staff attend weekly staff meetings where ideas and programming are shared. They are given opportunities to collaborate ideas and have the chance to voice any questions or concerns.
We feel communication plays a vital role in your child’s experience at Story Book E.L.C. We feel fortunate in having daily personal contact with our parents and extended families. We take pride in our families and the children we serve.
Donna Hedrick & Staff