Freight House Early Learning & Care Inc. provides every child with a nurturing learning environment. We are inclusive to all children and families and encourage all children to accept and embrace the diversity of our community. Freight House Early Learning & Care’s philosophy states that children learn through their involvement in the play environment through the use of all their senses. These experiences aid the child’s ability for self-discovery and problem solving while providing a variety of learning opportunities for building strengths in all levels of development, social, emotional, cognitive and physical, in accordance with current emergent curriculum practices.
Our role as Early Childhood Educators is to provide enriched experiences and materials for children to safely explore. Respectful individualized care promotes self confidence in the child, allowing them to interact with their environment. The environment must be full of opportunities for conceptual learning, self-awareness language development and peer relationships. Our care giving must reflect a secure, calm, respectful realm for the child. Our care and environment must also have direct information and guidance from the parents and family to achieve the balance the child needs to become comfortable and the staff knowledgeable.
Infants and toddlers are ever growing and developing; therefore their needs change as well. Because of their dependency and individualism, as caregivers we must be aware of their own schedules. Respectful care giving includes obtaining information from parents initially and daily feedback to meet these changing needs. At Freight House Early Learning & Care Inc. we encourage our new families to visit as often as they can before their child is to begin at the centre. This is a valuable learning time for staff to become familiar each family’s values, diversity, the child and their schedule. Parents and children in turn become familiar with the staff, our centre, routines and environment. In addition to the visits, we have a prepared questionnaire for parents to fill out, detailing sleep, eating, and daily routines and any requirements. We encourage parents to verbally share any daily concerns or information. The staff then record any daily needs the child may have.
Labeling what is occurring reinforces communication. Singing, sound mimicking, repetition, labeling and responding to the child’s expressions is a part of the process of language development. Listening and responding to the child’s expressions of emotions, being tired, hungry, sad or frustrated respects their communication, as well allowing time for the child to figure things out strengthens this respect.
Throughout the child’s day we encourage children to accept the abilities and diversity of each other. Staff guide children to interact with children with varying abilities and needs, creating respectful relationships. We enhance this with pictures of the families, children and staff within the child’s room. We respect language preferences, cultural requests and food and nap requests. The children are exposed to sign language, different languages spoken, cultural diverse dolls, books, music, daily living items, food and pictures.
Children need space to safely explore. Respectful care giving includes planning an environment that includes quiet, individual areas, soft cozy areas, areas for socialization and peer observation as well as includes space to crawl, stand, and take steps and to run. Language development and communication is an all-encompassing occurrence throughout the child’s day. The staff support language acquisition through enriched care giving, conversational reading time and sequential learning games. Staff mentor the relationship between the spoken word and the object or emotion, focusing on the individual child. Within the environment, there must be many learning tools. This can include a variety of age appropriate toys, familiar everyday items such as loose parts, to touch and explore and challenging items that test out conceptual and sensory learning along with problem solving.
Areas in the room will include book areas, puppets and soft items, play food and dishes, cupboards, dress up clothes that are familiar and /or seasonal, small or fine motor manipulatives, blocks, large and small, hard and soft. Instruments as well as items for producing sound making; banging sounds with metal or plastic bowls, loud and soft sounds, items to create shakers and rhythm, with lots of singing and finger plays by the staff. Movement enticing articles are also provided, such as scarves, bubbles, fabric etc, along with a variety of recorded sounds and ethnic music.
Included in all areas would be loose parts. Loose parts are unique additions to every area and include everyday items and items from nature. Containers, containers with lids, small containers that fit in to others, containers that stack, containers that can be filled up and dumped out, add to the small motor and block area. Concepts that are being practiced can include, empty and full, on and off, in and out, small and big, size discrimination, what fits and what doesn’t. Boxes can incorporated and be small and large to fit items in or to fit themselves into. Body awareness and ability can be explored with in and out and behind, under and on, challenging yet safe to explore. Textures such as fabric, scrunches, mesh, card board, enhance sensory exploration. Natural items such as wood pieces, tree stumps, drift wood, tree bark, flat rocks create items to stack as well touch and smell. Sensory exploration is a main part of early years. Every item should be able to be explored through touch, smell, or mouthing. With that in mind, science items such as sand, soil and water play are offered with close supervision. Chalk, paint, crayons, play dough are also introduced in small groups.
Freight House Early Learning & Care Inc. is an early childhood education program which provides every child with a caring, nurturing and responsive learning environment. We design and maintain an environment that fosters creativity, playfulness, respect, opportunities, enthusiasm and a sense of belonging, wonder and calm. We encourage all children to accept and embrace the diversity of one another and our community. We build upon the uniqueness of every child in offering opportunity for growth and development. We provide a variety of learning opportunities that build on strengths, all levels of development, opportunities for discovery, and current developmental practices. We open our doors to our families to join in the learning processes and to foster community.
We embrace inclusion and celebrate the diversity of one another as a means to fostering the well-being of every child. We accept that every child is unique and shares with others their uniqueness through expression and play. As part of our annual training plan we are committed to learning more about all aspects of every child’s development to foster inclusive programming.
We believe that children learn through play and encourage choice, respect and a positive feeling about oneself. Play enables children to make sense of their world. It allows children to explore, use thinking skills, problem solve, and language expression. For example children play with blocks, paint a picture, and play make believe to invent, create, duplicate, explore, try new ideas, and problem solve. We support learning by listening, observing, encouraging and additional experiences. We build on their play through language that identifies and encourages concept development.
The environment hosts a variety equipment that supports learning at all developmental levels, some examples are: puzzles with variety of textures, size and number of puzzle pieces and difficulty, creative supplies such as scissors, crayons or pencils that allow for different grasps, gym equipment that allows for a variety of climbing and balancing skills. Staff are gentle, kind, caring, nurturing and respectful so that their environment will foster the development of a positive sense of self and belonging.
Experiences in social, emotional, spiritual, physical and cognitive learning are available for all children throughout each day. We foster opportunities so every child has fun and shares the excitement of learning and discovery with staff and peers. We strategize and plan as a team to ensure that each child’s development is being fostered in all areas. We support and guide the children in their play through conversation and positive guidance. We use conversation as a tool to support relationships and understanding for one another.
We follow the principles of emergent curriculum to meet the learning needs of each child. Through observation and reflection staff offer a strength based approach to achieving developmental gains both through spontaneous and planned experiences.
Staff recognize skill and engage children to advance their knowledge through further experiences. The staff maintain and add to the environment a variety of equipment and materials. Equipment is available to enhance physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills. Staff also reflect on the practices of Reggio Amelia to guide their environment and learning strategies. The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It focuses on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children. Language development and communication is an all-encompassing occurrence throughout the child’s day. The staff follow the objectives of the Abecedarian Language Intervention Project that supports language acquisition through enriched care giving, conversational reading time and sequential learning games. Staff mentor the relationship between the spoken word and the object or emotion. Primary care giving is an essential part of the Abecedarian approach, each child has a staff that interacts daily to ensure development goals are being met. We share with the families each child`s development and experiences through open dialogue, photos, memos, documentation and a child`s creative expressions. Ongoing training and professional development is encouraged for all staff to remain current and strong in their teaching principles.
We respect the child’s need for play. Our schedule is flexible allowing children to make choices that fit their needs and not the needs of others. Routines are kept to a minimum and are made fun and educational.
Children are encouraged in a fun and positive way to engage in all developmental areas.
Freight House Early Learning & Care Inc. is a community based program. We consistently support the needs of our families and the community through respect, flexibility, inclusion and cultural acceptance. Families are valued and respected as enrichment to our environment. We look for opportunities to share individual cultural differences through music, food, sharing information and allowing families to share in our everyday experiences.