Learning Through Play
Our program is based on the belief that the child builds on the knowledge that they have already acquired. The play initiated by the child provides the first foundations for future learning and academic success. Learning is not just a process where the educator provides information to the child; it is an interactive process that gives the child opportunities to experience directly through his experiences. Through play, children learn to interact with others, develop their language skills, recognize and solve problems.Children learn best when pursuing their own interests, while being actively supported and challenged by their educator. When a child learns by following their own interests, they can experiment with different forms of play: Solitary or parallel play, associative and cooperative games, exercise, symbolic games with assembly or construction of simple and complex ideas. To build according to the mental processes of children gives them the tools that will help them to become more independent and to enable them to acquire essential skills needed for group life.
Basic principles and Values
Each child is unique and the educational activities offered to the children respect their level of development, their needs and their personal interests.The child is the primary agent of its development, the development comes from the skills and innate motivation of the child. Educators guide and support this approach so that it encourages the child towards independence.The child's development is a global and integral process and it includes several dimensions: emotional, physical and motor, social and moral, cognitive and language.Children learn through play, which is the main activity and the basis of the program.
The Dimensions of Child Development
Affective Dimension: The child learns to trust adults other than their own parents, express and control their emotions, experience changes and transitions, develops self-confidence as well as their personal and sexual identity. Examples are: Making choices, planning, deciding, recognizing a problem and solving it, express and understand feelings, develop autonomy, etc..
Social Dimension (life in society) and morals: The child learns to get along with their peers, to fit into a group, to respect differences, to cooperate, to show leadership and to take into account the perspective of others before acting. Examples are: role playing, group games, and games with rules, etc..
Cognitive Dimension: The child learns to organize time and space by himself, organizes their thoughts, reasoning, understanding of the world around them and solves problems. Examples are: Sort and match, compare, order objects, associative memory games, logic, judgment, filling, emptying, assembling, disassembling, testing, anticipating, etc..
Dimension of Language: The child learns to understand and express themselves through spoken language, they develop vocabulary and learn to express their needs and emotions. The child also becomes aware of the culture around him and especially through reading and writing. Examples are: Exchanges with other children, singing, reciting nursery rhymes, listening and making up stories, reading symbols, etc..
Physical Dimension and Motricity: The child develops their sensory system, perception, fine and gross motor skills, coordination, lateralization and body image. Examples are: Walking, dancing, running, navigating a route, climbing, backpacking,
Health and Hygiene Routines
We encourage children to take care of themselves by guiding them towards independence. The following points are emphasized on the children. The importance of:
• Washing their hands after using the bathroom, playing outside as well as before and after meals and snacks.
• Brushing their teeth
• Sneezing into your elbow
• The nap
• Good nutrition and health habits (nutrition week).
• Matters of cleanliness.
The educators ensure that:
• They wash their hands after each diaper change or after helping a child use the toilet or wiping their nose;
• All tables are washed before and after meals and snacks;
• All toys are sanitized when necessary;
• The mattresses are disinfected when necessary, once a week.
• All recommendations of the MFA hygiene are implemented.
The Learning Environment:
We believe it is especially important to have several items that reflect the lives of children, for example: kitchen items, small appliances that do not work, costumes and other toys and tools from home. These items allow children to imitate adults and to create situations with peers that simulate real-life events where it is necessary to reason about problem-solving strategies. Children feel more comfortable with things they know, the items of the house used as toys, reflect who they are and their own culture.
Each classroom is arranged with the following parts: building games, dramatic play, arts, manipulative games and a book/calm corner. The classroom materials are carefully selected according to the needs and interests of the children, and they are changed periodically. The materials included in the environment can be natural, commercial/non-commercial or recycled:
Building Toys - wooden blocks of different shapes and sizes, legos, bricks, boxes, cardboard tubes, wheels, tires.
Dramatic Games - pots and utensils, costumes, bags, shoes, empty food containers, mirrors.
Arts - paints, different colored paper, twigs, buttons, cotton balls, glue, markers, crayons, boxes, tubes, cartons, pieces of carpet.
Games of Manipulation- puzzles, connection games, small blocks, games.
Book/Quiet Corner - Books in english and french, cassettes, cd's, pillows, family albums, stories produced by children.
We ensure that every child has learning experiences that are enriched by providing them with an environment that is:
• Organized and welcoming
• Equipped with interesting material, ready and available for all children.
• Equipped with open-ended materials that can be used in different ways. This allows children to expand their experiences and stimulate their imagination.
• Encouraging to their independence by allowing children to choose, use and return the equipment independently.
• Arranged so as to encourage different games ex: block corners, dramatic play, art corner, manipulative toys, and reading corner.
• Flexible and allows children to extend their play by bringing materials from one area to another.
• Equipped with materials that reflect the diversity of the interests of the children.
• Suitable for fostering the development of their motricity ex: gym and outdoor games.
Our goal is to provide the children with a bilingual program. In each class, one educator speaks in French and one in English. All aspects of the program, including the circle time, hygiene and activities will be conducted in both languages. The french educator will respond to the children in french at all times, except in situations of distress. The english educator will be available for translation.
Every child develops and learns at their own pace. It is expected that each child at the end of his fourth year at our daycare, will have:
• Developed an understanding of the language;
• Expanded their vocabulary
• Acquired the ability to speak in short sentences.
Since the french educator cannot rely solely on language cues when communicating with the children, she will use other communication strategies to convey or to understand the meaning of certain situations. The strategies used are:
• Make signs
• Visual Aids
• Books and stories
• Tone of voice
• Music (songs)
• Structure of the environment
The personalized portfolio is a compilation of the growth and development of the child. It includes all areas of development: social, language, physical, emotional and cognitive. Parents and educators see it as concrete examples that describe the strengths, challenges and progress of each child. The objective of this portfolio is to share information about the growth and development of the child, in addition to guiding the educator when planning activities that follow the individual interests of the children. Educators take note of anecdotes and observations. This will help them to learn more about the children.The educators photograph the children in the classroom, they take note of anecdotes and observations and collect work (crafts, drawings, paintings and other) to illustrate how the children:• Present their favorite activities• Choose special friends• Share information about family members• Achieve developmental progress.