PROGRAM STATEMENT - SCHOOL AGE PROGRAM
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 have a sense of belonging and that they feel connected to others and 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 flexible, creative programs provide children with opportunities for decision-making and growth towards independence and responsibility.
We view children as resourceful, 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 School Age Program. 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.
Staff, parents and school personnel work as partners to support the development of each child. Ongoing communication between all of the adults involved in your child’s day enhances his/her educational and care experience by providing continuity to their day.
Parent involvement is welcome in all aspects of the program. Feedback through questionnaires and daily communication with your child’s Supervisor are valuable methods of contributing to the quality of your child(ren)’s care. We encourage you to consider participating on our Board of Directors or Program Advisory Committee, to assist on excursions or share a skill within your child’s program. Parents assisting on excursions will be required to provide a current Vulnerable Sector Check.
Licensing is obtained through the Ministry of Education (MEDU) to operate our School Age Programs.
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.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
For Kindergarten children is a child-centered program that is designed to provide children with an integrated and seamless day. The Thames Valley District School Board and London District Catholic School Board endorse the use of community child care organizations to provide the Before and After School Program for Kindergarten children. The ratio of staff to children is 1 to 13.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
For children six years to twelve years of age the Before and After School Program offers hands-on experiences for children in a familiar school environment. Our child-centered program offers children opportunities for decision making and growth towards increased independence and responsibility by taking part in program planning and leading activities. Grade 1 and older children, may be permitted to go to the washroom using the “buddy” system, unsupervised by adults. The ratio of staff to children is 1 to15.
In situations where there is a separate group of children ages 9-12 years, the ratio of staff to children is
1 to 20.
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). We encourage you to keep a change of clothing in your child’s backpack so that children have the freedom to explore and create while eliminating the stress of getting dirty or wet.
If your child is enrolled in our program during the summer months, 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 on it. 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.
Should you choose to send your child with a water bottle, please ensure that it is clearly labelled with your child’s name.
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. Children enrolled in a kindergarten program are permitted to sleep, rest, or engage in quiet activities, based on their individual needs.
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.
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.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Nutritious snacks are provided in both the morning and afternoon programs. It is a requirement that children not bring food into the program, except for PA Days, Summer and March Break programs, as other children registered may have food allergies; as well, some foods require refrigeration and may not be safe for consumption otherwise. Please note that all possible strategies are carried out to reduce the risk of exposure to allergens; however, it is not possible to totally eliminate this risk. For your information, a rotational snack menu is posted.
Outdoor activities are scheduled daily, weather permitting. Please ensure your child(ren) is/are dressed appropriately. Use of the outdoor equipment is determined by MEDU (as per Canadian Standards Association).
HEALTH AND ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION
Since the School Age Program operates for a short period of time during the day, we request that you arrange for the administration of your child’s prescription medication outside of program hours. If this is not possible, only prescription medication may be administered by the program staff. In accordance with the Child Care and Early Years Act (2014), 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 Supervisor (on site) for safe storage.
For children who have an anaphylactic allergy, severe asthma, diabetes, seizures, or any other serious medical condition, an Action Plan will be established between the parent and the Program Coordinator and reviewed with program staff. All ongoing medication information and action plans must be reviewed, signed and dated by the parent annually, 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.
ILLNESS OF YOUR CHILD
Illness of your child requires the parent to be contacted immediately. In accordance with the Child Care and Early Years Act (2014), immediate pick-up of the child is required to protect the interests of the sick child and to prevent further infection.
Excursions and community trips will require a signed permission form allowing your child to participate. The permission form will outline the date, time, means of transportation and destination. When special visitors are scheduled, you will be notified in advance.
Fire drills are practiced once per month and recorded by the Supervisor.
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
- Physical restraint of a child.
- Be Safe
- Be kind
- Do your Best
- Have Fun
A posting containing the four responsibilities is displayed in the Solution Station area of each program where it can be seen and used daily by the children and program staff. The responsibilities are the starting point for staff and a child or children to discuss the impact of behavior choices. When a situation arises, the behavior can be discussed in relation to each or all of these responsibilities.
Our objective is to help children learn to work together and use effective problem solving skills within a supportive and fun environment. The process of conflict resolution requires each child involved to;
Agree to listen to each other to determine the problem
Decide what can be done to solve the problem
Determine if the solution works to resolve the problem.
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
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.
PARENT INFORMATION BOARDS
Parent Information Boards are located in each program and display the following information:
- Program License
- P.A. Day Information
- Snack Menu / Snack Menu Changes
- Parent Handbook
- Staff Information Posting(s)
- Emergency Phone Numbers and Evacuation Site
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 school age program is closed for an organization-wide professional development day on Easter Monday.
Program hours have been established in consideration of the children, the length of their day and to correspond with parents’ needs. Our before school programs open at 7:30 a.m. and our after school programs close at 6:00 p.m. As per our lease/permit with the Boards of Education we must comply with these hours of operation.
School closures may result due to severe weather conditions, power failure or circumstances beyond our control. Please listen to a London radio station for announcements of school closures. When the school is closed, we are unable to operate. If the buses are cancelled, but the school is open, the School Age Program operates as usual. If, during program hours, your child’s program is unable to operate due to a power failure or similar circumstances, you will be contacted immediately. Should inclement weather occur on P.A. Days, our decision to operate is based on the bus company and Board of Education’s ability to operate.
Information requiring your attention will be either emailed to the email address you have provided or distributed to you by the program staff.
Our professional and caring staff are selected through a group interview process. Candidates are reviewed and reference checks are completed. Approval by MEDU for all Program Supervisors is required. All new staff participate in a thorough orientation process. Each staff is required to have a valid first aid certificate, infant/child CPR, immunization record and a Vulnerable Sector Check prior to employment; thus providing highly competent and capable staff to ensure the quality care that the School Age Program has established for over 25 years. All staff hired with an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) diploma must be registered and in good standing with the College of ECE.
STAFF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
In-service training is an integral part of all positions and regular participation in professional learning sessions offered by the organization is a requirement to further enhance staff skills. Each Program Coordinator meets monthly with their group of staff to facilitate information-sharing, problem-solving and open discussion.
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.
Safe arrival of children in the before school program is ensured by requiring that you or your designate take your child directly to the program staff 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 transition of children in grade one and older between the before school program and their classrooms is ensured by requesting that the children gather their belongings at the entry bell and go directly from the before school program to their classroom. Upon dismissal, children in grade one and older gather their belongings and come directly to the after school program. You are encouraged to visit the program with your child in order to familiarize him/her with the room location of the program in relation to his/her classroom.
Children in the Kindergarten before school program are escorted by a program staff or designate, to their classroom at the entry bell. Upon dismissal, all Kindergarten children are collected from their classrooms and escorted by a program staff or designate, to their applicable after school program location.
Safe departure of children in the after school program 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. You are responsible for ensuring that your child is picked up by 6:00 p.m. If an unexpected situation arises and you are unable to pick up your child by 6:00 p.m., please arrange for another adult to do so. This person must be identified on your child’s registration form.
Written notice is required if someone other than the registered parent/guardian or those adults who are identified on the registration form is to sign-out a child. This person will be required to show picture I.D. 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 contacted should this situation arise. A child twelve (12) years of age or under is not permitted to sign-in or sign-out a child in the program.
Safety of your children is ensured through continual supervision during the program times. We require a note if there are any occasional changes in your child(ren)’s daily schedule. Should your child(ren) be involved in continuous extra-curricular activities, you will be required to complete and sign the Special Arrangements Form, prior to the start of the activity. Periodically throughout the school year, as well as on specific P.A. Days, the children may be participating in ice skating, rollerblading or roller skating. In order for the children to participate in these activities it is mandatory that you provide a helmet (hockey, bike) for safety reasons.
INFORMING THE SUPERVISOR
Informing the supervisor when your child(ren) will be absent is essential. Written notice can be given to the Program Supervisor (on site) in advance, or in circumstances where written notice is not possible, please call the program on-site cell phone number supplied to you in your registration information.
CHANGES IN REGISTRATION INFORMATION must be relayed immediately to the Program
Coordinator, as well as to the Program Supervisor (on site). Your child(ren)’s safety in the event of an emergency could depend on the accuracy of this information. Each September and January, you will be asked to review and sign your child(ren)’s registration form to ensure the information is accurate. When changes occur, you will be requested to sign and date the updated registration form as a verification of accuracy.
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/guardian’s 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 program.
Emergency expenses, such as any expense incurred in handling an emergency illness of a child, will be the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s). Each program staff maintains a valid first aid and Infant/Child CPR certificate therefore they are trained in emergency first aid practices. You will be informed of all accidents, as well as requested to review and sign an Accident Report. Please inform the program staff immediately if medical treatment was sought after an injury in our program.
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.
REQUESTS FOR COPIES OF ATTENDANCE AND/OR SIGN IN/OUT
Requests for copies of attendance and/or sign in/out must be made in writing by the requesting parent’s legal counsel. There will be a fee charged to the ordering parent.
SMOKE-FREE ONTARIO ACT
Smoke-free Ontario Act requires licensed school age programs to comply with this regulation therefore, no smoking is permitted in any location where child care 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.
London Children’s Connection supports the utilization of London’s centralized on-line child care waitlist (oneHSN). To provide families with quick, easy access to the oneHSN waitlist, LCC provides a direct link on our website. If parents require support to help them navigate through the waitlist site, LCC staff are available to assist you by contacting us at (519) 471-4300.
When registering children in our programs, we first look to meet the needs of the families currently registered (transfers between LCC programs, siblings, and/or moving children from one age group to another).
Once parents have completed the on-line waitlist, Program Coordinators are notified of the request by e-mail. Program Coordinators review the oneHSN waitlist regularly and as opportunities to fulfill new applicants needs become available, families are contacted in order of application submission date and the ability to meet requested child care needs. Parents are welcome to call if they have questions, or to enquire about their status on the waitlist. Confidentiality is maintained at all times.
Middlesex-London Health Unit: www.healthunit.com
Ministry of Education Information on Child Care: www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/
How Does Learning Happen? Document: www.edu.gov.on/childcare/HowLearningHappens.pdf