Preschool Welcome Booklet

WELCOME to the PRESCHOOL Program

REVISED: September 2016

Preschool Room:

Welcome to the Preschool program room!! All the staff would like to extend a warm welcome to all the new children and their families. We hope that the following information will help to make your child’s transition to our program as smooth as possible. Please feel free to approach any one of the Preschool room program teachers if you have any questions or suggestions.

This Program Welcome Booklet is designed to complement the CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative Parent Handbook that parent’s read and sign when enrolling your child and joining CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative Childcare Centre as a member in the co-operative.

The following information deals specifically with the preschool program.

There are 24 preschool aged children (thirty-one to fifty-eight months (Typically 16 junior and 8 senior preschoolers.)

There are 3 full time RECE’s in the program with 1 part time staff. The permanent educators rotate their shifts weekly and the part-time supply educator is designated as the floater who assists with sleep time covering off lunch periods and closes the centre day with the staff.

Occasionally, there may be a student or volunteer in the program. Students from an Early Childhood Educator course maybe completing a practice teaching placement or a high school student completing co-op or volunteer hours may be visiting the centre. Mentoring through guidance, modeling and supervision of new early learning and care practitioners ensures that Vanier Co-operative staff is promoting exceptional care for young children.

Important to NOTE:  When there are students and volunteers visiting the program, they complete an Orientation with the Coordinator and follow the Ministry of Education Child Care & Early Yeats Act meeting requirements expected with dealing with a vulnerable population

 PRESCHOOL PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT

CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative’s goal in the Preschool Program is to create an environment that provides a safe, warm stimulating atmosphere which promotes the growth and learning of each developing child. Through a stimulating curriculum, Vanier’s educators focus on fostering critical thinking, problem solving and curiosity in all of the junior and senior preschoolers. Upholding the Ministry of Education’s Programming and Pedagogy gleaned from the principles of the ELECT (Early Learning for Every Child Today 2006) and HDLH (How Does Learning Happen?) allows the program teachers to design learning environments that capitalize on the children’s interests.

Program educators ensure that the whole child is guided to enhance all their developmental domains: social, emotional, language (literacy), cognitive, and physical (Gross motor or large and fine motor or small muscles skills.) At Vanier Co-operative, staff encourage children to develop positive relationships with their peers, to strengthen their self-help skills and to explore and experiment in an environment that is safe, challenging and respectful. Communication, self-regulation and conflict resolution skills are an important part of the learning experience and are positively reinforced every day.

Through reflective teaching practices the preschool teaching team’s goal is to support children as they move through their preschool years. Program educators are committed to Vanier Co—op’s families and feel strongly that working in partnership with parents, the primary educator of a child, develops a deeper connection for their learning skills and optimizes their success. CPVCAP: Vanier Co-operative’s program educators achieve this by creating a non-judgmental, respectful and trusting relationship in which there is continuity between home and the childcare centre. Here, the objective is that each preschooler will head out into the world with knowledge and respect for themselves and others.

Transition Period

In order to give a child time to get to know the new environment, staff and feel comfortable in the program, the following transition period is recommended:

Day 1: 2 hour Visit

A tour of the Centre with Child & Parent begins the visit then the child plays independently in the program while mom/dad/guardian review the Parent Handbook in the office.

Day 2:  3 hour Visit

Child spends either the morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. OR the afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 5: 30 p.m. in the preschool program for a solo visit. Parent/guardian leaves the centre for half day and the child is picked up within the three hour period. (Registration documents must be signed and completed for the parent to leave the daycare site.) This is considered the child’s first day or start date for childcare.

Day 3: First Full Day

Parent/guardian settle child in, child stays for a regular, full day and parent returns after sleep time at 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. to take the child home.

For some children, it may be necessary to extend the transition period. In consultation with our new families, parents can extend the transition period for a minimum of two weeks or longer depending on the child’s age, personality and parental preference.  Staggering entry does help some children by incrementally increasing the minutes of care (15 to 30 minutes each day) which builds a child’s sense of security and attachment to their new environment and new adult educators.

CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative maintains an “open door” policy and is open for visits anytime during the day. The staff collective encourage parents visit, but if encounters becomes too disruptive for the child to healthily adjust to the new environment, the Coordinator will convene with program staff and parent(s) to discuss a plan of action for parents or families on an individual basis.

Day 4: Regular Day for Childcare

 Parent/guardian settle child in, child stays for a regular, full day and parent returns after their school or work schedule is completed to take the child home.

 Learning Objectives for the Preschool Room

The Primary Goals for the Preschool Room

Self help skills:

At CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative, the Preschool teaching team encourage all preschoolers to develop their self-help skills. With parents help at home, the preschool program educator’s encourage them to dress and undress themselves and put on their own shoes, (Velcro shoes are preferred for this age.)

 Problem solving:

At CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative, the Preschool teaching team encourage all preschoolers to use language and words to solve their problems. By talking to the staff and or other children they are able to express themselves in an appropriate manner. (Biting, hitting, pushing, kicking, etc., are strongly discouraged and/or redirected).

Daily Parental Expectations:

Signing In/Out

Please inform the educators when your child has arrived or is leaving the centre by verbally letting them know and by upholding the parent responsibility of signing your child in/out on the attendance sheet daily.  If you cannot complete this task, let the program educators know so that they can assist you by completing the attendance signing in/out of your child as a courtesy.

For safety and insurance reasons, the attendance sheets help keep an accurate head count of the children present for the day. This is critical for emergency procedures like a fire drill or lock down when accurate accounting of the children’s whereabouts is crucial for their health and safety.  It is very important that program educators know how many children are in attendance every day.

Emergency Information

Please inform the Coordinator or program eduators if there are any changes to your home or work phone numbers. CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative asks that if there are any notable changes to your registration information that parents complete a Registration Change Form to update the centre’s records. If parents have a cell phone or a pager, please make sure it is on at all times so that the Coordinator can reach you in case your child is sick or has experienced an accident or bodily injury. Family communication is only accessed by the childcare centre for sharing relevant information or information seeking – it is done with the knowledge and respect that parents are busy at school or working so it is sought when necessary.

Communication:

Drop off and pick up times are great for quick messages, but if you would like more time to communicate, please speak to your child’s program educator to arrange a mutually good time for a lengthier discussion. The Coordinator and/or program staff are happy to accommodate either a simple conversation, a scheduled parent : staff meeting and/or the preparation of written material for a third party. The more notice given for such endeavours, the better the quality produced.

Illness:

At CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative, a child’s health is monitor daily by the program educators as instructed by directives from the Ministry of Education’s Child Care & Early Years Act and recommended health protocols by the Ottawa Public Health Department for a licensed, group care setting.

If your child is not feeling well, their resistance to infection is lower. Exposure to germs in a group care setting is minimized by increased hand washing, cleaning of surfaces and toys/equipment. However in a group care environment, keeping your child home on these days, helps the program keep all the children’s health at its best overall.

 Toileting from Transition from Home to Childcare Centre

If the children are already outside playing in the play yard, try to remember to take your child to the bathroom before entering the program. Parents’ assistance with this routine helps the outdoor safety by optimizing the educator ratio to children.

Food from Home:

Food from home is not permitted at the centre due to Food Premise By-laws and life threatening allergies. If your child needs a snack on the way from home, please keep it on your person or personal bag/knapsack or in the car. Your cooperation with this keeps all children’a health a safety priority.

Daily Schedule

Daily Routines:

The daily routines of each class are located on the parent boards located over the attendance boards. At CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative, the childcare centre opens from 7:00 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. daily.  All children must arrive prior to 10:00 a.m., unless prior arrangements have been made due to a doctor’s or dentist appointment.

Nutrition: Two snacks and lunch servings:

At CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative, the program educators offer the children a morning snack from 9:00-9:30 a.m. and an afternoon snack from 3:00-3:30 p.m. Staff sit with the children at three separate dining tables modeling appropriate behavior and individually prepare each child’s personal serving. Typically every child has a single portion serving, but if the child(ren) are hungry, more food is offered – especially from the fruit and vegetable food groups.

Children are offered a nutritious lunch at noon time. Echoing the City of Ottawa’s “Healthy Children, Active Lifestyle” initiative, children are encouraged to try all the foods. Smaller portions are offered with “new” foods and children are simply encouraged not forced to complete their meal. Staff respect that children themselves know their tummies best. Please inform us of any food allergies or restrictions. We will need this in writing and respect parental/medical direction.

 Bathroom routine:

At CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative, bathroom routines are co-gendered. Program staff encourage preschoolers to be independent, but to maintain health and safety expectations, educators do supervise bathroom routines in groups. Children are given verbal instructions detailing the steps of how to go to the washroom AND each stall has visual aids posted for the children to look at for guidance. For parent, providing pants that are easy to pull up and down makes mastering these skills more possible for the preschooler.

Toilet Learning:

Ideally, Vanier Co-op appreciates when a preschooler is toilet learnt or trained. However, this routines is very much a part of the preschool Program. Preschool staff count on parents in many ways when it comes to maintaining consistent routines between home and daycare so that the toilet learner has many opportunities for success. Every child is unique and their bodies develop at their own pace. For a preschool program there are different levels of toilet learning and degrees of practice. Staff encourage self-help skills for dressing along with toileting skills so clothing that is simple for pulling up and down is ideal. Pants and shorts that have belts or buckles or complicated clasps are too difficult for the children to master. Simple elastic band pants or shorts are best during this crucial learning period.

Toilet learning requires a lot of spare clothing including socks, pants, shirts and possibly shoes (plastic crocs are easy to santize) along with the training underwear. (A rule of thumb: For every pair of underwear include a full change of clothes.) The use of pull-up brands are a good practice to pull on and off, BUT they are as absorbent as a diaper. (They are good for naptime for the more advanced toilet learner.)

At CPVCSAP: Vanier Co-operative, it is believed that children need to experience the discomfort of being wet to make the bodily connection for the toilet learner. When a parent discusses their child’s readiness for toilet learning, staff will recommend to completely remove diapers during the daytime program, but reserve use only during naptime. When your learner shows signs of dryness and control, staff will remove the diaper during naptime as well.

Staff asks that when a parent arrives with a child to the daycare, to take your learner to the toilet and remove his/her diaper right away, then bring your child to the indoor/oudoor play area to participate in the morning program. This should alleviate morning accidents and the extra trips to the bathroom will allow your child to involve themselves more confidently and freely in the program because of the repetitive practice. Consistency, patience, gentleness, reassurance, praise and above all – a sense of humour will help a parent and your toilet learner.

If a child is not fully toilet learnt, “learning” and/or training really is about parent/staff cooperation. Remove pressure for the child by evaluating with teaching team how the toilet learner is progressing and reassess if he/she is actually physically ready for this routines as well. Together the end goal is more obtainable by working in partnership for the child learning about their bodies and toileting experience. Without being overly tedious, extra clothing sets, training pants like double padded or terry cloth underwear and more laundry is expected during this learning curve.

Sleep Toys & Slippers:

All children are welcomed to bring in one soft sleep toy for nap time. Some children have a toy that stays on their bed and is there to welcome them each nap time. Other children take a special toy home and back each day and leave it in their cubby. Please remember to label the toy and that the toy must not have batteries or make sounds.

For safety reasons, Vanier Co-operative does not require that the children keep their shoes on during nap time. All their shoe wear is contained in a basket during nap time. If any emergency procedure is triggered during a regular program schedule, the basket is brought outside during a fire drill or actual emergency procedure. When the centre is evacuated during nap time, staff cannot risk taking the time to ensure all children have on their shoes, but the procedure allows children to put on their footwear once safely outside. For some children, the child may feel more comfortable if he/she had a pair of slippers with grip bottoms or rubber soles that could be kept on their bed and worn for nap time.   It is a parental preference that can be stated at the enrollment process or changed at the parent’s discretion.

 Other Information

There is a Parent Bulletin board in large hallway and cubby/locker area. Please check it for messages from the educators. Children’s art work is located in the preschool room within their labeled cubby for storage. Each child has their cubby box with their name on it. Please try to take their art work home on a regular basis…it’s there masterpieces and their favourite people to show is family.  What an amazing way to show pride in accomplishment from the budding artists!

Toys from Home:

Toys are not permitted except on specific days for sharing times or “Show ‘n’ Tell”. Parents will be informed verbally or in written notice when such times occur in the program plan. With the personal sentiment and increased value of toys, the day care centre cannot be held responsible for damaged or missing children’s belongings.

That said, “transitions” can be very challenging for some younger children.  Exiting the house by foot or bike or car may require a special toy to come along for the ride.  We recommend keeping the toy in the car or a parent’s satchel, but it can be kept in the child’s cubby basket as a increased sense of security.  The message that accompanies this treasure is that it needs to remain there for hometime.

 Things to Remember to Bring From Home: PLEASE LABEL ALL YOUR CHILD’S PERSONAL BELONGINGS

  •  Change of Clothes: Preschoolers need a change of clothes in their locker at all times. Please include: T-shirt, long sleeve shirt, pants/shorts, 2 pairs of underwear and socks.

 

  • Blanket for Nap: Please bring a blanket from home. We will launder it at the daycare.  (The centre provides both sheets & blankets for the bed cots and are laundered weekly, BUT there are some children who prefer their own blanket.)

 

  • Outdoor Clothing: Winter: Snow pants, warm mittens, hat, snow jacket, snow-boots.

 

  • Spring/Fall: Jacket, rubber boots, splash pants, light mittens or gloves.

 

  • Summer: Apply sunscreen before coming into the program, sun hat, Sport Sandals (No flip flops OR wedged heels please,) bathing suit and towel

 

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