We, at Chabad of Midtown are a community based centre with emergent enriched programming. Using educational resources such as the Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT) Framework and the How Does Learning Happen Pedagogy we operate a comprehensive, theme based, child oriented-adult supported program with a strong connection to our Jewish affiliation. We view children as being competent and capable individuals and encourage each child to make choices with respect to his/herself, others and his/her environment so that he/she can develop self-confidence and a positive self-image. We know that children are curious and rich in potential. To foster their curiosity and empower their potential, we educate children in a creative, supportive and warm Jewish environment so that not only will every child learn about life as a Jew, but they will learn to love it too. We believe the core of a successful childcare centre is the foundation of positive relationships between child and staff and families and staff. At Chabad of Midtown, we endeavor to nourish each child’s heart and mind as we develop social, emotional, communicative, cognitive and physical skills to set him/her on the path to becoming a well-rounded individual capable of problem solving and self-regulation. We aim to communicate each child’s growth and development with parents through day to day interactions, weekly newsletters, class dinners, curriculum nights and posting our program plans in each room so that the door for parental inquiry is always open and information is readily accessible. We aim to provide a high-quality early learning care environment for each child. Our centre’s professional development goals include hiring friendly, nurturing and educated staff that are committed to lifelong learning. We provide our staff with continuous training on updated policies and educational practices. We work as a team in trainings such as First Aid and CPR and ensure that staff qualifications/competencies are improved on an ongoing basis through quarter-annual staff meetings with third party educators for growth. We support our staff or others who interact with the children at a child care centre in relation to continuous professional learning. Chabad is committed to the ongoing professional development of all our educators and staff. Chabad of Midtown’s Early Childcare Centre is committed to hiring, training and fairly compensating all educators and staff. We hire individuals who have a positive and sensitive attitude towards children, who are conscious in providing a nurturing and secure environment in which the children may develop and grow. Formal professional learning is vital, but we also know that the most central professional growth happens day-to-day, as our educators co-learn with children and each other. Approaches Used:
Page 4 of 2 • Educators have either completed training in the field of early childhood and are registered with the College of Early Childhood educators or are actively participating in studies to achieve this goal. • Daily personal reflection is an expectation of our educators. Consideration of each child, how they engaged and reacted during the day, and what they might need from the educator is an active practice for our educators. This reflection informs and supports the interaction between the educator and child for the next day. • Educators document on their observations of each individual child and the group as a whole. • Educators meet regularly to discuss and review their practice with the children, sharing issues and opportunities in support of the children’s development. • Mentoring, attending information lectures/meetings, and continuing professional development and trainings update the educators’ knowledge developments, including health and safety. We have an annual professional development review which all educators and staffmeet with director/supervisor. Chabad of Midtown strives to promote the health, safety, nutrition, and well-being of all our children. Our staff knows that health and safety is a top priority at our centre. Every day, staff is responsible for implementing daily health observations on each child, ensure they are fed and dressed appropriately and communicate any concerns to the Supervisor. We contact families immediately if there are any health concerns and have an open-door relationship where parents can call the Supervisor at any time for updates on their child. Playground safety checks are conducted by the staff each morning. If an accident occurs, staff complete an Accident Report describing the situation the well-being of each child involved. Ensuring the safety of each child is implemented through our various center policies such as the Communication Policy, Child Abuse Policy, Health Policy, Playground Safety Policy, Supervision Policy and many more. Each staff is trained on our policies, and you can find many of our policies at the back of our Parent Handbook and ask the director for more comprehensive policies available in the staff room. We strive to be your child’s home away from home and your participation in our activities supports this greatly. While recognizing your child is in our care because you lead a busy life, we encourage you to support his or her experience in Chabad’s Daycare as much as possible. We want you to feel as much a part of our family as does your child. To encourage an open parent/centre relationship, we: Run family dinners to get to know the families your child spends their day with. Conduct intake and orientation interviews Distribute weekly color photo e-newsletters informing you of upcoming events, past activities and milestones reached. Please let us know if for some reason you miss a newsletter. Maintain parent bulletin boards that feature weekly programs, menus, field trips. (Please check the bulletin each day)
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Post weekly calendars in each classroom featuring highlights for that week Beyond the above, there are many ways in which you can become involved with the centre as well as your child’s experience with us. For continuity in the home, engage your child in an activity they learned at the centre. Join us for Shabbat parties or other scheduled activities, or set a time with the supervisor to volunteer to accompany staff and children on any of our planned field trips Participate in different school events, like one of the many Jewish holiday family programs offered by Chabad. Encouraging positive parent/centre relationships is an extension to our mandate of developing responsive, inclusive and positive relationships with each child. We believe that through positive relationships, each child will have the proper foundation to grow and self-regulate. Through our Behavior Management Policy, we outline how to implement self-regulation amongst each child by training our staff on positive re- direction and re-enforcement. To support our staff in relation to continuous professional learning, our staff are evaluated on their behavior guidance annually as an extensive measure to ensure our standards for behavior management are being met and that each child is treated equitably and respectfully. We also provide one on one meetings, staff meetings and program planning development support and role modeling by being actively present in each room for various periods of time throughout the day. The objectives of all good daycares are quite similar. They seek to create a warm healthy and happy environment where small children can grow and develop emotionally and cognitively, as well as physically. The Chabad of Midtown Child Care Centre endeavors to do this in the most professional and caring manner. Additionally, we strive to impart a love and flair for the beauty of our religion and culture. We hope to inculcate a love for Israel, all things Jewish and an involvement in the performance of the Mitzvot (precepts) of the Torah. Ivrit – Hebrew language is used in informal instruction and becomes a part of the daily routine, as well as holiday fun and games. This is achieved through adult supported experiences in our theme-based curriculum. To foster children’s exploration, our classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The curriculum at our school is based upon developmentally appropriate practice. The classroom environment is set up using learning centres. These include dramatic, literacy, cognitive, creative and science and exploratory centres along with block centres and various manipulative to increase fine motor skills. Learning centres allow the children to explore, play while the adult-supported component of toy selection allows for children to inquire about what’s in their classroom, opening the door for engagement and active learning. The children learn by interacting with peers and objects in their environment. Teacher/child interactions and appropriate
Page 6 of 2 materials are important means by which the child learns. Each center has a specific aim and with the teacher’s guidance, helps the children’s socio-emotional, cognitive as well as physical growth. Planning for the classroom involves consideration to the age appropriateness for the group and individual appropriateness for each child. Being cognizant that every child learns differently, we use various mediums to teach each lesson. Children’s interests are explored through inquiry and research methods. Involving our local community partners and allowing them to support the children and their learning is another key to our program. Children go on trips to the local libraries, book banks where they can donate to others, the vet and dentist offices, old age homes and we invite parents to our Chanukah celebrations along with others. Assessment is also an important part of the curriculum. Our staff consistently observes the children and their progress. Parents are provided with a completed developmental checklist at the end of each school year (beginning at age 2). We endeavor to integrate The ELECT framework in our pedagogical approach along with our thematic approach to provide the best learning for each child in our care. Our daily schedule is planned to include active and quiet times, gross and fine motor activities, free play and child –initiated as well as staff-initiated activities. Outdoor play is also incorporated into each classroom’s daily schedule. This takes the form of rotational playground use, neighborhood walks, stroller walks, field trips and occasional trips to local parks on our mini school bus for children 2 and older. Our daily schedule offers two full hours of sleep each day for every child. To be considerate of the individual needs of the children, quiet activities are offered to children who are non-sleepers or who awaken early. Our goal at Chabad of Midtown is to continue to educate the future generation of the Jewish community and provide a strong foundation for their future endeavors. In our caring, loving and warm environment, we accept children for who they are and encourage their individual development. Through the continuation of our extensive program, nurturing environment and responsive staff, we aim to build a strong interpersonal relationship with all the families of our centre. Together we make Chabad of Midtown a home!