La Boîte à Soleil

PROGRAM STATEMENT

La Boîte à soleil is a cooperative francophone child care provider that offers a safe, comfortable, and stimulating environment to the children of the Niagara Region. We offer quality programs and services that cater to the needs of both the children and parents. Our competent and passionate staff members help the children to thrive, learn, and grow in an environment based on learning through play.

We follow the pedagogy of the Ministry of Education

Our objective: La Boîte à soleil complies with the principles of the Ministry of Education which are documented in “How Does Learning Happen”? This document is used to guide the program planning and education of the child care services.

Our expectations: We expect to see the educators establishing goals for the children that are consistent with those of the pedagogy of the Ministry of Education that describes children as competent, capable, curious, and rich in possibilities and that include the following foundations:

  • The children develop a sense of belonging when they are with others and when they contribute to the world around them.
  • The children develop a sense of identity, health, and well-being.
  • The children are active learners. They learn through engagement which allows them to explore the world with their bodies, spirits, and senses.
  • The children are communicators who are capable of expressing themselves independently in many ways.

We support the health, safety, and well-being of the children

Our objective: The health, safety, and well-being of the children are our primary responsibilities as a quality child care service.  For that reason, La Boîte à soleil respects the needs of the parents and their children by using a holistic approach to health. We understand that for children to grow in a healthy way, they must have a sense of belonging, well-being, and safety. They must also have the chance to express themselves and to engage with the world around them.

Our expectation: We expect to see the educators planning pleasant and stimulating physical activities every day. These physical activities require planning, observation, and a consideration of the developmental needs of the children. The patience and love of the educators is apparent every day and the children are respected as individuals and tiny humans. The educators also personalize the room for the children. They have personal objects in the room as well as family photos.

We offer an education on good nutrition

Our objective: La Boîte à soleil considers the food and nutrition of the children a priority. All our meals are made with fresh ingredients purchased by our kitchen staff and our healthy menus follow the seasons. It is equally important to ensure that the children are benefiting from a positive and safe environment while they are eating. The education of proper nutrition is done through program planning and activities offered to the children.

Our expectations: We expect to see an open environment where the children can explore their preferences. It is not our practice to force children to eat. The children have the chance to explore their meals with their five senses and are encouraged to try new foods. The routine for snack and lunch is made in an open and flexible manner. The educators describe the menu, discuss the smells from the kitchen, and encourage the children to describe the shapes, colours or origins of their food. Good nutrition is also integrated in all different activities, whether they are spontaneous or planned.

We support the positive and receptive interactions
between the children, parents and staff

Our objectives: We recognize that each child is unique and brings their individual qualities, habits, and interests to the program. Each child deserves an environment that allows them to try new things, to explore new ideas, and to develop their own creativity with the encouragement of the educators. The environment and interactions challenge and offer them spaces that invite them to explore, imagine, reflect, create, and solve problems.

Our expectations: We expect to see the individual expressions, involvement, and ideas of the children within the design of the program demonstrated in the room.

We encourage the children to interact and to communicate
in a positive manner and we support the ability to auto-regulate

Our objectives: We offer an environment that encourages curiosity and that allows children to explore different aspects of their everyday life. The children’s self-regulation is supported by the educators and they are in an environment where they have the chance to learn how to manage themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Our expectations: We expect to see programs that are designed to mimic the home environment (full of living things). This includes learning in small groups and in a calm environment that consists of very few transitions. The educators discuss the process of different emotions and behaviours with the children. They are mindful of the needs of the children and know them individually to be aware of what they need. The children are redirected in a positive manner.

We prefer exploration, play, and curiosity in children

Our objective: We know that children learn through play. Playing is pleasant, spontaneous, active, and natural. Each child is curious when they explore the world through play. When the children participate in this natural way, their competence and potential are maximized.

Our expectations: We expect to see the educators involved with the children during their play time. The educators know when to intervene in a game and when to observe. The educators are co-learners and are a part of the play time. They ask open and authentic questions and articulate their theories on how the children are learning. The environment offer the provocations to stimulate play and also include multi-use material that offer diverse possibilities. The educators offer the children occasions where they can take risks suitable for their age and level of development.

We offer experiences initiated by the children and supported by the educators

Our objectives: The educators value the children and they are viewed as competent and capable. They understand the individuality of each child and take into consideration the feelings and independence of the children when they are making decisions. There are activities planned in advance but the educators stay flexible for what might happen during the day.

Our expectations: We expect to see the educators having positive interactions with the children, the parents, and their co-workers. The communication with the children is done in an encouraging manner. The educators offer opportunities to share, communicate, and problem solve. The children are also consulted when a decision is to be made that will affect them. The educators speak at the same level as the children. The educators take into consideration the different learning styles and modify their approach in accordance to the different needs of the children.

We plan positive learning spaces and experiences that are suitable
to the learning and development of each child

Our objectives: We understand the importance of taking the children’s development into consideration. The level of development is individual and unique to every child and takes into consideration the developmental factors and the family/environmental exposure.

Our expectations: We expect to see programs and activities based on the varying levels of development of each individual child. To ensure this, the employees of La Boîte à soleil utilise the tools and practices of QCCN (Quality Child Care Niagara). This training gives the employees the information and tools they need to help them determine the level of development of the children and to predict future skills.

We offer activities that take into consideration the individual needs

Our objectives:  We understand the daily schedule of the children must meet the needs of all those in the program. The schedule must consider the health and well-being as well as the time and level of development of the children.

Our expectations: We expect to see the children participating in physical activities inside and outside. The educators are the examples and promote physical activity as well as different activities that require movement. The educators are flexible and incorporate calm times when they notice a lower level of energy in the children. The educators are conscious of the transitions and offer a schedule that supports exploration and play as well as the level of development of the children.

We prefer the participation of the parents and a continuous dialogue

Our objective: La Boîte à soleil encourages the participation of the parents. We also reinforce, through our educators, a partnering atmosphere with the parents. The parents are seen as co-learners along with the children and are welcomed to participate in our programs.

Our expectations: We expect to see daily communication with the parents. The educators take the time to welcome the parents each day and ask them questions concerning the habits and preferences of their child. The educators are empathetic with the parents and invite them into the classroom to participate in activities with their child. We also expect to see the educators communicating with the parents each day using HiMama. The documentation of the meals, nap time, and any other activity throughout the day is sent to the parents using this platform.

We encourage community partnerships

Our objectives: We know that the community is an important aspect of the development of a child’s identity. La Boîte à soleil therefore recognizes the importance of including a child’s culture and community into the program.

Our expectations: We expect to see an open communication between the parents and educators regarding the activities done outside of the child care. For example: special celebrations, cultural activities that are unique to each family, leisure activities, etc. We collaborate with the visitors from the community that have been invited to the program and we arrange organized trips to explore the neighbourhood. We create a link between the children and their child care, school, neighbourhood, and community.
We support the staff and their professional growth

Our objectives: Training and professional development of the staff is a shared responsibility. La Boîte à soleil encourages a learning culture at the heart if its centres based on the needs presented in its strategic plan. The educators are in a constant state of reflection and they examine their practices to modify or change them as needed.

Our expectations: We expect each staff member to participate in their personal and professional development in their own way: reading, research, training in a work environment, participation in meetings or in workshops.

We document and evaluate the impact of the strategies
and statements on the children and families

Our objective: Our methods of documentation and evaluation are constantly evolving. We are always in a state a reflection on how we can better our services for the children, the parents, and the community.

Our expectations: The educators are practitioners of reflection and ask questions while considering the perspective of the child. They look for the perspectives of others by asking the parents, families, and their co-workers questions. Practical reflection must take place in that environment to ensure that it meets the developmental needs of the children.  This reflective work is documented and accessible to the supervisor of the child care centre. Furthermore, in the surveys for the parents, we ask for the level of satisfaction in regards to our performance based on this statement and then we make the necessary changes.

Forbidden practices

Our objective: La Boîte à soleil is a cooperative francophone child care organization that offers a safe, welcoming, and stimulating environment for the children. All practices based on negative control are not part of the practices accepted at La Boîte à soleil.

Our expectations: In terms of a child receiving child care in one of our centres, La Boîte à soleil does not allow or tolerate:

  • Physical punishment
  • Physically restraining a child, especially immobilizing them in a high chair, a car seat, a stroller or other devices for disciplinary purposes or to replace surveillance, unless the restraint aims to stop the child from hurting themselves or others and is only used as a last resort or just until all risk of injury ceases.
  • The exits of the child care centre being locked with the goal of locking out a child or locking the child in a space or room without adult supervision, unless this situation arises during an emergency situation and it is required in the policies and procedures relating to managing emergency situations.
  • Using severe and degrading measures, the use of threats or derogatory language to a child or in their presence to humiliate, scare, or harm their dignity or self-esteem.
  • The deprivation of the satisfaction of a child’s basic needs such as food, drink, shelter, sleep, the use of the toilet, clothing or bedding.
  • Inflicting bodily harm on a child, including forcing them to eat or drink against their will

If an employee observes or hears of a prohibited practice, they must report it to the local child protection agency (FACS). The students and volunteers must report all incidents to their centre’s supervisor or to the Assistant Executive Director.

The supervisor will ensure that there are observations made and to have all documentation from the employees, volunteers, and students. If there is a prohibited practice observed or reported, the employee(s) involved will undergo an immediate investigation. All documentation of a prohibited practice will remain in the employees file for three years. The students and volunteers will never be alone with the children.

We have an annual revision

Our objective: All employees of La Boîte à soleil, volunteers and students must read, understand, and follow this program statement policy before beginning to work in the child care centre. They must formally review it annually as well as when there are changes made to the policy. This policy is revised every year by the administrative team of La Boîte à soleil.

Our expectations: All the expectations mentioned above are reflected in probation assessments and the new employee training plan.