PROGRAM STATEMENT - CHILDREN’S CENTRES
To ensure that we provide high quality experiences for families and children, our programming and pedagogy is guided by the How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (2014) document.
We believe that every child:
- Needs to feel a sense of belonging, feel connected to others and feel that they are able to contribute to their world.
- Needs to develop a strong sense of self, health and wellbeing.
- Is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind and senses.
- Is a capable communicator who can express themselves in many ways.
Within a warm, nurturing environment, children actively participate in positive, interactive experiences that are based on their current interests and real life experiences. Our programs are flexible and creative and provide children opportunities for decision-making and growth towards independence and responsibility.
We view children as resourceful and competent, capable of complex thinking and rich in potential. By observing the children’s interaction and language, we learn about their interests, experiences and needs. By recognizing and acting upon teachable moments, the program staff engage children in planning activities that are meaningful and relevant to their world. With the guidance of the staff, projects are chosen that generate a sufficient amount of interest and curiosity to provoke children’s creative thinking and problem solving, and are open to different avenues of exploration.
Developing the ability to self-regulate is an essential part of a child’s healthy development. Understanding and helping children to develop self-regulation skills, is a key component of the Children’s Centre. Self-regulation develops over time with maturation, experience and nurturing adult support.
Self-regulation is the ability to effectively monitor and modify one’s own emotions, to focus or shift attention, to control impulses and to tolerate frustration or delay gratification.
A child must be calmly focused and alert in order to learn, communicate and self-soothe effectively. Good self-regulation skills are important for a child’s social-emotional development, as research has shown that children who can successfully self-regulate are more resilient, have better relationships with others, and better academic outcomes.
We value positive and responsive relationships with families. By engaging families in a meaningful way, this partnership ensures that we are able to focus on their child’s social, emotional, physical, creative and cognitive development in a holistic way.
We work in partnership with school boards and special needs resource agencies, such as All Kids Belong, to meet the individual needs of children and their families. By working collaboratively with parents and resource agencies, we ensure that strategies are implemented that reduce or eliminate barriers and effectively support each child’s unique needs.
Our educators are warm, caring, qualified professionals who are carefully chosen through a selection process designed to determine their ability to meet the needs of children.
Educators participate in regularly scheduled professional learning opportunities throughout the year. Individually, and within learning communities, educators review, discuss, share and reflect on topics that are relevant to providing quality care for children and effective support for families.
PROGRAM STATEMENT GOALS AND APPROACHES
London Children’s Connection is a community based organization that provides excellence in licensed child care and early learning programs for children from infancy to 12 years of age. Our Program Statement is consistent with the Minister of Education’s policy statement on programming and policy (0.Reg. 137/15), aligns with our policies and procedures, and is used to guide our work with children and families.
Within a positive learning environment, we provide child-initiated and adult-supported experiences to foster children’s exploration, play and inquiry.
Children are viewed as resourceful, competent, capable of complex thinking and rich in potential. They are able to explore within an environment that provides opportunities to make choices and encourages independence. Educators guide and stimulate children’s curiosity, creative thinking, exploration and problem solving skills through activities that are open to different avenues of exploration.
We encourage children to interact and communicate with others in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate.
Educators demonstrate a calm, positive approach to guiding children, and provide them with the tools necessary to help them problem solve and communicate. They interact with children in a manner that maintains the child’s sense of self-worth, respect and dignity.
The health, safety, nutrition and well-being of all the children in our care is our top priority.
Our flexible schedule allows children the opportunity for periods of uninterrupted play, as well as to sleep, rest or engage in quiet activities based on their individual need to regenerate or self-regulate. Children participate in physical activity both indoors and outdoors in the morning and afternoon.
Healthy eating is essential. Our nutritious lunches and snacks are reviewed by a registered dietitian to ensure we meet the highest standards in nutrition. To promote social development and to model positive attitudes towards healthy eating, educators sit and eat with the children in a family-style environment. Children in our before and after school programs receive nutritious morning and afternoon snacks.
We value positive and responsive relationships with families.
We welcome families into our programs and invite them to participate in the planning and sharing of ideas and resources. By participating in ongoing communication with parents, educators exchange information and involve them in decision-making for their child.
We work with local community partners to support children, their families and staff.
Educators work in collaboration with school personnel, Family Centres and community resource agencies, such as All Kids Belong, to meet the individual needs of the children and their families. By working collaboratively, we ensure that strategies are implemented that reduce or eliminate barriers and effectively support each child’s unique needs.
We support staff with continuous professional learning.
Our educators are warm, caring, qualified professionals, carefully chosen through a selection process designed to determine their ability to meet the needs of children. Regularly scheduled professional learning opportunities are scheduled throughout the year. Individually or within specific learning communities, educators review, discuss, share and reflect on topics that are relevant to providing quality care for children and effective support for families.
Regular program visits are conducted by Coordinators to document, review and discuss with educators the impact of the approaches on the children and their families. Together, goals are set and next steps are planned to ensure the approaches are used. Parent feedback is gathered through daily communication, parent surveys and participation on Program Advisory Committees.
LCC is committed to providing high quality, inclusive programs and practices that respond to the individual abilities and needs of every child. We know that children need to feel valued, have friends and feel that they belong. At LCC, we provide safe, caring environments where all children are valued and have opportunities to participate with their peers, in activities that promote their emotional, physical, social and intellectual growth and development. We foster each child’s sense of belonging and feelings of self-worth through respectful and supportive relationships among staff, children, their families and the community.
LCC staff work in partnership with parents and special needs resource agencies, such as All Kids Belong, to meet the individual needs of children and their families. By working collaboratively with parents and resource agencies, we ensure that strategies are implemented that support each child’s unique needs.
Parent involvment is welcome in all aspects of the program. Feedback through questionnaires and daily communication with the program staff are valuable methods of contributing to your child’s care. We encourage you to consider participating on our Program Advisory Committee, to help with fundraising ventures or assist with field trips or special events. Parents participating in field trips or special events will be required to provide a current Vulnerable Sector Check.
Licensing is obtained through the Ministry of Education (MEDU) to operate our Children’s Centres. The program is inspected and licensed annually and a license is issued upon successful completion of the licensing procedure. More information about licensing is available on the Ministry website at www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents.
An Infant program is offered at Jean Vanier Children’s Centre and White Oaks Children’s Centre for children ranging in age from 0-18 months. The individual needs of each child are met promptly and sensitively, through an abundance of cuddles and stimulating learning experiences. Secure emotional attachments and strong, nurturing relationships are developed between children and program staff.
Our Toddler program offers care for children ranging in age from 18 months to 2 ½ years. The individual needs of each child are met through the development of strong, nurturing relationships. As well as being exposed to many exciting activities daily, the children learn self-help skills such as dressing, eating and toileting.
Our Preschool program offers care for children ranging in age from 2 ½ - 5 years. In our children’s centres, we embrace the emergent curriculum approach to early childhood education. This is a child focused and teacher framed approach to learning. Within a warm, nurturing environment, children participate in positive experiences which are based on their current interest and real life experiences. Our programs are flexible and creative and provide children opportunities for decision making and growth towards independence and responsibility.
In order to accommodate each child’s needs, our home-like environments provide a variety of stimulating and rich learning centres, which include; writing, creative arts, sensory play, discovery, dramatic play, reading, blocks, woodworking and computers. Ample time is provided in the learning centres to ensure children have enough time to develop their ideas and work on their skills.
A Montessori program is offered at Pond Mills Children’s Centre for children 3-4 years of age. Our Montessori program offers children the opportunity to explore the world through movement and senses. By providing practical life experiences, sensory materials and academic materials, children learn to understand abstract ideas with a minimum of adult explanation.
APPROACHES FOR GUIDING CHILDREN’S SUCCESS
Our aim is for the children and staff to have a safe and enjoyable time at the program. We establish reasonable limits for behaviour which are consistently monitored by all staff. These limits are appropriate to the developmental level of the child and consider the health, safety, and the rights of all individuals. A positive approach is used to guide the children, and each situation and child is considered individually. Our methods include: redirection, logical and natural consequences, limit setting, modeling, providing choices, anticipating situations, recognizing appropriate behavior and involving children in conflict resolution.
LUNCHES AND SNACKS
Nutritious lunches and snacks are purchased and prepared daily for your child. By following Canada’s Food Guide, a rotational menu is planned and posted for your reference. As some children enrolled in the program may have life-threatening food allergies, with the exception of infants not yet on table foods, outside foods may not be brought into the centre.
In partnership with parents and in collaboration with community partners, every effort will be made to accommodate your child’s food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. All possible strategies to reduce the risk of exposure to allergens is practiced, however, it is not possible to reduce the risk to zero.
PERIODS OF REST
The well-being of all children in our programs is supported through programming that supports each child’s varied psychological and biological rhythms by providing materials, time and space for active play, rest and quiet time.
Rest is an important part of the day for all children. The need for sleep and/or rest time varies greatly among children. Preschool and toddler aged children may sleep for up to two hours daily. If children are unable to sleep after half an hour they can get up from their cots to participate in quiet activities for the remainder of the period. Children enrolled in a kindergarten program are permitted to sleep, rest, or engage in quiet activities, based on their individual needs.
All infants under 12 months of age will be placed on their back for sleep, until they are able to roll from their back to their stomach or sides on their own. Any request to place an infant in a different position for sleep (ie: on their side or stomach) will require a written letter from the child’s physician.
Please inform the Program Coordinator of your child’s sleep preferences and/or required accommodations. We work in partnership with parents to ensure that the duration of each child’s rest period while participating in our program, does not disrupt normal sleep patterns at home.
ILLNESS OF A CHILD
The Child Care and Early Years Act stipulates that:
- Prior to admission, each child must be immunized according to the local medical officer of health.
- When a child is ill, the parent/guardian must be contacted immediately and is required to pick up their child from the program to protect the interest of the sick child and to prevent further infection.
London Children’s Connection follows the guidelines as set out by the Middlesex-London Health Unit. If your child becomes ill during the program and is unable to actively participate in program activities, they will be isolated from the rest of the group. Care will be provided until you can be contacted and your child can be taken home. If we are unable to contact you, we will telephone the emergency contacts on your child’s registration form and request that they pick your child up from the centre. We would then continue to try and contact you to inform you of the situation.
HEALTH AND ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION
The Children’s Centre will administer prescription medication only. In accordance with the Child Care and Early Years Act, the medication must be in the original container with a prescription label that is clearly marked with your child’s name, date, name of medication, and the instructions for storage and administration. Program staff will only administer medication according to the instructions on the prescription label. A medication form must be completed and signed by the parent /guardian prior to administering the medication to the child. Our staff will document and initial: the dosage, time given, and any side effects observed each time medication is administered. Please ensure that the medication is passed on to the Program Staff for safe storage.
For children who have an anaphylactic allergy, severe asthma, diabetes or seizures, an Action Plan will be established between the parent and the Program Coordinator, reviewed with program staff and posted on site.
All ongoing medication information and action plans must be reviewed, signed and dated by the parent every six (6) months, or if changes are made, to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. We may ask you to follow specific guidelines to ensure the safety of all children in our care.
Experiences in nature are very important to the development of young children. It enhances physical health, intellectual development and emotional well-being, and increases focus and academic achievement. Learning outdoors provides opportunities for curiosity and wonder, and provides a different and meaningful learning environment.
Our daily program schedule allows children the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities every morning and afternoon. To help your child feel comfortable and ready to explore and learn in the outdoors we ask that you provide appropriate clothing for the weather each day (ie: rain boots, raincoats and splash pants for wet days: snow pants, boots, hats, extra mittens, etc. for cold, snowy days).
It is advised to keep an extra set of clothing on site for your child so that children have the freedom to explore and create while eliminating the stress of getting dirty or wet. All items must be clearly labeled with your child’s name. Every effort will be made to locate misplaced or missing items; however, we cannot be responsible for lost items
During summer months, children must wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim or neck flap to protect their sensitive ears and neck. To reduce the risk of injury as children participate in outdoor activities, children must wear secure footwear such as running shoes or sandals with a full ankle strap and rubber grip bottoms.
We request that you provide a bottle of sunscreen to the program to help ensure that your child is protected from the harmful rays of the sun. Due to allergies and skin sensitivities, the sunscreen must be in the original container, clearly labelled with your child’s name. We recommend using a broad spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen, with SPF #30 or higher. Please ensure your sunscreen does not contain any nut ingredients. As there is a waiting time for sunscreen to become affective, we request that you apply sunscreen on your child, prior to coming to the program. Should you choose to send your child with a water bottle, please ensure that it is clearly labelled with your child’s name.
Excursions are made throughout the year to special places of interest. Notice will be posted in advance of the excursion, informing you of the destination, time and date. You will be required to sign a permission form allowing your child to participate.
Fire drills are practiced once per month. These fire drills are recorded and initialed by the Program Coordinator. Posted by each exit door, is a detailed outline of the emergency procedures followed in case of evacuation of the centre. The evacuation site is also posted. Please familiarize yourself with this information.
MONITORING COMPLIANCE AND CONTRAVENTIONS
On a monthly basis, the Program Coordinator or designate visits the program to observe and document compliance with the implementation of program policies and procedures, Program Statement goals and approaches and Individual Support Plans. Follow up support is provided as required.
Under No circumstances is the following permitted:
- Corporal punishment of a child.
- Use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten a child or undermine his/her selfrespect, dignity or self-worth.
- Deprivation of a child’s of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding.
- Locking the exits of a child care program for the purpose of confining a child, or confining a child in an area or room without adult supervision.
- Inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will f) Physical restraint of a child
ADDRESSING MATTERS OF CONCERN - A Solution Focused Approach
We work in partnership with parents, school personnel and community partners to meet the individual needs of children and their families. We value positive and responsive relationships and foster engagement and ongoing communication with parent about the children and the program.
Open communication with parents is essential to a quality child care experience. Program staff will discuss your child’s day with you and will ask for your feedback to ensure your child has a positive experience in our program. All issues and concerns brought forward are taken seriously and every effort will be made to address and resolve issues and concerns as quickly as possible. An initial response will be provided within two business days.
Every issue and concern will be treated confidentially and every effort will be made to protect the privacy of parents, children, staff, students and volunteers, except when information must be disclosed for legal reasons (ie: CAS, Ministry of Education, College of Early Childhood Educators).
Depending upon the nature of the concern, please follow the steps below:
Nature of Issue/Concern jor
Steps to Report Issue/Concern
ie: Schedule, sleep arrangements, toilet training, programming activities, feeding arrangements
1. Raise the issue/concern directly with program staff.
2. If the issue cannot be resolved, contact the Program Coordinator.
ie: child care fees, staffing, waiting lists, menus
Raise the issue/concern directly with the Program Coordinator.
Staff, Student, Volunteer
1. Raise the issue/concern directly with the individual.
2. If the issue cannot be resolved, contact the Program Coordinator.
All issues or concerns about the conduct of staff, students or volunteers that puts a child’s health, safety and well-being at risk should be reported to the Program Coordinator as soon as it becomes apparent.
DUTY TO REPORT
The duty to report is an ongoing obligation. If there is reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection, by law, a report must be made to the Children’s Aid Society. The duty to report overrides the provision of any other provincial statute.
Should parent express an issue or concern directly with a staff member, the staff member will:
- Be attentive and listen carefully - show interest that you want to understand the issue/concern.
- Seek all pertinent information in order to identify and solve the problem together.
- Plan a mutually agreeable time to meet with parent when children are not present, if necessary.
- Contact their Program Coordinator for support if a resolution cannot be found.
- Document the situation, which will include the issue/concern and the steps taken to resolve it.
- Should the situation escalate, the Program Coordinator will contact the Program Manager to discuss next steps. Next steps may include contacting the Ministry of Education Program Advisor to inform them of the situation.
Our Children’s Centres operate every school day from 7:00 am - 5:30 pm. The programs do not operate on statutory holidays. Full-day care is offered on PA Days, during March Break, throughout the summer and between Christmas and New Years.
Safe arrival of children in the program is ensured by requiring that you or your designate take your child directly to the staff member on duty each morning. You are required to initial and indicate the time of your arrival on the ‘Sign In’ record as verification of your child’s arrival. The duty of care is not transferred until your child is signed in.
Safe departure of children is ensured by requiring that you or your designate pick up your child from the program. You will be required to initial and indicate the time of departure on the ‘Sign Out’ record as verification of your child’s departure.
Written notice is required if someone other than the registered parent/guardian or those who are identified on the registration form is to sign out a child. This person will be required to show picture ID. A child will not be released to someone who does not have permission to sign him/her out. The parent / guardian / emergency contact(s) will be called should this situation arise. Anyone under the age of 16 years will not be permitted to pick up your child.
INFORMING THE PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Informing the Program Coordinator when your child will be absent is essential. Written notice must be given to the Program Coordinator in advance. In circumstances where written notice is not possible, please call the Program Coordinator.
CHANGES IN REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Changes in registration information must be relayed to the Program Coordinator immediately. In the event of an emergency, your child’s safety could depend on the accuracy of this information (ie: address, phone number, work information, emergency contacts). When changes occur, you will be requested to sign and date the updated registration form as verification of accuracy.
Transitions from one age group to another will depend upon availability of space, as well as the age and/or developmental level of the individual child.
In preparation for a child to make a transition, the Program Coordinator will schedule a time for parents to:
- Meet their child’s new teacher
- Review menus (if different from current group)
- Discuss proposed date of move
- Share information regarding new program routines
- Communicate any special circumstances or health considerations
Prior to the transition, a few short visits will be scheduled to help your child become familiar with new room.
PROGRAM CLOSING TIME
Program closing time has been established in consideration for the children and the length of their day, and to correspond with parent’s needs. If an unexpected situation arises and you are unable to pick up your child by 5:30 p.m., please arrange for another adult to do so. This person must be identified on your child’s registration form.
Centre closures may result due to severe inclement weather conditions, power failure or circumstances beyond our control. Please listen to a London radio station for announcements of school closures. If during the program hours the centre is not able to operate due to power failure or similar circumstances, you will be contacted immediately.
If your child is enrolled in the Children’s Centre program for a consecutive period of 12 months, you will be entitled to take two weeks’ vacation without charge. You are encouraged to take vacation time in blocks of not less than five (5) days. It is our intent to encourage families to take advantage of some quality vacation time together each year. Please note that unused time may not be carried over to the next calendar year.
STATUTORY HOLIDAYS / PROGRAM CLOSURE DAYS
Our program observes the following statutory holidays:
New Year’s Day Good Friday Labour Day Christmas Day Canada Day
Family Day Victoria Day Thanksgiving Day Boxing Day Civic Holiday
In addition, the centre is closed:
- For a few extra days during the Christmas Break. This varies yearly, depending on the dates of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Notice of this closure will be posted well in advance.
- For an organization-wide professional development day on Easter Monday.
CHILD CARE STAFF
Our warm and caring staff are qualified professionals, carefully chosen through a selection process designed to determine their ability to meet the needs of young children. All program staff have an Early Childhood Education Diploma and are registered with the College of ECE. Staff are required to have a valid first aid certificate, infant/child CPR, an up-to-date immunization record and a Vulnerable Sector Check prior to employment.
London Children’s Connection is committed to ongoing professional development and staff are supported in the implementation of our innovative approach to program planning, through imbedded professional learning and participation in ongoing professional development.
VOLUNTEERS AND STUDENTS
Volunteers and students may participate in a child care opportunity by fulfilling the requirements of the Vulnerable Sector Check, participating in a Policy and Procedure review, and at the discretion of London Children’s Connection. All volunteers and students participating in a child care opportunity will be under direct supervision of staff and will never be left alone with the children. All students and volunteers will participate in tasks and responsibilities that are directly related to their school curriculum / volunteer position.
VISITING ANIMALS AND RESIDENT PETS
The following animals are not permitted in LCC program sites:
- Any animal that has bitten or injured a person, or has shown threatening, aggressive or protective behaviour towards the safety of children or adults
- Any animal that is normally found in the wild and natural state, whether or not it has been bred or raised in captivity (ie: spiders, snakes, turtles, lizards)
Prior to an animal being introduced to the children in a program, parents will be consulted and requested to sign a consent form that will clearly outline the benefits and possible risks if any, for children.
The Thames Valley District School Board and London District Catholic School Board do not allow dogs on school property.
Service animals that accompany persons with disabilities shall be permitted entry to all services and facilities that are open to the public. If it is not readily apparent that an animal is a service animal, London Children’s Connection may request a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to their disability.
An outline of the emergency procedures that are followed in the event of evacuation, as well as information regarding the evacuation site, is posted in each program room. Please familiarize yourself with this information.
If an evacuation occurs (ie: false fire alarm) and the program can remain on site, parents will be verbally informed upon arrival to pick up their child(ren). If an evacuation requires the program to move to the emergency evacuation site, parents/guardians will be informed by telephone as soon as it is safe to do so.
SERIOUS OCCURRENCE NOTIFICATION
The safety and well-being of your children is our highest priority, however, in spite of all the best precautions, incidents can sometimes happen. A “Serious Occurrence Notification Form” will be posted in a visible area on site, for 10 days, when an incident occurs that is deemed a serious occurrence, as per the government’s definition. A serious occurrence does not mean that the program is out of compliance with licensing requirements or that the children are at risk at the centre.
Emergency expenses, such as any expense incurred in handling an emergency illness of a child, will be the responsibility of the parents/guardians. Parents will be informed of all accidents, as well as requested to review and sign an “Accident Report”. Please inform staff as soon as possible if medical treatment was sought after an injury in our program.
REQUESTS FOR COPIES OF ATTENDANCE AND/OR SIGN-IN/OUT
Requests for copies of attendence and/pr sign-in/out must be made in writing by the requesting parent’s legal counsel. There will be a fee charged to the ordering party.
SMOKE-FREE ONTARIO ACT
Some-free Ontario Act requires licensed programs to comply with this regulation; therefore, no smoking is permitted in any location where childcare is provided by London Children’s Connection, whether or not children are present.
ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (AODA)
London Children’s Connection fully supports the AODA (Customer Service) Act. Should you require assistance in accessing information regarding our programs and services, please contact your Program Coordinator.