Play in a child’s life is very important. It teaches children many skills and experiences to grow as a whole child. Play gives children open opportunities to explore the world by meeting their intellectual, emotional, social, language, and physical needs. Our program incorporates a balance of structured, adult directed activities and providing choices for children to learn according to their abilities.
We at Inkster Community Child Care are always at the children’s level when interacting with them. Our staff are positive role models who teach children the value of respecting others, toys, and themselves. We provide sufficient time in our schedule to meet the learning needs in all their developmental areas. Flexibility is also met to meet their needs if required. As a team we work together in engaging children to prepare and have awareness of transitions by incorporating songs to make it fun. For example, after giving the children a 10 minute reminder to clean up we all sing cooperating songs that teach children how to work together. This facilitates their learning skills and builds their self-esteem in a positive manner.
Our centre employs emergent curriculum which is a way of planning curriculum based on children’s interests. Through observation, early childhood educators use these interests to create crafts, projects and activities. Webbing is employed as a tentative plan and is a means to expand upon the children’s main area of interest; their questions and investigations are incorporated to build upon the topic. Emergent curriculum follows the children’s interest in a topic until its natural conclusion which could mean two days or two months. For example, if a child came in and talked about the circus they went to, the staff will promote activities based on their needs and interests. The staff does this by creating a “circus theme” or providing books and toys suitable to their interests.
Emergent curriculum uses the community as a resource. Families may be called upon for donations of materials or their expertise on a subject. We believe that emergent curriculum plays an important role in teaching children to go in-depth with their interest in learning. As a team, we work together to make each child feel valued as an individual.
The staff post pictures of the children at play and display their arts and crafts around the room for parents and children to see. The current emergent curriculum web is also displayed on a bulletin board with the current topic of interest posted, as well. It gives the children a sense of reflecting their day at preschool. The staff always interacts with children and all children are included according to their abilities.
We fully include all our children with disabilities by providing them with equal opportunities. We provide books, toys pictures, foods, activities that teach children about diversity so they may understand the world that surrounds them. We also invite community or family members to share about their cultures and disabilities. For example, we have invited someone who is visually impaired to share their life experiences with children. We also have invited parents to come in to teach children about their languages and culture practices.
Throughout the day, the children’s cognitive, motor, social, and emotional development needs are met through interactions, hands on activities, and a sense of freedom of choice.
Our staff and family relationships are strong. Each family is highly respected and valued. We always convey information of their child’s progress through conversations and “Happy Grams” that provide special acknowledgements throughout their child’s day. Parents are also able to see what their children have done at the center, by seeing pictures which are posted on our Digital Photo Frame located in the playroom on a monthly basis we hand out newsletters to show all the fun-filled learning activities they do daily.
Staff promote interactions/play among children to build friendships by promoting group play. We setup their play spaces and put out play materials based on the interest of our children. Through discussions, observations, staff are able to determine their interests. This gives them the chance to build friendship with each other.
Our staff work together by arranging areas suitable to their interests. By providing various supplies and materials, they are able to explore opportunities for learning. Example: The children were talking about eating at a Chinese Restaurant. So the staff had setup an area containing different items such as chop sticks, bowls, Chinese food, tea pots. Staff were also able to bring in some Fortune cookies the next day to add to the area. Pictures were also put up in the restaurant area, along with some Chinese clothing and slippers.
At Inkster Community Child Care, we use these practices in our play-based curriculum to best support your child’s learning and development.