May I stay with my child until he/she is comfortable in the classroom?
Absolutely! We want everyone comfortable with the teachers and the program; this might happen immediately or it may take more time. Parents are always welcome in the classroom and may stay as long as they feel necessary. Parents also have the option of leaving their child in the the care of teachers amidst a tear or two if you feel your child adjusts better after Mom or Dad have said their goodbyes.
Does my child have to be toilet-trained?
The Ministry of Family and Children (our licensing body) prevents all preschools from enrolling children who are still in diapers. However, many children are not reliably toilet-trained until the age of four or five. The use of "Pull Ups" is an option for children who are in the process of controlling their young bodies. If is also fair to say that "accidents" are a way of life in a preschool centre and are dealt with quickly and respectfully by the teachers. Once your child is settled into the program, you will probably find the influence of peers and our inviting child-centred washroom facilities will have your child's reliability and maturity soaring!
Do I have to work in the classroom or do volunteer jobs at your school?
No! Parents are always welcome to participate in the program in any capacity they choose, but are under no obligation to help staff in the classroom or with the administration of the centre. We are staffed with fully qualified teachers at all times and recognize how beneficial it is for the children to have consistent care through experienced, regular caregivers each day. This continuity allows for the program's routines, expectations, and enrichment to be reliable and predictable; which, in turn, allows the children to relax and fully engage in the activities and with their peers.
Is "extended day preschool" the same as daycare or preschool with a child-minding component before or after class?
No, Our Early Learning "Extended Day" Program is four hours a day, four days a week. The children arrive in the morning and stay over lunch, going home in the early afternoon. In addition to the strong free-play component, the extended program provides extra time for large and small collaborative groups and individualized activities specific to each student's needs and developmental level.
What Is Emergent Curriculum?
Emergent Curriculum is a plan for learning based on the student's interests and passions. The teachers may have a general topic they feel would be rewarding for the students to explore and will introduce material or experiences related to it as a jumping off point. Once the teachers see an interest budding, they together with the students develop additional ways to delve into the topic. The curriculum fully emerges as a result of interaction between the teachers and children, with both contributing ideas, building on them and reacting to them.
What are the benefits of Emergent Curriculum?
We as teachers follow the children's lead, therefore the curriculum is socially engaging and personally meaningful to all. Teachers develop the framework for learning and then introduce new and exciting activities based on the children's input. This interaction sustains their interest and deepens their exploration. The emphasis is on developing social skills, problem-solving skills, fostering independence and building the foundation for a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.
How do the teachers integrate Emergent Curriculum into the program?
Documentation and observations of children's interests and experiences are the basis for the Emergent Curriculum. It is an ongoing process. Some of the most effective ways to conduct observation and growth are: Photographing children participating in various school activities, reflecting on children's art work, scribing, and educator's notes and journals. Laura and Ellen are constantly reviewing, and collaborating with each other to ensure that all needs are met and all interests are enriched. The classroom environment reflects the very fluid interests, understanding and creativity of the students and teachers.
Is the Early Learning Program too long for three-year-olds?
In most cases no, but it depends on the child. The program is planned to incorporate both quiet and more energetic activities and is flexible enough to accommodate the individual needs of each child. The students are dismissed in the early afternoon and younger children may welcome quiet time at home after school, while more energetic children might prefer to attend swimming lessons or go to the park. The intent is to provide a secure and comforting atmosphere where learning happens naturally rather than one that is over-stimulating or exhausting.
Is part-time or flex-time available?
When you register your child for any Advantage program, that placement is yours. If you choose to send your child on certain days only, or have the occasional day at home, that is your choice. We do not share your spot with another student when you are not using it. This helps maintain a familiar cohesive community in the classroom. Over time, each class develops its own unique personality and identity. We value and foster the sense of supportive community that develops as the year passes. If the student and adult population is constantly changing, it becomes more challenging for each student to have an opportunity for meaningful contribution. If the atmosphere becomes too stimulating, general behaviour and the opportunity to learn are compromised. All children thrive in a stable, calm, predictable environment, particularly those who are more shy, more reticent or highly active.