The Discovery School-Based Childcare Program of Kingsville Inc. seeks to support families by providing dependable, high-quality child care that enhances the life experiences of the children and parents within our communities by following the strategies set out in the following program statement. Our philosophy is to support a continuum of learning through an environment that will offer the children many opportunities to experience success as competent, curious, complex thinkers, and rich in potential, which will foster a sense of belonging, well-being, engagement, and expression within each child ("How Does Learning Happen", 2014). We encourage, not just learning, but also the love of learning.
To promote the health, safety, and well-being of the children, Discovery monitors the children's health upon arrival and throughout the day, and responds to any health and safety situations that may arise. If a child does not seem well at any point throughout the day, proper protocol will be followed according to our program procedure. See subsection A- Health, under the heading Health, Safety and Nutrition in the Parent Manual. Discovery provides nutritious meals and snacks according to the Canadian Food Guide ("Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide"), and the Healthy Eating Indictors' Tool, while establishing a positive eating environment. Children will have the option and flexibility during open snack periods to select healthy, well-balanced and nutritious foods. Lunches will be served Homestyle, with staff assisting children when needed and monitoring the children's safety. Both meal and snack times will ensure children have an opportunity to develop their self-help skills by preparing and serving food to enhance socialization, self-regulation, and language skills.
Positive and responsive interactions is the key to building successful relationship between parents, staff and children. Every person entering the program will be welcomed with a daily greeting, giving the opportunity for parents to tell the teacher any information regarding their child. Staff will help children transition into the program by helping them engage into an activity. Staff will be sharing information throughout the year with parents to promote communication about their child's day. The communication will be in a form of an email, "Remind.com," daily logs, open houses, by providing photo documentation, or a phone call. If time allows it will be a quick conversation at drop off/pick up. Supervisors will arrange for a site orientation with new parents and children, to familiarize them with the program. At any time a parent can request a meeting with staff, supervisors, or the Executive Director.
Discovery encourages mutual respect between staff and children. Children are encouraged to be responsible persons capable of having a voice within the program, awareness of logical and natural consequences in decision making, problem solving and the resolution of their own conflicts. This promotes self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-regulation. Moreover, staff will show children how to acknowledge their peers with kindness, empathy, and respect; to take an interest in each other and the environment they share, through the use of positive communication.
Discovery has an evolving play-based, emergent curriculum, with the goal to provide an invitation for inquiry and thought provoking interests in a child-led environment. The natural environment is a facilitator along with the childcare staff that supports the exploration in the children's indoor and outdoor play experiences. Opportunities for creative expression and problem solving, as well as a focus on the child's ability to self-select aspects of the environment that are stimulating, challenging, and fun is the motivation for the curriculum. Discovery provides activities, such as sensory play, science experiences, fine and gross motor activities, art and music, language and literacy, and so on, for the children to choose from.
Children are supplied with self-initiated and adult supported activities through their learning environment, which is unstructured, and provides for an open-ended play time of their choosing. Children will be able to decide where, when, and how to play. Discovery staff will observe and listen to children and their interests so they can build and scaffold the level of play and opportunities. For example, adults will follow the children's lead in creating or providing props for dramatic play, and then engage with the children to further scaffold the children's interest in an activity.
Discovery strives to promote and create positive learning environments for each child by planning and promoting learning opportunities that are reflective of their abilities and current interests, program safety, and age appropriate activities. This supports the children's learning and development because staff provide a safe welcoming environment, where children feel a sense of belonging through warm, supportive relationships with staff and peers (William Shanker p.11 How Does Learning Happen).
The Discovery Program will provide indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time throughout the day, giving special consideration to individual children's needs. We recognize and support children's developing and varied self-regulation abilities in all domains (How Does Learning Happen p.29-30). We encourage staff to intertwine the children's learning environments, by bringing the outdoors into the classroom, and indoor activities, such as art experiences, outdoors by providing the children with loose parts from their natural environment for their own creative expressions. For Rest and Quiet Time, see the Sleep Policy and Supervision heading of the Parent Manual.
Our program is full of extraordinary events to help children recognize the importance of their community. Through field trips, special guests, unique projects, community events, social justice, family nights, and team building experiences. We involve outside agencies in our programs to provide resources to better meet the needs of children, their families, and our staff in a positive and supportive way. Throughout the year Discovery welcomes students from high school, and post-secondary programs to help provide experience and training.
In accordance with the College of Early Childhood Educators Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, Discovery is committed to the ongoing professional growth of our staff, who we believe are also lifelong learners. We encourage and support staff to engage in the continuum of professional growth and development through workshops held in house or in our community. All staff will hold valid First Aid, CPR, and WHMIS training certificates to promote high quality care and safety within our program.
The Discovery School-Based Childcare Program of Kingsville Inc. will support families by providing dependable, high-quality child care. This will include, but is not limited to, an Annual environmental review (Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale), staff surveys and parent surveys, staff performance and behaviour management reviews, and staff meeting. Goals will be set based on the data reviewed from this assessment cycle.
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