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Program Statement


The name “Immanuel” was given to Jesus. It means “God with us” and we at Immanuel try to keep God at the centre of all of our lives. The children and staff pray to thank God for our food at lunch and snack time. Prayers may also be part of the day to thank God for families, friends, animals, seasons, and colours etc. Through Bible stories and songs, young children come to see God as a loving father and wise creator of everything. This gives meaning to our science and environmental studies as we explore God’s world and become responsible keepers of the earth. At Immanuel we celebrate a Christian Christmas marking the birth of Jesus and at Easter we discuss the true meaning of it’s celebration. At Thanksgiving we emphasize that we are thankful for all that God has given to us. This is partially how we integrate the Christian philosophy into our daily schedules.Immanuel Child Care Centre believes that children are competent, capable and curious, have great potential and each one is a unique and special person that God has made. We believe that children learn about the world around them through play. We also believe that the learning environment consists of everyone (children, teachers, families and the community) working together for the holistic development of the child. We will foster the children’s health and well-being indoors and outdoors. We are committed that children learn to; trust in God; care about other people; understand other’s feelings; cooperate and share; express their opinions; resolve conflicts; and develop self-competence, self worth and self regulation.The goal of Immanuel is to support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents and staff. A partnership between families and Immanuel is essential for the optimal growth and development of young children. Immanuel’s staff are knowledgeable, empathetic, skilled, and caring educators who provide a curriculum based on ongoing observation of the children’s play and interactions. We plan for a creative, positive and nurturing environment in which children’s play is fostered through exploration and inquiry and is based on the interests and needs of the children. We believe capturing and documenting our practice is a form of reinforcement of the learning process for educators, family and children. This approach facilitates positive learning and skill development. If there are any problems or concerns regarding your child, your child’s teachers will discuss it with you so that we are all working together.The staff at Immanuel has an ongoing commitment to professional growth and learning. All of them are skilled Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) who establish a flexible program in an inclusive supportive and non-discriminatory environment.

Our Strategy

Immanuel’s strategy to achieve our program statement is guided by the Ministry of Education document titled “How Does Learning Happen”. We understand that learning and development happens best when there are strong relationships between children, families, educators and their environments. We understand that for children to grow and flourish, the four following conditions need to exist:

  • A sense of Belonging
  • A sense of Well-Being
  • Opportunities and support for Engagement and
  • Opportunities and support for Expression

1. In order to promote the health, safety, nutrition and general well-being of the children (as per CCEYA s.46(3)(a), Immanuel Child Care will adopt the following approaches:

a) The Christian philosophy of love and forgiveness will be embedded throughout the child’s daily activities and program plan. Through role modelling, prayer, stories and songs the staff will guide the children towards knowing the love of God, His creation and His special care for them.

b) Play equipment, furnishings and learning environments will be developmentally appropriate and safe for children.

c) Staff will provide a visual environment, created through displays, that are inclusive and are changed regularly to reflect the recent interests and artwork created by the children. This promotes well being and a sense of belonging.

d) We plan to comply with the Toronto Public Health procedures and practices. To ensure this, we will provide physical, instructional, learning and care supports for staff to meet or exceed the expectations for diapering and toileting routines. Please refer to Immanuel’s Health Manual on the Parent Information table in the front hall, for specific procedures and practices.

e) All staff is regularly monitored for proper hand washing techniques. Records of this monitoring is kept for two years.

f) In order to make food and eating time positive learning experiences that promote social interactions and self help skills, staff will encourage children to have a healthy respect for food and eating. We will ensure there are developmentally appropriate utensils, dishes and furnishings available to enable safe and successful eating times. We will use this time to engage, talk and develop relationships with all of the children.

g) We will serve a minimum of one fresh fruit and one fresh vegetable each day. These foods, as well as any necessary menu changes, will be posted on our menu board beside the kitchen. Our regular menu can be accessed any time on our website.

h) We will ensure cot and bedding is hygienically maintained. Sheets will be laundered weekly and blankets will be sent home for laundering bi- weekly. Cots will be wiped and disinfected weekly.

i) We will attempt to ensure all materials, play equipment, furnishings and fixed fixtures are in good working order and safe for the children and staff.

j) Toys and play equipment will be cleaned and disinfected weekly.

k) We will attempt to provide health and safety resources on topics that are relevant to the children and families at Immanuel. Check the parent information table in the front hallway.

I) Staff will be aware, at all times, of the number and names of the children in their care. All arrival and departure times will be accurately documented on the ‘Main’ attendance for each classroom. The attendance will reflect the location of all children throughout the day. Please be sure that your child’s teacher is aware when you drop your child off and when you pick them up so that staff ALWAYS know which children are in their care.

m) Staff, as a team, will ensure the supervision of the whole environment and safety of all.

n) During outdoor time, staff will position themselves around the playground to ensure all areas are supervised for safety. The teachers must be aware and diligent during outdoor time. If you have an important issue to discuss with your child’s teacher please talk to them at a different time or make an appointment for a more lengthy discussion.

 

2. We will support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents and child care staff (CCEYA (s.46(3)(b): All children have a right to be treated with equal respect and dignity regardless of race, ancestry, ethnic origin, creed, sex, religion or ability. Children have the right to positive guidance by supportive adults who provide opportunities that optimize growth and development within a safe and healthy environment. Staff will use preventative measures and intervention strategies, with the children, which are appropriate to the developmental level of the child. We will:

a) Attempt to ensure the staff will role model appropriate social skills throughout the day to support the learning and growth of the children’s skills.

b) Promote and model interaction with children in a way that fosters self-esteem. This will support children as they learn to self-regulate their emotions and to have empathy. Children will be encouraged to express their feelings, recognize other’s feelings and help others.

c) Encourage staff to use a combination of verbal and non-verbal interactions with the children. We will also support our staff to provide extended learning opportunities with the children and help them play and role model positive social interactions with the children. All of this will support the development of communication skills.

d) Establish a trusting relationship with the children as a foundation for positive guidance.

e) Accept children’s feelings. It is natural for a child to feel angry or frustrated when restricted or activity is interfered with.

f) Be sure to have the child’s attention and use the child’s name when giving directions.

g) Give positive directions that leave the child no choice of interpretation.

h) Give a choice when possible.

i) Use a normal voice tone.

j) Get down to the child’s level.

k) Speak in sentences to a child using simple language with only the number of words that are necessary to get the point across.

I) Phrase instructions positively; eg: “you may join this activity when you have put away your toys” instead of “You cannot do this activity until you have cleaned up your mess”.

m) Encourage self confidence by noticing and reinforcing positive behaviour. Be sensitive to even small improvements in a child’s behaviour and will not expect perfection before rewarding. Be specific about praising; eg. “I like the way you tidied up the puzzle” instead of “Good job”.

When Problems Arise: Staff will …

1)  Remember it is the action of the child that is unacceptable, not the child.

2)  Remain calm when dealing with any situation. Enlist help from other staff members. If staff becomes upset, they may have difficulty remaining objective and they will allow other team members to help with the situation.

3)  Not allow a child to strike them. Hitting another person is an unacceptable behaviour at all

times. Staff will hold the child gently and say “I don’t like to be hit.” And/or “I will not let you hit me” and/or “Stop!”

4)  Not try to reason/talk with a child that is too upset to listen. They will wait until the child has calmed down and then have a conversation.

5)  Keep consequences natural or logical. Specific strategies will vary with the developmental stage and temperament of each child.

According to the Child Care and Early Years Act the following are PROHIBITTED PRACTICES:

1.    Corporal punishment of a child (included: hitting, spanking, pushing, shaking, pinching, biting, grabbing, slapping, hair pulling, kicking, etc.)

2.    Deliberate use of harsh or degrading measures (including verbally through sarcasm, taunting and teasing} on the child that would humiliate the child or undermine his/her self respect.

3.    Depriving the child of basic needs including food, shelter, clothing or bedding. Food must never be used as a punishment or threat.

4.    Locking the exits of the child care centre for the purpose of confining the child or;

5.    Using a locked or lockable room or structure to confine the child if he/she has been separated from the other children.

OTHER OFFENCES INCLUDE:

1.    Yelling at a child.

2.    Using inappropriate expectations.

3.    Reprimanding a child, through voice tone or actions, for a toileting accident.

4.    Discussing a child or family when children are present or within hearing range.

 

3. The staff at Immanuel will encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self regulate (CCEYA s.46(3)(c)

a) Pretend play is used to enhance children’s social skills, emotional development and language. ‘They learn to get along with others; to negotiate, collaborate, and communicate; and to care for others.’ We will provide an environment and accessories, in good condition, which promote imaginative play. Prop boxes will be used to enhance the area and encourage open ended play. Mirrors in the pretend play area will allow the children to see themselves from a different perspective and enhance their self worth and imagination.

b) Transitions (play time to tidy up time, outdoor time to indoor time) are a challenge and an opportunity for children. Staff will have awareness of the individual children’s cues and will provide positive interactions to support children’s learning during transitions. Children will be developing their self-regulation and self-help skills.

c) Promote use of developmentally appropriate and individually tailored strategies to support the behaviour management of all children. This will support children’s language, social skills, empathy awareness and ability to pay attention.

d) Anticipate problems and intervene prior to a conflict occurring, eg: an over stimulated child is redirected to a quieter activity, provide duplicate toys and equipment to prevent fighting. Remain alert to the total situation in an area. Attempt to foresee trouble and redirect a child or possibly redirect an entire activity into a more wholesome direction if necessary.

e) Provide choices whenever possible. If a choice is not possible statements are clearly made; eg: “It’s time to go outside now.”

f) Model appropriate behaviour. For example, if children are required to sit while eating, then adults do not eat or drink while standing. Use a positive, cheerful, calm approach when dealing with the children, other staff members, parents and visitors to the Centre.

g) Always follow through on your instructions and be consistent.

h) Allow and support children to deal with their own problems as much as possible. Encourage the quiet, submissive child to assert their rights. Encourage the aggressive child to express their feelings verbally. Suggest words they may use.

i) Ignore inappropriate behaviour that is annoying rather than harmful. Reinforce appropriate behaviour. Give attention to one child who is performing as expected so that others can hear you.

When a child is uncooperative:

i.    Encourage involvement in activities with teachers and peers

ii.    Give a reminder/warning

iii.    Calmly and quietly remove the child from the group.

iv.    Ensure the child is placed close to the group

v.    Allow the child to return to the group when they indicate that they are ready.

vi.    Give positive reinforcement as soon as the child cooperates.

Tantrums:

i. Remove the child from the group to an open area.

ii. Ensure the child is safe and let the tantrum run it’s course (ignore).

ii. If the child is experiencing a violent tantrum, remove child from the room if possible, ensuring that your group is adequately supervised, and continue to supervise the child.

iv. Be available to the child at all times, remembering that sometimes children do not know HOW to stop themselves once they have started a tantrum. Ask the child if they are finished when they become calm and try to help them put labels on some of their emotions.

v. Comfort the child and be sympathetic when the tantrum is over.

Biting (if a child bites another child) and/or Hitting

i.  Immediately comfort the victim.

ii. Bring the biter/hitter and the victim face to face.

iii. Use a voice that conveys anger without yelling and emphasize to the biter/hitter that they have hurt the other child eg;”Biting/hitting hurts! Oscar is crying because you hurt him very much! I don’t like it when you bite/hit your friends. It is not okay to bite/hit.”

iv. Allow the biter/hitter to verbalize what happened and why. Help them put words to their emotions. Explain that if they are angry they need to use their words and give an example of what they might say.

v. If possible, get the victim to verbalize how they feel. You can give them the words to repeat if necessary.

vi. Remove the biter/hitter to a quiet area/activity and ignore them as much as possible. If he/she gets your attention (even negative attention) it may reinforce the behaviour.

vii. Allow the child to rejoin the group after a reasonable time – no longer than 5 minutes.

viii. Involve the child in something different- a soothing activity if possible.

ix. Remind the child that if they need to bite/hit, the bite ring/hitting pillow is kept on the shelf for the child to bite/hit.

x. You may have to shadow the biter/hitter for a number of days until they understand that biting/hitting is unacceptable.

All strategies are aimed at helping children take steps toward responsible self direction and to think of alternative solutions. Positive guidance strategies are based on a sound knowledge of child development and the understanding of individual children. The goal of a guidance practice or strategy is to ensure that all children are respected, valued and feel secure in their environment while self control is being promoted and practiced.

The role of the adult/teacher in this process is to arrange the environment so that self control is easily maintained and nurtured. The process should protect an individual child’s self esteem while maintaining respect for others and ensuring the safety of ALL children.

 

4. Immanuel Child Care will attempt to foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry

(CCEYA s.46(3(d). We will plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences. Staff will ensure that sensory, science and nature materials will be accessible throughout the day. Materials reflecting sensory, science, and nature encourage children to explore through cause and effect, experimentation and observation. Continual exposure to these materials and experiences allow children to learn more about their environments. Creative art promotes self- expression and individuality. Staff will provide independent experiences through the use of different mediums (ie;paint, gluing; play doh; cutting; etc.)

We will offer children daily experiences with a multitude of materials and accessories. We want to offer play that develops spatial awareness, manipulation of 2-D and 3-D materials and problem solving. Block play offers opportunities to work together, imagine, learn about cause and effect, patterning and sequencing.

 

5. Immanuel will provide child-initiated and adult supported experiences. (CCEYA s.46(3)(e) Staff will use weekly written observations, cues of the children and their own acquired knowledge to extend learning and support the child’s individual learning path. The children will be encouraged to ask questions, problem solve and experiment in order to help them develop lifelong learning skills.

Each child in attendance at Immanuel Child Care Centre will have a Nipissing Developmental Screening tool completed for them by their classroom teachers when they start the centre, whenever they move to a new classroom and on any other occasions that warrant the assessment. Teachers will provide the Nipissing assessment tool for parents to do at home at the same time so that comparisons can be made between home and child care.

 

6. We will plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported. (CCEYA s.46(3)(f). Being aware of how the day is planned allows for consistency, self regulation, minimizes negative behaviours and promotes general well-being. In support of this, we will prepare and post a daily written and pictorial schedule.

An intentional plan for learning experiences that children will be exposed to, promotes ongoing learning opportunities and developmental growth for all children enrolled in the program. ‘It begins with an informed understanding of what children are capable of learning and how they learn effectively; it sets out goals for children’s learning and development, health and well being; and it provides direction for educators’. In support of this, we will prepare and post a Program Plan for each classroom. (Ask your child’s teacher where it is posted)

Staff will use their observations, knowledge of child development and the children’s cues to promote continuous learning opportunities. Staff will share with and encourage families to be active participants in their child’s environment. In support of this, we will undertake to deliver varied learning experiences that can be adapted to meet any child’s individual needs.

We will structure the environment to meet the developmental and safety needs of the children. For example toys and equipment appropriate to children’s abilities and interests; materials and furniture arranged in a manner that encourages appropriate behaviour; quiet and active space readily available.

We will try to ensure that daily routines are consistent to provide children with the security of knowing ‘what comes next’. Children will be forewarned of transitions and changes to routines.

Staff will set clear limits, appropriate for the developmental age of the child and implement them consistently. They will ensure that the child is aware of the limits (especially for newer children in our care) and reassure them that we are available for support. Explain rules in a cheerful, firm manner and make them understandable and brief. Avoid repetition and follow through as soon as possible after troublesome behaviour. Children’s rights will always be protected.

 

7. Immanuel will incorporate indoor and outdoor play as well as active play, rest and quiet time, into the day, and give consideration to the individual needs of the children receiving child care. (CCEYA s.46(3)(g). All children will engage in outdoor play daily. Physical play contributes to children’s well being while teaching them turn-taking, communication, sharing, good sportsmanship as well as gross motor skills. We will make balls and other play equipment accessible and keep equipment in good condition.

Children will go outdoors every day (weather permitting) for a total of 2 hours minimum. If the weather is inclement (-20 degrees for preschoolers, -15 degrees for toddlers or plus 30 degrees) each classroom will spend one hour in our gym instead of going outdoors. You can find weather alerts posted on our parent board at the back of the school during extreme weather conditions.

All children in attendance at Immanuel Child Care Centre will have a sleep/rest period after lunch between the hours of 1:00 – 3:00. Children will not sleep for more than 2 hours daily and any child who remains awake after 2:00 will be offered a quiet activity for the remainder of sleep/rest time. Parents will be consulted at time of registration, and other appropriate times, for any special sleep requirements for their child. Immanuel will provide each child with their own labeled cot and a sheet. Cots will be disinfected and sheets will be laundered weekly. Parents will supply a small blanket for their child, which will be sent home weekly for laundering. Children are encouraged to bring a ‘cuddle toy’ with them for sleep time. This toy will only be used during rest time and will remain on the child’s cot.

Staff will report significant changes or observations in sleep patterns to the child’s parents and make any adjustments necessary to the manner in which the child is supervised during sleep.

 

8. Immanuel will foster the engagement of and ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children. (CCEYA s.46(3)(h). Please watch for announcements on the white board at the main entrance and also outside your child’s room. We will also be sending home various notes, reminders and occasionally newsletters, which will be placed in your child’s communication slot (PLEASE ASK THE TEACHER WHERE THIS IS LOCATED) or taped to your child’s cubby.

Your child’s weekly observation is available for you to read as you wish (PLEASE ASK YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER WHERE THIS IS LOCATED) Feel free to call the office any time you have a question. Short daily interaction is welcome and encouraged between teachers and parents/caregivers. In the interest of safety, if you have a long or involved question/issue for your child’s teacher, please arrange a telephone conversation or special meeting. Teachers need to be attentive to the children at all times and would not be able to answer important issues while they are on duty with their classes. Pictures of your child will occasionally be posted on the main hallway bulletin board. You are welcome to take these pictures off of the wall for yourself. The cost of these pictures is posted.

We welcome parents to come and visit their child at the centre at any time, provided it does not upset your child. If you have any talents, skills or interests that could enhance our program please feel free to share with us. Occasionally we will host an evening of information and interest for our parents. The topics can be just about anything that parents are interested in or have questions about. We strongly encourage you to attend these sessions and in support, we will provide care and dinner for your child. If you have an idea for a Parent Night, please let the office know. We are always looking for ideas.

 

9. Immanuel Child Care Centre will attempt to involve local community partners in our program, and allow those partners to support the children, their families and our staff. (CCEYA s.46(3)(i). If your child is being supported by an agency or therapist, we welcome the opportunity to communicate and work with these people in order to provide optimal outcomes for your child.

Like all child care centres in Toronto, Immanuel has a Child Care Consultant assigned to our centre to provide support to families that may have concerns regarding their child’s development. This service is free of charge and our consultant comes from Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre located on Milner Ave. in Scarborough.

Parents who have concerns regarding their child’s speech and language development can access a speech assessment and therapy by calling City of Toronto ‘Early Abilities’. Please speak to the office or your child’s teacher if you have concerns regarding your child’s development and we will provide you with information on how to access these services. Immanuel will provide children with opportunity to engage with the natural world in our local environment and community through neighbourhood walks and field trips. We will invite people and the community to engage with us to help families, children and educators build connections and learn.

 

10. In order to continue to offer high quality child care, we will support our staff in relation to continuous professional learning. (CCEYA s.46(3)(j). Our staff is committed to continuous professional learning in order to provide our families with a high quality program that reflects the latest research, theory and practice. The entire staff are graduates of an accredited Early Childhood Education Program and we provide and support multiple opportunities, both in house and at conferences and workshops, for them to engage in professional learning and growth.

You may see some new and unfamiliar faces in your child’s classroom. All classrooms in Immanuel will occasionally host student E.C.E. student teachers from the community who are completing their practical placements. We feel that this is an extremely important part of supporting the E.C.E. community. Our staff also attend a monthly staff meeting where we discuss new developments in education research as well as ways we might improve our program.

 

11. We will strive to document and review the impact of the strategies set out in clauses 1-10 on the children and their families. (CCEYA s.46(3)(k) We believe that capturing and documenting our practice is a form of reinforcement and reflection. In an effort to continue to deliver a high quality child care program we are committed to continuous improvement which will be achieved through management policies and practices that embrace our program statement. In order to evaluate our efforts and successes the following procedures have been put into place.

  1. All new staff on hiring, and all existing staff (annually) and whenever the document is modified, will acknowledge and review this program statement document.
  2. During annual acknowledgement of the program statement staff will review and reflect on our performance and document outcomes and set goals for the next period.
  3. Internal rating (Assessment for Quality Improvement-AO!) will be conducted annually.
  4. Each monthly staff meeting will include an item on the agenda to discuss performance against the program statement.
  5. Share ‘performance outcomes and goals review’ with the Board and document feedback.
  6. Review professional development with each staff, during their annual performance review, and align the professional development with program statement needs.
  7. The annual employee performance review will include a self – assessment of the strategies to create conditions in line with our program statement.