Loose parts literacy

Program Statement

In Sunny, we strongly believe that the foundation of quality child care is based on kindness, love and compassion towards children, families and educators. Everyone responds positively to kindness and feels closely bonded and secure. Children develop optimal learning capacity in an environment enriched with love, understanding, positive guidance, and consistency. 

Our emergent curriculum is coherent with “How Does Learning Happen (HDLH)?”,Ontario’s Pedagogy for the early years. Our main focus for helping children to engage and to learn is through play and inquiry. We believe that when these natural activities are supported and extended, children’s competence, learning capacity and self-exploring potentials are maximized. 

Our professional educators are dedicated to creating a safe engaging environment that can spark children’s curiosity and initiate inquires, and extending this play-based learning experience by adding open ended materials to reflect children’s interests and to guide the children towards further exploration and investigation. Teachers are also responsible for each child’s stage of development, documenting child’s play and learning, communicating regularly with families and other caregivers, learning with and from them.

Other methods are used for fostering children’s engagement and development. Children are allowed to make choices based on individual’s interests, and our educators can participate as a co-investigator, co-learner, and co-planner to question and test those theories and strategies with children together. Through these experiences, teachers can continuously seek new ideas to facilitate children’s exploration and understanding of the world around them. 

Small Group Learning Experience

Our small-group emergent curriculum is dedicated to enhance the social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of children under each age category through play-based program.

As a reflection of the core philosophy of HDLH, one of the characteristics of our program is pre-school small group learning experience. Children are divided into junior, intermediate and senior preschool groups based on their age, and there are maximum eight children per group per classroom supervised by one RECE teacher. Classroom settings and play materials in each classroom are appropriately chosen for promoting the learning and development of certain age groups. The teachers in charge of the groups are experienced on the planning and execution of age-appropriate activities. They are equipped with good knowledge on responding children’s inquires at different developmental stages and helping them to build essential self-exploration skills, independence and confidence through daily observation, documentation, verbal communication, engaging in their interactive and imaginative plays. 

Documentation and communication with families

Regular and ongoing communication with parents is an important component of the program. Communication may be made in person, by phone, e-mail or through written and posted communication tools.  Parents are also invited to communicate child’s rest, play and eating preference with teachers at the time of enrollment, moving to a new group and on an ongoing basis.

Group and individual activities are also documented on “Emergent plan form”, converging a variety of learning areas of art, music, sensory, literacy and numeracy, science and nature, dramatic  play, indoor and outdoor fine and gross motor skills, and presented in digital graphics with annotation for communicating with families on weekly basis. 

Monthly Newsletters and parent's message board are important means for communicating important information, special activities and classroom learning stories. Useful resources and parenting articles about children's development, psychology, behavior and language skills are also shared with families or on request.  

In addition, teachers also document every small progress along the child’s growth path. These will be filed in children’s individual binder to be provided to the families by end of  school year. 

Supports to children and families with additional needs

Parents and families will be discussed and advised to apply for and/or directed to resources inside and outside of the centre and early years partners such as Children and Family Services, Kids Ability, and KW Habilitation, speech therapists, occupational therapists, through regional Special Needs Access Point (SNAP) program. This will be an important practice, and responsibility of the centre, in support to children with additional educational needs and their families.

Approaches used for guiding children to build positive behaviors

All staff will encourage children to interact and communicate in a positive way, and support their ability to self-regulate; acknowledging that each child is competent, curious and rich in potential. Positive approaches are always used to guide children and each situation is dealt with individually. These methods include:

  • Redirection: guiding a child into acceptable options when engaged in an unacceptable activity
  • Positive reinforcement: use of encouragement
  • Logical and natural consequences: endeavour to make children being aware of results of their actions
  • Limit setting: boundaries are developed by teacher for children as a group and for individual children according to each situation.
  • Modeling: demonstration of appropriate ways of interacting
  • Providing choices: appropriate choices are outlined and children are encouraged to made a decision for themselves
  • Anticipating trouble: Planning and preparing the environment that avoids/reduces the happening of anticipated trouble
  • Ignoring: some inappropriate behaviors can be ignored with more emphasis on appropriate behaviors