Policy Number: 01.19
Current Date Approved:
Original Date Created: April 2016
Original Date Approved: April 2016
This program statement document captures the philosophy and goals that guide our program for our children.
Our Program Statement describes the following:
- The strategies we use to realize these goals
- The plans of action which execute these strategies
- The practices to implement, monitor and evaluate action plans, and to continually improve our performance
Our Philosophy (Goals)
St. Lawrence Co-operative Day Care Incorporated (SLCD) believes children learn through play. Play is the cornerstone where children have the opportunity to actively explore and learn through materials and their environment. Play facilitates the development of the whole child, including, social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative abilities. In order for children’s play to be meaningful, the experiences need to reflect each child’s skills and needs.
Our practices are guided within the framework of the City of Toronto’s Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI), Ministry of Education’s Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA), Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years “How Does Leaning Happen” and Ontario’s framework for early Childhood Settings “Early Learning for Every Child Today” (ELECT).
SLCD is committed to offering a high quality, child centered program which encourages children’s success in learning. SLCD strives to provide quality care for all children, regardless of race, ethnicity, financial situations, gender and family structure. All children are entitled to the same level of service, care and hours of operation. The program involves children, parents, teachers working together in an anti-bias and integrated environment. We see children as competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential; we value and build on their strengths and abilities. This teamwork promotes children’s abilities to resolve conflicts, understand mutual respect, gain independence and build self-esteem. These abilities are also encouraged by teachers modeling and encouraging socially acceptable behaviour where children are supported to self-regulate and develop positive relationships. The children’s environment is structured with routines and transitions in order to provide consistency and security; flexibility that facilitates decision-making and free choice is also incorporated in the program on a daily basis.
Teachers provide parents with the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress through on-going discussions (during drop off/pick up times or mutually coordinated times) and parent meetings if necessary or requested. Teachers view parents as the experts of their child(ren) and we work together to ensure discussion is ongoing to best support individual children.
Values which SLCD embraces include:
- Inclusive enriched child care environment
- Honoring and respecting all children’s beliefs, culture, language, and experiences acquired from their family and community
- Promoting health and well-being
- Fostering the children’s exploration, play and inquiry as a key goal
- Capturing and documenting our classroom practices, reinforces our learning
- Supporting all children in learning the ability to self-regulate, so children feel comfortable and confident
- Fostering the children’s health and well-being indoors and outdoors 5 2 of 10
- Forming trusting relationships with children and their families
- Provide everyone with a sense of belonging
- Children learn to: care about other people; understand other’s feelings; cooperate and share; to express their opinions; resolve conflicts; and develop self-competence, self-worth and self-regulation
Our Strategies (Approaches)
Our strategies to achieve our program statement are guided by the work done on Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (“How Does Learning Happen”). We understand that learning and development happens within the context of relationships among children, families, educators, and their environments. We understand that for children to grow and flourish, the four following foundational conditions need to exist:
- A sense of Belonging,
- A sense of Well-Being,
- Opportunities and support for Engagement, and
- Opportunities and support for Expression
We will adopt the following 11 strategies to create these conditions:
- Promote an environment which is healthy, safe, and supports general well being
- Teachers will engage in the environment on a regular basis to ensure all materials, play equipment, furnishings and fixed fixtures are developmentally appropriate and in good working order, clean and safe for the children and teachers.
- The Joint Health and Safety Committee will meet 3 times a year. Meeting minutes will be kept and made available in a Health and Safety binder.
- Monthly staff meetings and Board meetings will include an agenda item for Health and Safety.
- Respective Health Representatives will update staff with new information at staff meetings or as needed.
- The program will make available to families, resources which cover topics of health, food/toy recalls and safety that are relevant to the children and families at respective locations.
- Sleep Monitoring checklists for all children who rest during the day will be maintained.
- Parents are engaged for guidance in sleep routines.
- Teachers show flexibility with regards to the daily schedule of the classroom and follow the cues of the children to direct the daily schedule.
- SLCD will post up to date Toronto Public Health (TPH) recommended posters, inclusive but not limited to; disinfecting, hand washing, diapering and toileting.
- SLCD will ensure posters are placed in respective recommended areas, i.e. washrooms or classroom sinks.
- Teachers will role model proper hand washing, and encourage children to use the TPH visual schedule for proper hand washing.
- Hand washing procedure is reviewed with teachers quarterly.
- Teachers sanitize toys, equipment, cots, cribs, materials as well as wash bedding according to Toronto Public Health guidelines. High touch areas are also sanitized according to Toronto Public Health recommendations. SLCD uses a bleach/water mixture for all disinfecting. An accurate log of disinfecting is maintained for disinfected items.
- Teachers communicate and operate as a team to ensure they are positioned within view of children at all times.
- Teachers ensure an awareness at all times of the number and names of children that are in care.
- Documentation on the Main Attendance Record accurately reflects the location of all children in care throughout the day. All arrival and departure times are accurately documented.
- Teachers ensure attendance verification is recorded after all staff and child transitions.
- Teachers will carry a portable attendance when off of day care premises, in the community or on a bussed trip.
- Teachers will sign children in/out on the attendance along with ongoing verifications throughout the day. Teachers verbally communicate the number of children in care and whereabouts of children in the classroom.
- Teachers will engage in open communication with parents/guardians regarding the well-being of their children during drop off, pick up times and during the day as needed.
- When children return to day care from being off sick, teachers will communicate with parents/ guardians to ensure they are well enough to return to day care. • All outbreaks will be reported to TPH and SLCD will follow all TPH recommendations in addition to applicable Policies.
- Families will be informed of communicable illnesses and outbreaks via written communication.
- Parents are responsible for ensuring the communication of any health concerns, allergies, anaphylactic allergies or food restrictions at the time of registration and responsible to ensure forms are updated as needed. For anaphylaxis allergies, parents must also supply an up-to-date Epi-Pen to be stored at the day care. Teachers sign off yearly indicating they are aware of all health concerns and anaphylactic allergies.
- Allergy lists are posted in each classroom, kitchen and Program Supervisor’s office. All teachers, students and volunteers are informed of restrictions/ allergies before they begin their first day with SLCD.
- Ensure accessible washroom facilities for all enrolled children. Ensure compliance with the Regional Public Health procedures and practices. In support of this we will provide washroom facilities, and supplies, and personal hygiene and body development related information resources.
- Teachers engage in age appropriate discussions regarding sexual health (consent, respect, proper language of body parts, etc.), resources are made available to families.
- Promote an environment which ensures good nutrition and safe food preparation
- All food allergies and restrictions are communicated to the cook or catering company. All substitutes are labeled with the child’s name and alternate food.
- Menus will be posted in the area of the kitchen and food alternatives will be posted in the area of the kitchen and respective classroom. Menus will be reviewed annually by a registered dietitian.
- SLCD provides 2 snacks, a 3rd snack for children in attendance for a full day and a hot lunch for all age groups in attendance for a full day.
- All kitchen staff and Program Supervisors, at the minimum, will have a valid Food Handlers Certificate to ensure good nutrition and safe food preparation.
- Temperatures will be maintained and logged for hot food, fridge, freezer and dishwasher. A log will be kept to ensure all kitchen equipment and appliances are maintained and disinfected.
- Teachers will facilitate opportunities during meal time and food experiences, inclusive of when infants drink bottles, to extend learning, introduce new vocabulary, promote social interactions, facilitate self-help skills, and discuss healthy food choices.
- Teachers will ensure children have access to age appropriate utensils, dishes and furnishings to enable safe, and successful eating times.
- Resources specific to nutrition and well-being will be made available to families at respective Locations.
- Support positive and responsive interactions
- Teachers will promote a positive and supportive approach to all interactions with all children and other adults in the room.
- Teachers will role-model appropriate social skills throughout the day to support learning and growth.
- Teachers will support children as they learn to self-regulate their emotions and to recognize empathy.
- Teachers will engage in interactions with children which fosters self-esteem by: celebrating milestones and efforts made throughout the day and by supporting children as they engage in the use of developmentally appropriate and individually tailored strategies to support their behavior.
- The following prohibited practices are not permitted at any time under any circumstances:
- corporal punishment of the child;
- physical restraint of the child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purposes of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose of preventing a child from hurting himself, herself or someone else, and is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent;
- locking the exits of the child care Centre or home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency and is required as part of the licensee’s emergency management policies and procedures;
- use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
- depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
- inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.
No employee or volunteer of the licensee, or student who is on an educational placement with the licensee, and no person who provides home child care or in-home services at a premises overseen by a home child care agency shall engage in any of the prohibited practices set out above with respect to a child receiving child care.
- Teachers will provide positive interactions during transitions that speak to recall of past experiences, self-help skills and self-regulation.
- Teachers are monitored on their use of behaviour guidance techniques.
- Teachers see themselves as an active part of the learning environment. Teachers ask open ended questions and promote the opportunity to gather information.
- Teachers share a sense of joy in learning when engaging with children.
- Teachers provide the opportunities to engage in small group activities.
- Teachers ensure there are ample learning materials to avoid conflicts and provide many different learning experiences.
- Teachers will respond in a timely manner and be available and approachable for parents when conflicts arise.
- Teachers strive to respond to each individual child’s needs.
- Teachers focus on helping children understand their feelings and emotions and provide support to help regulate their behaviour.
- Teachers support children in understanding the feeling and emotions of other children.
- Encourage the children to interact and communicate
- Teachers facilitate a cozy and inviting environment to encourage natural opportunities for language and literacy enjoyment. Children are able to retell stories and situations with the accessible props, thus providing opportunities to enhance storytelling experiences and language development through the use of diverse books and language & literacy materials.
- Teachers expose children to an assortment of cultural music, musical instruments and musical genres. This helps to promote skills such as language development, rhythm awareness, self-regulation and self-concept.
- Teachers will support the balance verbal/non-verbal interactions with children in order to assist with the development of communication.
- Teachers will initiate and build on conversations with and between children. Teachers will extend conversations with individual children as well as between children.
- Foster exploration, play and inquiry.
- Teachers will plan their curriculum based on the children’s interests.
- Meaningful hands-on experiences are provided for children and adapted to meet individual levels of development.
- Materials are accessible and/or available to children.
- Teachers provide learning experiences which promote development in all domains.
- Children are encouraged to move materials throughout all learning areas to support their natural curiosity.
- Teachers will encourage children to take reasonable risks in play so they learn to trust themselves.
- Teachers will use their observations, knowledge of child development and the children’s cues to promote continuous learning opportunities.
- Provide child-initiated and adult-experiences
- Teachers will keep up to date observation and documentation logs to capture children’s interests. These observations will be used to develop a weekly curriculum plan.
- Teachers will provide an ongoing opportunity to have the children’s input in the weekly curriculum either through observation, visual cues, conversation, sign-up sheets or the opportunity for children to take the lead to collect ideas from the group.
- For before and after school programs, teachers will engage children to plan for monthly specialized interest groups and monthly cultural learning opportunities.
- Teachers will be provided with planning time to research age appropriate, exciting, challenging and stimulating ideas to enhance the program.
- Teachers will ensure to maintain and provide ample learning materials and equipment to support individual learning and choice.
- Children will ensure to provide different mediums of materials to promote creativity, self-expression and individuality.
- Teachers will provide field trip experiences based on the children’s interests.
- Plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported
- A daily written and visual schedule will be prepared. Children will have the opportunity to direct the visual schedule. Being aware of how the day is planned allows for consistency, self-regulation and promotes general well-being.
- Teachers will create a visual environment through displays that are inclusive of all families, children’s interests and extended projects. These displays will be changed regularly to reflect the recent interests created by the children which in turn promotes well-being and inclusion.
- Teachers will prepare a weekly curriculum for intentional planning. Children will be exposed to a curriculum which promotes on-going learning opportunities and developmental growth for all children.
- Teachers will set up all learning areas in an organized and clutter free manner so that areas are inviting and encourage play and engagement.
- Teachers will provide a variety of materials to reflect different cultures, diverse family structures, interests of the children and inclusion of all abilities.
- Teachers will refer to the Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT) document when designing the weekly curriculum.
- Teachers will include family traditions and special celebrations in their program. • Teachers will provide learning opportunities to support and encourage children to question, problem-solve and experiment.
- Teachers will engage in conversation, use observations, past knowledge, cues from the children and resources within the learning environment to extend learning and encourage opportunities to support the child’s individual learning path.
- Teachers will foster children’s independence by following the cues of children and providing interactions that encourage children to extend their learning with activities that interest them and choices that support their learning goals.
- Teachers will utilize AQI guidelines for use of TV and movies to encourage safe, developmentally- appropriate usage for children. Guidelines may include, but not exclusive to, frequency of use, duration and content. Parents/guardians will be made aware in advance of usage in the classroom, and resources will be available for alternative learning opportunities.
- Teachers will use photo documentation as a means to capture learning.
- To incorporate planned and spontaneous indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play and quiet experiences
- Teachers will support individual choices when playing indoor and outdoor, by taking cues and leads form children.
- Teachers will provide a quiet time and area for children to rest their bodies, as needed.
- Teachers will provide a variety and quantity of gross motor equipment and activities (organized & free-play) to support gross motor play.
- Teachers will actively participate in organizing spontaneous gross motor experiences with the equipment at hand.
- Teachers will encourage children to engage in reasonable risk when playing indoors and outdoors (building tall block structures, balancing on a beam etc.).
- Teachers will encourage children to challenge their abilities and think for themselves.
- Teachers will encourage children to choose activities that interest them and try new experiences.
- Teachers will ensure an indoor physical environment which fosters different interests to imagine, think, create, problem solve, and make meaning from their experiences – especially when the spaces contains interesting and complex open-ended materials that children can use in many ways.
- Teachers will promote daily active physical play learning experiences for children by including this area in the program plan.
- Teachers will conduct daily inspections of equipment/play material and supervision of children to ensure children are able to engage in outdoor play experiences safely. Teachers will encourage children’s well-being through sport play; turn taking, communication, sharing, good sportsmanship as well as gross motor skills.
- Teachers will supply appropriate and ample physical activities/active play equipment both for outdoor and indoor environments for the number of children enrolled.
- Foster the engagement of and communications with parents
- Teachers will engage parents/guardians in daily communication (during drop off, pick up, communication book or telephone call) in order to develop and capture an awareness of children’s individual needs and how they adapt to situations and environments. This will allow teachers to provide the care and learning that best respects and reflects each individual child’s needs.
- SLCD strives to foster a family and partnership environment. All families are welcome and part of our family. We continually strive to establish and maintain a sense of belonging for all children, families and staff.
- SLCD will ensure new families are oriented prior to enrollment at all locations.
- Parents will be informed of and consulted with the organization’s Strategic Plan. • Teachers will share developmental checklists with parents and follow up with Developmental concerns.
- Teachers will share photos, observations and pedagogical documentation with parents.
- Teachers will greet parents and children at drop off and pick up times.
- SLCD will engage families by hosting family social events throughout the year.
- Teachers will invite families to share traditions, language and celebrations.
- Teachers will invite families to share their talents/careers with our programs (singing, musical instrument, engineer, cooking etc.).
- Teachers will provide families with monthly newsletters and calendars.
- SLCD’s bylaws require that parents attend the Annual General Members Meeting in June.
- To actively engage with community partners and provide opportunities for the children and families to develop close connections with a range of community supports.
- SLCD is an integral part of the St. Lawrence Community. We will continue to be a part of public consultations regarding projects in the community.
- SLCD will work collaboratively with respective schools and the St. Lawrence Community Centre thorough ongoing communication and the sharing of resources.
- SLCD will invite community members to the day care to enrich our program, i.e., librarian, community gardener, etc.
- Teachers will inform parents about access to a Resource Consultant or other supports as needed.
- To strengthen the capacity of teachers/staff in order to effectively work with children, families and their colleagues through the provision of ongoing opportunities for continuous professional learning.
- SLCD supports RECEs by paying their annual membership dues at the College of ECE.
- All permanent and temporary staff are provided with financial support as outlined in the Collective Agreement to attend one (1) external professional development opportunity (work11 8 of 1012 shops, seminars, webinars and inclusive of CPL) or one (1) one internal professional development opportunity annually (workshops, seminars, and webinars).
- All staff are invited to attend all internal professional development opportunities annually (workshops, seminars, and webinars).
- Staff are encouraged to share professional learning materials with their peers at staff meetings.
- Management will meet with staff annually to review, reflect on staff performance, set goals for the next period and celebrate success.
- Staff are provided with a positive and professional work environment.
- Teachers collaborate for program ideas throughout the week.
- Program Supervisors meet monthly with classroom teams to support respective discussions (inclusive but not limited to programming, children support, parent engagement, Assessment for Quality Improvement expectations, Child Care and Early Years Act expectations, Policies, How Does Learning Happen, reflective practice, health and safety, ordering of supplies and equipment).
Our Plan of Action
SLCD views the teaching staff as knowledgeable, reflective, resourceful and rich in experience and value the experiences and environments they create for children. The teacher’s role is to assist, support and guide the children while maintaining a safe, stimulating, nurturing, culturally diverse and inclusive environment. These goals are accomplished by the teacher’s training, knowledge and observation skills, staying current with changing practices and frameworks and working in partnership with families. Teachers then use this information to plan and implement a program and environment which is age appropriate, inclusive, culturally diverse, fosters anti-racist views and avoids gender biases. SLCD promotes respect and appreciation of differences.
As a Co-operative Day Care Centre, families, teachers and management are required to maintain open and ongoing communication and to participate in the children’s learning and development. SLCD views parents/ guardians as experts who know their children better than anyone else and have important information to share. We value and engage parents/guardians in a meaningful way. Families are expected to abide by the Centre’s By-laws and contribute to the ongoing development of SLCD by participating in the program. SLCD is committed to being an active and viable member of the St. Lawrence community.
- All new staff, students and volunteers on hiring, and all existing staff (annually) or at any time when it’s modified, will acknowledge and review the following:
- This program statement document
- All relevant and attached guidelines
- Gather together with staff annually to review and reflect on our performance and capture outcomes and set goals for the next period.
- Budget a professional development investment for each staff and align the professional development with the program statement needs.
The mission of the St. Lawrence Co-operative Day Care is to provide a high quality, nurturing, child-centred program that reflects the needs of the individual child in care. Our enriched program will reflect the diversities of our multifaceted community.