Program Statement

 

The View of the Child

At Little Learning House we view children as fully formed individuals with their own interests, temperament and innate abilities.  They are actively seeking knowledge and experience.  Our role as educators is not to fill them up with facts and figures but rather to allow, support and encourage them to experience learning that is meaningful for them.

To guide our team as we seek to live these beliefs every day, we have identified to the following goals and agreed to approach these goals through the following actions:

Goal:  To support the wellbeing of the children through purposeful choices about physical activity, health, safety and nutrition.

Approach:

  1. We will encourage healthy attitudes about food by offering healthy food choices based on Canada’s Food Guide and role modeling healthy eating habits for the children in our care.  This includes having water readily available throughout the day.

  2. We will ensure each child has the opportunity to participate in outdoor play for two hours per day.  When this is not possible due to weather we will ensure they engage in alternate active play indoors.

  3. We will ensure the children’s ongoing safety through the use of environmental safety/cleaning checklists, by properly screening staff and students including obtaining a Vulnerable Sector Screening prior to placement with the children, and by ensuring all staff have current first aid and CPR training.

  4. We shall promote a healthy learning environment by conducting daily health checks as children arrive and excluding children who present symptoms of infectious illness.

  5. We recognize the value of down time and shall provide every child with opportunities for rest and relaxation, based on their individual needs.  This includes a 2 hour scheduled nap time after the midday meal, flexible nap schedules for infants, and a variety of opportunities for quiet rest and relaxation throughout the day.

Goal:  To prioritize the relationships between children, families and staff in recognition of the importance of secure connections and positive interactions

Approaches:

  1. We will spend as much time as possible meaningfully engaged with the children, making the most out of every task and daily routine as an opportunity for interaction and learning.  

  2. We will use a variety of communication tools including face to face conversations, social media, website, email, telephone and posted notices in order to reach every parent in the way that best meets their needs so that they might feel a sense of belonging and engagement within our school community.

  3. We will engage in active listening with an open mind in an effort to better understand the needs of the families we serve.  We will respond only after careful reflection and consideration of varied perspectives.  

Goal:  To foster a school culture founded on respect for others, respect for oneself and respect for our learning environment

Approaches:

  1. We will make self regulation a core component of our curriculum and all staff will actively seek opportunities to role model and support children’s development of this critical skill

  2. We will allow the children to experience a range of emotions in a safe, loving environment so they might learn to express their feelings in a positive and constructive manner.

  3. We will encourage and support children to work through challenging situations rather than redirecting or restricting their experiences in an effort to avoid conflict.  

  4. We will maintain reasonable standards of behaviour so that children learn to see themselves as capable and competent.  

Goal:  To create and maintain learning environments which are rich in quality materials while offering a calming and comfortable space for children to explore and interact.

Approaches:

  1. We will arrange our learning environment to create opportunities for safe exploration, understanding that reasonable risk taking is an essential step in the development of self-esteem and critical thinking skills

  2. We will provide learning environments that are rich in materials which allow for open exploration and provide sufficient space for children to expand their play.

  3. We will use a neutral colour palette so that children can focus on their own ideas and imagination and not be overwhelmed by external visual stimulation

  4. We will avoid excessive auditory stimulation by modeling quiet, calm voice tones and making purposeful choices around the kinds of music used in the classroom environment

Goal:  To create a diverse and resourceful early learning network through collaborative relationships with parents and community partners

Approaches:

  1. We recognize parents as valuable contributors to their child’s learning and will actively seek their input and participation in our program while respecting their individual cultures, perspectives and ideas.  

  2. We will host a number of family events for our children and their families each year.

  3. We shall invite parents to share perspectives and make suggestions via an annual parent survey.

  4. We will support our Supervisors to participate in the Hamilton Supervisors Professional Learning Community on a monthly basis

  5. We will support and encourage our staff to engage in professional learning activities which allow them to experience different perspectives from throughout our community.

 Goal:  To prioritize exploration, play and inquiry through the thoughtful implementation of child directed and adult facilitated experiences

Approaches:

  1. Each classroom teacher will maintain a personal resource of books and props with which she can confidently engage the children’s interest and attention

  2. We will engage in documented observations of the children in order to better understand the children’s experiences, theories and interests

  3. We will use our observations as a foundation from which to offer opportunities and materials for children to extend their exploration of interests and ideas.   

  4. We will plan and implement a range of teacher facilitated experiences in order to expand children’s exposure to new ideas and materials.

  5. We will advocate for children’s right to play by educating parents and family members about the value of play and by using purposeful documentations to illustrate the learning that occurs through children’s exploration and experimentation.  

Goal:  To actively seek ongoing professional development and personal growth

Approaches:

  1. We will maintain a performance assessment system which offers staff transparency and personal accountability

  2. We will encourage and support all staff in continuous professional development

  3. We will offer equal opportunities for staff to access opportunities for advancement

Goal:  To engage in ongoing review and revision of our goals and approaches in consideration of the changing needs of the children, families and staff.

Approaches:

  1. We will review this Program Statement each year during the last quarter (October to December)

  2. We will encourage parents and team members to share feedback and suggest goals/approaches for the coming year through an annual Program Statement survey, sent out in August of each year, with the information update package.

  3. We will document this review using the Annual Program Statement Review record and this feedback will be used to update the program statement to reflect our current goals and approaches.

  4. The updated Program Statement will be released each January.

Reference:

In support of these objectives we reference the document “How Does Learning Happen?  Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years” which identifies the four foundations Belonging, Well-Being, Expression and Engagement as fundamentals of a high quality Early Learning and Care program.