Our Programs

Play-based Philosophy | Structured Learning Times | One to One and Small Group Work | Kindergarten Readiness | Resource Room | Family Learning Opportunities | Outdoor Program | Active Play Policy | Screen Use Policy | Our Day in the Three-to-Five Year Old Programs | Our Day in the Toddler Program

Play-based Philosophy

Ours is a play-based program, built around the belief that children learn naturally through their play. We offer a diverse and exciting curriculum with many stimulating activities in an environment that has a variety of learning centres and opportunities for free play. These include:

  • housekeeping area/doll corner
  • block corner
  • book corner
  • art area
  • music materials
  • table toys (puzzles, peg boards, beads, etc.)
  • science centre
  • sand and water play
  • small and large climbing apparatus

These centres and activities provide unlimited creative opportunities for discovery, challenge and exploration as well as a safe environment for building self-confidence, self-awareness and supportive relationships with peers.

Structured Learning Times

As well as free play opportunities, we offer daily structured learning activities for larger groups, such as circle time and story time in which we explore music, drama, movement, language and literature.

One to One and Small Group Work

We also work individually and in small groups with children to help them attain skills and achieve specific learning goals identified by families, day care staff and therapists.

Kindergarten Readiness

During their year before kindergarten, the children become ready to take on greater challenges in all areas of the program. In order to meet the developing needs of our four-year-olds and to help prepare them for kindergarten we shift our focus and our expectations in the following areas:

  • Self Help and Life Skills
    At four years old we expect the child to be independent in the areas of toileting, dressing (e.g. buttons, zippers, shoes), mealtimes and cleanup. Children start to assume more responsibilities and take more initiative in the classroom (e.g. putting away their work, laying out and clearing their lunches, helping tidy up their activity areas).
  • Social and Emotional
    We expect a lot of our four-year-olds. They are learning to be mature and cooperative members of a large group. We expect them to be able to communicate and interact positively with other children, both individually and in groups. They are learning to understand the other person’s point of view. They are starting to be able to solve social problems independently. They are also starting to exercise their leadership in the group. We expect them to take some responsibility for their younger classmates and be positive role models. They should now be feeling empathy for others. We are also expecting them to be able to control their emotions and express them in appropriate ways. We expect a more mature relationship with teachers. We encourage our four-year-olds to be helpful and cooperate with their teachers’ requests. They are now also more able to work and play independently of their teachers’ assistance.
  • Curriculum Areas
    We offer all our children a variety of activities in the curriculum areas of art, music and movement, language and literature, social studies, science and math. While most of these activities are available to the whole group, we expect our four-year-olds to participate in all the curriculum areas in more complex and sophisticated ways. While our four-year-old program is still largely self-selected, in that children have many choices about what they will do, we encourage our older children to participate in all the activities that their teachers have prepared. The children should be spending more time, taking more care, asking and answering more questions and completing their activities. At four years old children are taking pride in their growing knowledge base, competence and achievements.
  • Academic Readiness
    We offer our four-year-olds a variety of pre-academic activities exploring concepts such as number, size, shape and colour. They are doing counting, matching, categorizing and one to one correspondence. They are also learning the names and sounds of the alphabet and how to print upper and lower case letters. As well they are learning to recognize and print their names. Other important readiness skills they are practicing are listening to and following teachers’ directions, doing neat and careful work, staying focused and completing their tasks.

Resource Room

We have a resource room, away from the distractions of the classroom, in which we can work with individual children and small groups. This also gives therapists and other professionals a quiet place to meet with children, families and staff.

Family Learning Opportunities

We also provide educational support to families through a variety of learning opportunities. Information of interest to families may be posted on the bulletin board, included in family notices or made available in the family library. We can access literature, videos and speakers through the college and community.

Outdoor Program - The Playgrounds and College Environment

We have two well-equipped outdoor playgrounds, one for our toddlers and one for our pre-schoolers. We also use the rest of the college for walks and nature trips. We go on field trips away from the college occasionally. We sometimes use the college gymnasium, library and audio-visual services to extend our program.

Active Play Policy

As part of a holistic and play-based approach in which all areas of their development are supported and nurtured, we believe that children require good amounts of active play during the day. Active play promotes children’s healthy physical development as well as contributing to all other areas of their development including social, emotional and cognitive. The children spend well over two hours per day engaged in various types of active play.The following activities are examples of our active play programming.

  • Music and Movement, adult guided dance and movement activities and free open dance and self-expression, both indoors and in the playground, occurs daily during free play and as a component of circle time
  • Gym time once a week using the college gym and a variety of gym equipment, eg balls, hoops, ropes, bowling equipment, bean bags, parachute, balance beams obstacle courses
  • Playground time each morning and afternoon, active and physical play, eg climbing, biking, balancing, swinging from monkey bars  
  • Nature walks in small groups each morning and afternoon
  • Walks in the college and neighborhood for small groups
  • Bicycle walks for small groups
  • Sports experiences such as soccer, hockey, basketball, T-Ball, running, jumping, skipping, skipping rope, ball play, for small groups during outdoor time
  • Sports day, annual morning event held every spring

Screen Use Policy

In their early years, children are fully and actively engaged in the world and the relationships around them. Whether through active or reflective play, through social interactions or when playing on their own, children are busy with their work of exploring, discovering, learning, and being challenged. In our centre we believe that screen time can interfere with this natural process of growth. Being in front of a screen, whether IPad, TV, computer or other electronic device, is usually a passive experience that we believe should be limited. For this reason, we do not include regular screen time in our programming. The American Pediatric Society recommends no screen time before the age of 2 years and limited time thereafter.

Exceptions to this rule are:

  • when a child with extra support needs uses a device as a communicative aid
  • when a teacher uses the computer as a supplemental tool to teach children about special events or to complement the children’s learning of a specific topic

Our Day in the Three-to-Five-Year-Old Programs

Daily activities in the three-to-five-year-old program follow a predictable sequence so that the children become used to and comfortable with their routine. However, the daily routine is flexible and may change depending on the needs of the children. *

8:00 a.m.

Centre opens

8:00- 9:30

Art, cooking/baking/snack preparation, table toys, pre-academic activities, free play in all activity centres

9:30 - 10:30

Free play (free flow indoor/outdoor)

10:30 - 10:45

Toileting/wash up for snacks, songs, fingerplays, snack

10:45 - 11:15

Group time

11:15 - 11:45

Outdoor play (trikes, climbing equipment, sand and water play, outdoor art activities, gardening, nature walks, college walks, etc.)

11:45 - 12:00

Wash up for lunch, story time

12:00 - 12:30


12:30 - 1:30

Toileting, free play (free flow indoor/outdoor)

1:30 - 3:00

Nap/rest time

3:00 - 4:00

Art, pre-academic activities, stories, free play

4:00 - 4:30

Toileting/wash up for snack, songs, fingerplays, snack

4:30 - 5:45

Free play (free flow indoor/outdoor)

5:45 p.m.

Centre closes

Our Day in the Toddler Program

Daily activities in the Toddler Program follow a predictable sequence so that the children become used to and comfortable with their regular routine. However, the daily routine is flexible, and it may change depending on the needs of the children. *

8:30 a.m.

Centre opens

8:30 - 10:30

Free play in all activity centres. Free play choices include: books, table toys (e.g. puzzles, small building/stacking materials), art activities (e.g. play dough, paints, crayons, collage), blocks, dramatic play, dress-up, music and movement, water play, large motor play (e.g. indoor climber, indoor wheeled toys), toileting/diapering routine (children are assisted through their toileting/diapering routine one child at a time)

10:30 - 11:00

Tidy-up routine, wash up for snack, songs, stories, flannel board stories, fingerplays, snack

11:00 - 11:45

Outdoor play. Outdoor play choices include: tricycles, riding toys, climbing equipment, sand and water play, balls, outdoor art activities, nature walks, college walks

11:45 - 12:30

Children start coming indoors gradually, wash up for lunch

12:30 - 2:30

Nap/rest time
Toileting/diapering time (nap and toileting are very individualized routines. Children are assisted through these routines one child at a time
Quiet play (e.g. books, art, table toys)

2:30 - 3:30

Free play in all activity centres

3:30 - 4:00

Tidy-up routine, wash up for snack
Songs, stories, flannel board stories, fingerplays, snack

4:00 - 4:30

Free flow indoor/outdoor play (depending on weather), visit to three-to-five centre playground

4:30 p.m.

Centre closes

* As our program involves play in sand, clay, paint, water and other messy activities, families are asked to send their children in play clothes which can get dirty as well as providing three spare changes of clothes to be kept in the cubby. A large part of our day includes outdoor play in all weather, rain or shine, so we ask families to make sure that children have appropriate outdoor wear for the weather.