Welcome to Young Learners Christian Academy Inc. Childcare Centre. We are proud to be “Guiding Children on their path” in this wonderful community! Our programming uses our faith in Jesus Christ and in the Word of God, the Holy Bible, as the foundation for this program. Our program uses How Does Learning Happen? as a vital part of supporting children and families. We are proud to offer an environment that promotes higher education,through experiential learning, for our young children, because we believe children are competent, curious, capable and rich in potential to serve a life for God. The focus at Young Learners Christian Academy is to have children immersed in an environment where they learn about God while exploring their own gifts and potential. There are many steps we will take to ensure exceptional, God-focused programming for our children.
Health, safety and nutrition are foundational parts of our day. We ensure that children receive 2 healthy snacks a day and a lunch time meal that meets the Canada Food Guide suggestions for portions, servings that are healthy and provide good nutrients for growing and learning children’s bodies. We also have a significant portion of the day designated to active play and activities. These activities promote keeping our bodies active and healthy, which also keeps our brains active and healthy. We will ensure that our children understand that our bodies are a gift from God and we need to be responsible for caring for our bodies with the food we eat and the importance of the healthy activities we do!
At Young Learners Christian Academy, we see the value in ensuring we provide a positive and interactive environment between children, staff, parents and child care providers. Children will be in a classroom with 1 – 2 staff who will work diligently to provide and safe and caring environment that will allow them to develop a connection with the staff. We feel when children feel safe and cared for they are able to learn and achieve more. Each child will have a communication booklet that the staff and parents will be able to communicate through. It will allow for staff to document achievements, needs, suggestions and input from the parent. It will allow for daily conversation developing a solid foundation between staff and parents. We believe that when parents and staff have solid communication, we can best serve our children. The Academy also has an online community through ClassDojo which allows us to safely share with families and keep parents informed on their children’s lives throughout the day. Parents are welcome to come into the classroom at pick up and drop off time for brief discussions with staff and can book appointments to have more in depth conversations with staff when needed.
Throughout the day staff and scheduling will encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way. Children will be involved in independent, one on one, small group and large group activities. Throughout all of these activities children will be encouraged and guided by staff to speak confidently, respectfully and kindly. Staff will encourage and support all children in their ability to self-regulate. Children will be given time during the day for free-play. This will allow them the opportunity to decide on the
activities they wish to participate in. It will encourage children to learn to share and communicate kindly with their peers and staff will guide children to develop these skills of positive, respectful and kind communication with staff and their peers. This will best be taught through the modelling of our staff members.
The day is designed to allow for a variety of structures in the classroom, all designed to foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry. A variety of toys, materials, and activities will be planned, with goals to help children develop through age appropriate milestones. Staff will ensure that a balance between exploration of a variety of types of activities to enhance and develop cognitive, language, physical (fine and gross), social, creative skills in the child, through fun, engaging play and activities. Children will experience both self-directed time as well as guided time by staff and volunteers that will allow children to play and inquire about the activities and to develop at each child’s own pace.
During free-play, activity/centre time, and outdoor play, children will be provided with opportunities to initiate activities that he/she would like to engage in. We believe that allowing children to discover their strengths and interests is an integral part of a child learning who he/she is in Christ. Staff will provide support during these experiences through guidance, prayer and encouragement for all children to actively engage in discovering who they are. A variety of materials, toys, games, activities, crafts, books, sensory, and cognitive supplies will be available to all children during these times for them to explore and initiate activities.
Our passionate and dedicated staff will plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported. Staff, in partnership with parents and observations and interactions of each child will be required in their daily and long term planning to develop a classroom and centre environment that is encouraging, supportive, and takes into consideration each child’s stage and development. Staff will mentor and walk beside each child and their family at the developmental stage they are at and will set goals for each child to grow, and achieve success. This will allow for a positive and caring environment. Staff have the privilege of being a spiritual mentor for the both the child and the child’s family.
A day at YLA is very full for the children and incorporates indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time, and gives consideration to the individual needs of the children receiving child care. The day is scheduled to include this variety of activity and allows for all children to participate in all activities and rest times. Balance is an essential part of the day and an important standard to establish for all children leading a Christian life. This schedule provides routine which helps to minimize conflict and provides a comfortable environment for children, minimizing disruption. Of course, life is full of the unexpected and we will work with the children as part of their development and growth to share and model positive ways to deal with change and unscheduled events, which is equally important. During these times we will guide children in the biblical way of allowing God to move in our lives and be prepared for the unexpected twists and turns in life that we all must face, with a positive and healthy outlook.
YLA provides many opportunities to have open communication with parents and staff on an ongoing basis. As previously mentioned a daily communication book will be used for staff to update on the success and challenges of the day. Parents are welcome into the classroom and the ability to check in with staff at that time. ClassDojo will provide access to general updates and information regarding classes, programming, special events and changes to programming or policies. Parents will have access to staff via email as well as the ability to schedule appointments with staff for updates and success meetings.
One of the foundational and fundamental philosophy’s at Young Learners Christian Academy Inc. is that we want to teach children how to serve the Lord, each other and our community, sharing the love of God with many. This will be modelled in our organization by involving local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff. Life Changers is our monthly donor program that allows the community to partner with us to provide excellent quality childcare. We will be working to allow not only the community to support our families and organization but we will also establish an environment where we support others. This will include active outreach to the hospital allowing children to interact with patients who are in long-term care. Meaningful relationships between the Academy and the community is a very special and important part of who we are and what we want to pass on to our children and families.
The ongoing spiritual growth and professional development of our staff and child care givers is of the utmost importance to providing excellent care to our children. We will ensure that professional development is done regularly, through a variety of means.
Monthly staff meetings will allow staff to be updated on policies, events and professional development. In addition, staff will explore and dive into group learning and team building on issues and development to programming. We believe that a passionate, loving team focused on God builds the most important foundation in this organization. In addition, one-on-one meetings between staff and the supervisor will be setup to provide support and further professional development specific to each staff member. Supervisor and staff will set goals according to professional development that will help have positive impact and growth on each staff member. This sets a foundation of exceptional care for our children. Email and paper communication will be used between meetings to support each one of our staff members who are a vital part of the program.
In order to ensure that this policy is having a positive impact on our children and families, parents will be asked to complete a survey annually to ensure that we are meeting the strategies outlined in this policy. Families will be able to write and give feedback with the review. Our staff and Board will use the surveys and feedback and hold an annual review meeting to discuss and update the policy should updating be required. It will also allow us to identify areas that may need improvement and will allows us to revise our implementation strategies to ensure that we are meeting the goals outlined in this document.