Program Statement and Philosophy
At Emmanuel at Brighton Child Care Centre, we celebrate each child and his or her individual learning style, personality, skills and interests.
The Four Foundations of our Program
Belonging Well-Being Expression Engagement
Every child is developing a sense of self, health, and well-being.
Every child has a sense of belonging when he or she is connected to others and contributes to their world.
Every child is a capable communicator who expresses himself or herself in many ways.
Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind, and senses.
Our program is developed through the use of the guiding principles of "How Does Learning Happen, Ontario’s Pedagogy for The Early Years” and "Forest and Nature School In Canada" research documents. Forest and Nature School programs adhere to regular and repeated access to the same natural space, as well as emergent, experiential, inquiry-based play-based, and place-based learning. (MacEachren, 2013). Children are provided with opportunities to build and on-going relationship with the land to a dedicated educator, to one another and to themselves through this educational approach.
Our program & philosophy
At Emmanuel at Brighton Child Care Centre, our philosophy of learning celebrates each child and his or her individual learning style, personality, skills and interests. While we believe that learning happens everywhere, special attention is paid to the creation of intentional environments that foster rich learning through play, exploration, inquiry and relationships with others. Our learning environment is tailored to key pedagogical outcomes of well-being, belonging, expression and engagement.
Our children inspire us, and each other, with their natural sense of curiosity, capacity for creative play and their unique and individual ways of constructing knowledge. Through child-initiated and adult-supported experiences, our children are active stewards of their own learning and are recognized as capable, competent and curious. Together, educators and students co-create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that both find rewarding and positive.
At Emmanuel at Brighton, even our youngest learners are supported in the development of positive and effective communication. Early on, children experience meaningful opportunities and individual support related to expression and self-regulation. Rich in potential and ability, children develop understanding and competence in emotional expression, emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Expression is supported through observation, documentation, listening, and authentic communication. Child-initiated positive communication creates a pathway to self-regulation and problem solving. Through positive, self-directed problem-solving and respectful discussion, the children form relationships and practice behaviours that are foundational to effective lifelong communication and assist in creating a sense of belonging.
“There is teaching in every part of creation. It is our task to find it, learn it and apply it.”
- late elder Ken Goodwill (First Nations University of Canada, n.d.)
We are committed to creating environments both indoors and outdoors that stimulate, intrigue, inspire and challenge our learners. In particular, our natural, outdoor spaces create rich learning opportunities related to exploration, discovery and healthy risk taking, and help children to make meaning from the natural world. These outdoor environments provide an opportunity for children to test and form theories about science and nature in an inquiry, play-based, curriculum setting. Each child’s learning and development is supported by their individual interests and learning style.
This close connection to the natural environment supports intentional learning related to health, safety, nutrition and well-being. Children delight in observing first-hand the changes in the seasons, the growth and harvesting of food from the garden and science and nature at work. Menu planning and cooking, for example, are a foundational element in food science and nutrition skill development. Safe risk management and confident exploration also develop from active outdoor play, as well as an appreciation and understanding of natural environments. Our commitment to lifelong learning, in all its domains, begins with helping children explore the many learning environments around them and recognizing children as active, competent and capable partners, rich in potential.
We help children explore the many learning environments around them and recognize children as active, competent and capable partners, rich in potential.
Our daily schedule at Emmanuel at Brighton is designed in response to the diverse abilities and interests of our learners. In addition to both indoor and outdoor play, special attention is paid to active play, quiet time, rest periods and family-style meals. Our focus on each child’s diverse needs and preferences supports both their well-being and sense of belonging within our special community.
At Emmanuel at Brighton, we share in the belief that authentic, caring relationships are at the heart of a healthy and purposeful learning community. We pride ourselves on creating a personal, warm and genuine relationship with each child and their family. Children develop a sense of belonging and identity and engage enthusiastically in the meaningful development of community
Similarly, we value the relationships that develop with parents and families of our children. Like our children, parents and families are also recognized as competent, capable and curious about their child's learning. As partners in each learning journey, we welcome the involvement, input, participation and feedback of parents and families in a variety of ways. Parents are encouraged to participate in all aspects of our program as experts on their child and their child's learning, development, health and well-being.
Special attention is paid to communicating the many exciting things happening day-to-day within our Centre, including pedagogical documentation, portfolios, class visits, learning stories and communication books. To support positive learning and responsive interactions, children, families, educators and staff work together in a pedagogical partnership. Respectful and sincere communication are highly valued within our community and opportunities to problem-solve, make suggestions and provide input happen in a variety of ways to best meet the needs of each child, their family and our staff, supported by the Tools For Life Program.
As partners in each learning journey, we welcome the involvement, input, participation and feedback of parents and families in a variety of ways.
Local community partners also play an important role in our dynamic community. Partnerships with universities, colleges, high schools and community agencies provide rich opportunities related to practicum support, volunteer opportunities, professional development and support services. Connections to faculty working within Post-Secondary institutions provides opportunities for research and data collection which helps inform best practices and current trends in education. We appreciate the many relationships with community partners that ultimately enhance the well-being and positive learning for children, family and our staff.
Just as our children are recognized as lifelong learners, so are our staff. We take pride in the many professional development events and opportunities facilitated by our staff across the province and country. A professional partnership with the Waterloo Community of Practice creates rich professional development and networking opportunities. We value the resource-sharing, leadership development and chance to contribute to the field of early childhood education afforded through professional development of our staff.
The best possible foundation
At Emmanuel at Brighton Child Care Centre, we recognize the privilege and responsibility that comes with nurturing and supporting a positive learning experience and environment. We take pride in creating the best possible foundation for each child’s learning, development, health and well-being.