Q: What is “emergent curriculum”?
“Emergent curriculum” is a type of curriculum built on the Reggio Emilia approach that, in fact, is guided by the child’s own interest. These interests often stem from home community or school experiences. The interest topic evolves or emerges into all areas of the classroom sometimes lasting weeks as a project.
Q: What is so different about a “Reggio-inspired” program ?
A “Reggio-inspired” program starts with the guiding view that each child is a gifted child with one hundred ways of expressing themselves. It is up to our well-trained staff to cultivate that expression and find a child’s individuality, so that each child is confident in their abilities and engaged in the learning process.
Q: Why do your classrooms have so few plastic toys?
In keeping with our Reggio-inspired approach to child care, we choose to provide materials that are open-ended, indicating they can be used in endless ways and subject only to the child’s infinite imagination. We often have recyclable materials reused at our facilities, and once an item loses the interest of children for a few days an unusual addition reignites interest and adds endless learning opportunities.
Q: Is “Reggio” just art?
The Reggio Emilia approach is much more than art, however art is one vehicle of individual expression. In this approach to child education, there is minimal or no “model” art, meaning a duplication of a sample. Children instead are encouraged to express themselves with various mediums in what ever way they see fit, whether that’s with wire, paint, or clay – these are their masterpieces!
Throughout the course of a day, topics will naturally emerge among children’s conversations with peers and teachers. Discussing these concepts and the development of many different skills become intertwined. The teacher documents the learning by recording excerpts of the conversations and the process through notes and photography. These excerpts are later displayed as evidence of the learning that occurred, a process we refer to as “documentation.”
Q: Will my child learn alphabet and numbers?
Kindergarten Readiness involves a number of developmental milestones. Socially, the child must learn to share, take turns, and work with others. Alphabet and numbers is one tiny portion of developmental progress, and at our centers, it is taught with environmental print (labeling, bulletin boards, flow charts), story telling and retelling. We do not force children to acquire alphabet and numbers using the rote method, but rather attempt to introduce them in a variety of means. Most children will have acquired this knowledge prior to Kindergarten. Some children will acquire it in Kindergarten. It is not the most important milestone for school preparation. We want the children to enjoy acquiring knowledge. The love of learning is very important.
Q: What is a “free flow” snack?
“Free flow” snack is prepared at our centres around 9 am and set out on a table for the children to enjoy as they please. It remains there for 30 minutes.We do this so as not to interrupt the children’s valuable playtime. If a child wishes to partake, they wash their hands and join in. If not, they continue with their play. They can better tell us if they are in fact hungry or not at this stage in the morning, and we look at this as another opportunity to empower children with their choices.
Q: What types of food do you serve? What if my child doesn’t like it?
Our menus are carefully planned following Canada’s Food Guide and allowing for the children’s favourites. A morning and afternoon snack is provided, as well as a hot lunch. Menus are available to families at orientation.
We encourage children to try new foods, especially vegetables. If we continue to see a child not eating, we will advise the parents so they may send an alternative to coincide with the item on the menu that the child doesn’t like.
*Foods that are brought into the centre must be free of nuts. All of our facilities are “Peanut Aware”.
Q: I can’t afford child care, are there subsidies available?
For those client families who are students, single-working parents, or low-income earners, our Provincial Government’s Department of Child, Youth & Family Services, Childcare Subsidy Division is there to help. Please see your respective Director for an information package on this program. There are certain criteria that must be met to be accepted for this program, however the Director of your centre will have that information available.
Q: My child really doesn’t need to be in a childcare facility, can I just register for one day per week?
Program scheduling offers great flexibility, however, one day per week is a continuous adjustment period for a small child. Children’s best option for part-time enrichment programming is 3 half days per week, or minimally 2 half days. Children attending as infrequently as one day per week are under continuous stress as they try to establish their place in their learning area and in their group. Optimal programming for enrichment is during the morning sessions.
Q: Will someone dress my child for outside play?
It takes us a long time to go outside in the winter. Self-help skills are important accomplishments for children. We take lots of time and when the children run into real difficulty, we help. But, it is quite amazing what they can do for themselves with time.
Q: What are your staff qualifications?
All personnel for Little People’s Workshops hold university degrees or diplomas in either Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, or Psychology. Many personnel have a combination of these credentials.