Our mission is to provide the highest quality in childcare, recognizing the individual needs of the whole child.
The Centre is based on the philosophy that children thrive in an environment that is positive, safe, secure and stimulating. The Centre will provide a warm, nurturing atmosphere that will encourage the development of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. The individual programs will provide opportunities for children to develop independence, creativity and cooperation. It is acknowledged that through play, children learn about their world; learning will be promoted through the use of a variety of materials, activities, people, experiences and events. The program promotes active learning by providing choices and accommodating individual learning stages.
The philosophical belief in the integration of children with special needs is recognized, both as a goal and a process. The Centre will provide activities and an environment that will meet the developmental needs of all children, including physical, intellectual, creative, emotional and social. Children’s interactions with the environment will be facilitated by caring, interested and enthusiastic Early Childhood Educators who strive to learn the needs and interests of each individual child.
The parents/guardians and Early Childhood Educators will work cooperatively, with open communication to jointly share the roles as caregiver by guiding, challenging, modeling, demonstrating, questioning and observing the child. The family support mode of the program will encourage the involvements of parents/guardians. Parents/guardians are viewed as the primary caregiver in their child’s early childhood education and development. The ultimate objective of the program will emphasize quality childcare and a positive environment, crucial to enhancing a child’s formative years.
Child Care Program Statement
The LWCC offers extensive early learning opportunities to children 0 to 12 and their families to anticipate success within the mainstream school environments and within all aspects of their lives. Our focus is on providing a quality childcare program that reflects the view that children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. Our strategy is to support each child’s learning and development by planning and creating a positive learning environment with experiences that foster the children’s own initiated exploration, play and inquiry, while providing adult support.
The Lindsay Weld Centre for Children recognizes each child as a unique individual who brings his or her own abilities to the program and deserves the encouragement and space to try new things, explore new ideas and develop their own unique creativity.
We provide an environment that fosters curiosity, one that allows children to explore. We believe that every child deserves a safe and caring environment, in which to grow and develop to their maximum potential.
We understand the importance of taking children’s stages of development into consideration. For each child, their stage of development is an individualized and complex interplay between developmental factors and their unique family, community and life experiences. In each case, we aim to integrate all areas of the child’s development into our program in a holistic way.
Our goals for children are consistent with the Ministry of Education pedagogy “How Does Learning Happen?” It is organized around four foundational conditions that are considered essential to optimal learning and healthy development for children. The four foundations include belonging, engagement, expression, and well-being. When this approach to learning takes place along with staff understanding of child development, each child’s learning and individual development is supported and as a result the child’s competence, capacity and potential are maximized. Following along with this pedagogy our goals include the following:
- Every child has a sense of belonging when he or she is connected to others and contributes to their world.
- Every child is developing a sense of self, health and well-being.
- Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind, and senses.
- Every child is a capable communicator who expresses themselves in many ways.
Health, safety, nutrition, and well-being of children
All staff will promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of each child by providing a clean and safe environment, nutrition based on the Canada’s Food Guide, access to drinking water throughout the day, limited transitions, eliminating any environmental issues that may cause undue stress to the child, unnecessary disruptions to play and reducing hazards that may cause injury. Educators will familiarize themselves with all information concerning any medical conditions, exceptionalities, allergies, food restrictions, medication requirements, and parental preferences in respect to diet, exercise, and rest time.
Relationships among children, families, and educators
The Lindsay Weld Centre for Children will foster collaborative and cooperative relationships among all of the children, families, child care providers, and staff.
We strive to promote a sense of belonging for our children and their families in our programs by creating positive interactions and collaboration. We understand the relationship of trust is the basis for a working and cooperative relationship.
Staff empower the children to resolve conflicts, learn responsibility along with social skills. The skills of conflict resolution are important to lifelong learning. As competent individuals, children are active participants in resolving conflicts. We encouraged them to come up with ideas and solutions to problems that arise.
Our Educators support families in their role as primary caregivers, and understand the needs of each child as an individual.
Positive self-expression, communication, and self-regulation
Our inclusive programming leads to children’s sense of belonging. Positive learning environments and experiences, focused on active learning, encourage children’s communication, self-expression and self-regulation.
In our inclusive learning environments, we welcome children of all abilities. Respect for diversity, equity and inclusion is vital for optimal development and learning.
We recognize and respect the unique qualities of each child and family, including ancestry, culture, ethnicity, race, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, family environment, and developmental abilities and needs.
Our program also supports children’s self-regulation, their ability to deal with stress and remain calm, alert and ready to learn. When children are calmly focused and alert, they are able to best modulate their emotions, pay attention, ignore distractions, inhibit their impulses and understand the consequences of their actions. We are continually learning about how to create learning environments and programming that helps support children’s self- regulation- to help children remain or return to a state of calm. Self-regulation in early development is influenced by a child’s relationship with the adults in their lives including the educators in their program. All staff will provide experiences, support and encouragement that help young children learn to self-regulate, which is a crucial component of quality care.
Fostering children’s exploration, play, and inquiry
Our programs focus on active play-based learning as the way children naturally learn best. It is their natural response to the environment around them. When children are manipulating objects, acting out roles, or experimenting with different materials, they are engaged in learning through play. Play allows them to actively construct, challenge, and expand their own understandings through making connections to prior experiences, thereby opening the door to new learning. Intentional play-based learning enables children to investigate, ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking. Play is responsive to each child’s unique learning style and capitalizes on his or her innate curiosity and creativity. We follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Education’s pedagogy and documents. Lindsay Weld Centre for Children compasses the research and legislation in Ontario's three major early learning documents: How Does Learning Happen?, The Early Learning for Every Child Today( ELECT) and Think, Feel, Act Lessons from Research about Young Children.
How Does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years is a professional learning resource guide about learning through relationships for those working with young children and families. It is intended to support pedagogy and curriculum/program development in early year's programs. Pedagogy is "the understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practice that support that understanding of learning". Curriculum (the content of learning) and pedagogy (how learning happens) in early years settings are shaped by views about children, the role of educators and families, and relationships among them. The pedagogical document, How Does Learning Happen?, helps educators focus on these interrelationships in the context of early years environments.
How Does Learning Happen? is organized around four foundational conditions that are important for children to grow and flourish: Belonging, Well-Being, Engagement, and Expression. These foundations, or ways of being, are a vision for all children's future potential and a view of what they should experience each and every day. These four foundations apply regardless of age, ability, culture, language, geography, or setting. They are aligned with the Kindergarten program. They are conditions that children naturally seek for themselves.
The Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT) is a Framework for Ontario Early Childhood Settings. This early learning framework sets out six principles to guide practice in early years settings. It also provides a continuum of development for children from birth to age eight. ELECT is recognized as a foundational document in the early years sector. It provides a shared language and common understanding of children's learning and development for early years professionals as they work together in various early childhood settings. The principles of ELECT have informed provincial child care policy, such as the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework, as well as pan-Canadian early learning initiatives such as the Statement on Play of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. ELECT principles are also embedded in the program document used in Ontario's innovative Kindergarten program.
Think, Feel, Act, are six research briefs for educators working in early years settings which, highlight the latest research in early childhood development, strategies to put the key ideas into practice and reflective questions for educators. There is a common thread throughout the briefs: a view of the child as competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential. These briefs are intended to challenge the status quo and encourage critical reflection as we consider our work from different perspectives. As 'briefs', the documents are not intended to provide an in-depth analysis of each topic, but instead, to pique your interest and highlight key ideas that are useful and relevant to your work. You are encourage to use the reflective questions throughout the briefs to stimulate personal reflection and team discussions. Educators and other professionals are invited to try out some of the suggested practices and exchange ideas with colleagues. Above all, these briefs are intended to get people talking about some of the big ideas that have such a significant impact on the experiences of children across the province.
Providing Child-initiated and Adult-Supported experiences
All staff will foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry by providing a variety of activities, and environment rich in content, that encourages choices, and active play, supported by qualified, attentive and interactive educators.
All staff will provide child-initiated and adult supported experiences. The educators will observe the children and use that information to plan and create a positive learning environment that is based on the interests of the child, and supported by the adult in the child care environment. Educators will be responsible for introducing new ideas, interests, facts, concepts, skills and experiences to widen the child’s knowledge and life experiences.
Indoor/outdoor experiences and rest time
Children will experience indoor learning opportunities and two hours of outdoor play (weather permitting) daily. A two hour scheduled rest time is also provided. Children who do not sleep are offered quiet activities during this time. Quiet and active play is offered throughout the day taking into consideration each child’s individuals needs and parental direction.
Parent engagement and communication
We aim to foster outreach, engagement and communication with families about our program and their children’s learning experiences. We believe that families are experts on their children. Sharing knowledge is integral to the success of each child.
We aim to ensure that families have the support of available, affordable, safe, reliable, high quality licensed child care for their children, which ensures parents peace of mind while their children are in our programs. Respect, care, empathy, trust and integrity are core values in all our interactions with families.
We know that our partnerships with our families help our program to best meet the needs of the children.
Some examples of communication and engagement that are available to parents include:
- Parent teacher interviews for infants, toddlers, and preschool
- Daily information sheets infants and toddlers
- Special events held in each program
- Parent surveys
- Opportunities to serve on our Board of Directors
- Open communication and interaction with staff at drop off and pick up
- Parent information boards
- Monthly newsletters
Families form the foundation for a child’s early development. Families know their children best, and are the first and most powerful influence on learning and development.
The Lindsay Weld Centre for Children is committed to working collaboratively with all of our community partners as we work together on the mutual goal of providing the best possible child care service to families.
Parents will be directed to resources outside of the centre if necessary, and community partners such as Early Years services, Inclusion Support Program, One Kids Place (Speech Therapists, support services, occupational therapists, and counsellors), District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board, and Hands Family Help Network. This is an important part of the centres support to all children and their families.
Our school age sites are located in schools, so relationships with principals, faculty and teachers are critical. Collaboration and communication with these individuals is key to our success with in their facilities.
We view the community as a valuable resource and our educators plan learning opportunities to engage the community in our programs. We seek out opportunity to share our knowledge and to learn from others in the community.
Continuous Professional Learning
The Lindsay Weld Centre for Children provides and searches out ongoing opportunities for educators to engage in critical reflection and discussion with others about pedagogy and practice to support continuous professional learning.
Our goal is for each staff member to obtain 20 hours of professional development annually through workshops, training opportunities, conferences, and collaboration with other community partners. Staff who attended training and Professional Development share their knowledge with all staff members at staff meetings.
Staff meetings (all staff) and program meetings (program teams) are schedule bi monthly to share knowledge and learning experiences that have occurred.
We believe that knowledgeable and responsive educators make a commitment to build self-awareness, regularly reflect on practices and engage in new learning experiences, both individually and with colleagues.
Formal professional learning is vital, but we also know that the most central professional growth happens day-to-day, as our staff co-learn with children and each other.
The College Of E.C.E has a continuous professional learning program which is currently voluntary. Staff are encouraged to follow the recommendations by the College of E.C.E to begin their continuous professional learning as it will become mandatory beginning in 2017. The first step of the continuous professional learning for the college of E.C.E is to complete a training module found on the college’s website within the first year. The second step is to complete the portfolio portion. This includes the: Self-Assessment tool, professional learning plan, and record of professional learning in the second year.
The self-assessment tool, professional learning plan, and record of professional learning will need to be completed annually.
Documenting and reviewing the strategic plan
At the Lindsay Weld Centre for Children, we understand that pedagogical documentation is a way for our program staff to learn about how children think and learn.
Our staff make daily observations of children in the program and use this information to inform their future planning. Our intention is to move beyond reporting of children’s behaviour in order to find meaning in what children do and experience. The purpose of our documentation is also:
- A way to value children’s experiences and what they have been learning
- An opportunity to make children’s learning and understanding of the world visible- to themselves, to other children, to their parents and other families, to the program staff
- A way to reflect on development growth over a period of time
- A process for program staff to co-plan with children about learning
- A dialogue with families about children’s experience and an invitation for parents to add their own documentation about their children’s learning
- A self-reflection opportunity for program staff as they participate in continuous professional learning
The program statement will be reviewed upon entry into the Lindsay Weld Centre for employment, volunteer work and student placements. The Program Statement will be reviewed annually by staff and staff will have the opportunity to provide feedback. The Program Statement will also be revised and modified as needed. All staff, students, and volunteers will also review when these revisions are made.
These approaches set out in the program will be implemented and maintained by all staff, students, and volunteers at the Lindsay Weld Centre.
Individual Support Plans and Inclusive Programming
The Lindsay Weld Centre for Children provides inclusive programming. We welcome children with special needs into all of our programs. We support each child so the child can function and participate in a meaningful and purposeful manner while the child is in our care. We will use any support aids, adaptations and modifications necessary for the child’s needs to be met. We will ensure that all instructions for these adaptations and modifications are available to all staff. We will develop individualized support plans along with the parents of the child and community partners who work with the child in any capacity. These plans will be read and implemented by the staff for the children that are in our care. All staff will be monitored to ensure that these individualized support plans are followed at all times. Our inclusive practices will also follow the guidelines and accommodations set out in our behaviour management policy, this includes when a child’s needs are not able to be met. The behaviour management policy states:
“If the child:
- is exhibiting violent or extremely aggressive behaviour (posing a threat to himself/herself or others).
- has a need which cannot be met without distress to the child, other children or the program.
The following steps will be taken by the Director and Educator to assist in finding a solution to the situation:
- Ongoing verbal communication between parents and staff
- Notification and review of the situation by the Board of Directors
- Accurate documentation of the behaviour and concerns about the child
- Parent/Teacher/Supervisor/Director meeting to discuss the situation/behaviour
- Permission requested from the parents to pursue outside assistance
- Further review and a decision by the Director and Board of Directors If no resolution is forthcoming, the child will be requested to be withdrawn from the Centre after a written two week notice has been issued. The Ministry of Education Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing/Early Learning Division will be made aware of the situation and the actions that have been taken towards resolution. An occurrence report will be filed and parents/guardians have the right to appeal procedures and decisions with the Director and Board.”