La Boîte à soleil aims to create a positive and friendly atmosphere where your child will be excited to learn. Your children will learn according to their age, interests, abilities and individual choices in an environment that promotes learning through play.
La Boîte à soleil uses the framework set out in the Early Years Ontario guideline. This framework, called “The Early Learning for every child today” is a guide from the Ministry of Education, designed to supplement the Ontario Day Nurseries Act, using its principles as a base for programming.
For years, educators in early childhood were encouraged to choose weekly themes of exploration such as oceans, seasons, dinosaurs, etc. to teach children in child care. Educators guided the children in their learning on a fixed schedule and prepared activities in advance for them. With this approach, child care rooms were much like classrooms. This more traditional model has been questioned because it often imposes limits for children’s learning. From infancy, children are continuously discovering and want to learn about things that interest them in the present moment. Today, the Ministry of Education fosters an environment where children are valued and where play-based learning is the foundation of growth and development. This is the emergent curriculum.
The emergent curriculum is a way of planning based on the interests of the child and asking questions. Educators begin the programming session with a blank page and allow the curriculum to emerge. Staff observe the children, document their observations and use the knowledge they’ve acquired for the stages of child development to then develop the program plan. All this is done through the activities presented by the teacher and applied by children within the group. During these creative activities, the emphasis is on the process, not the product, which gives the child the opportunity to experience and express themselves with the materials that interest them.
In our rooms we can offer the following activity centres: listening centres, music, library, dramatic play, science, carpentry, water games, block games, felt boards, sand play, playdough, puzzles, painting and crafts. Other activities may be added or changed depending on the season or goal. In addition, during the day, the child has the opportunity to play independently or participate in group activities with two or three other children.
The programs are regularly evaluated to maintain the standards of the “Day Nurseries Act” and community needs. We send out a calendar every month to keep the parents informed of special events and child care activities. They are invited to contribute to this calendar by speaking with the Supervisor of the centre. They are also be invited to complete an annual evaluation of the programs and services offered by La Boîte à soleil.
La Boîte à soleil is also actively involved with “Quality Child Care Niagara”. This program gives us the tools to assess the development of the child (DPS), the state and quality of the children’s environments as well as tools to help children who demonstrate difficulty with language or behavior.