Our educators in the Child Development Program are back from the holidays and ready for 2021 feeling refreshed and ready to teach our tiny humans!
Our Essential Workers
Our educators are essential in ensuring the continuation of the services that Youville Centre provides to its clients. By offering full-time care in the Child Development Program to their children, our clients can access mental health services from Youville’s Counselling department and Intensive Treatment Support Program without worry. Moreover, our clients can focus on finishing their secondary education either on-site with M.F. McHugh Education Centre or remotely with St. Nicholas Adult High School. All our staff, whether on site or remote, are committed to supporting our clients either in person or virtual and even in these trying times, we continue to squeeze in some time for fun with our Fantastic Friday initiatives, such as PJ Day, led in conjunction with our students on the Sources of Strength Team.
Our educators are essential in fostering the mental health and well-being of our children by providing meaningful and engaging programming as well as a safe and caring environment. From most of last year and ongoing, our educators dedicate countless hours to Professional Development opportunities, including “Adventures with Alice” pedagogy, Trauma-Informed Care and Collaborative Problem Solving certifications. Being back on-site gives them the chance to apply their knowledge directly in the classroom setting.
Our goal is to support children to explore, inquire and discover their world. Smaller ratios allow educators to have more one-on-one time with the children, and to provide learning opportunities that are different from before! The added amount of quality care and connection that our educators provide are purposefully geared towards fostering children’s social and emotional literacies. Our educators understand that these aspects of development are becoming increasingly important, especially now.
How Does Learning Happen?
Our infants have been doing a lot of one-on-one art and sensory activities. For meaningful teaching moments, our educators use descriptive language to really highlight and describe what the children are doing as they are doing it. The smaller ratios allow our children to get more messy and engaged in the play, which allows them to explore with their whole bodies. In addition, our infants have been engaging in Loose Parts Play, giving them opportunities to explore new objects, learn how they work, discover new textures and learn innovative ways to manipulate them.
Our toddlers have been working hard on developing their self-help skills. For example, visual aids are posted in the classroom to help with understanding the steps needed when getting ready for outdoor play. Everyday, our educators are providing children with opportunities to do different tasks on their own to support their autonomy. So far, our toddlers are really getting used to putting on their own shoes, going to the bathroom, using open cups (instead of sippy cups) and utensils to eat and scraping their food into the garbage when they are done eating.
Our toddlers have also been able to use smaller parts for play because of the increased supervision. For instance, using little stone gems as a loose part helps to increase their fine motor skills and gives them confidence in their abilities.
What We Learn From Our Children
At Youville Centre, our children are constantly showing how resilient they really are and they are reminding us to seek positive moments during these challenging times. They come in every morning with great big smiles and welcoming hugs for their educators. They dive right into play and participate in all the fun activities their educators have set up for them. Our educators are learning more and more about the reciprocity of teaching!
Being able to provide quality care for our Youville families is really what is keeping us going. Knowing that we are essential in fostering the development of our children drives us to perform to the best of our abilities and to provide a positive learning environment for them. Being early childhood educators was our calling, but our passion for our jobs is even more ignited than ever before!