A child’s own thoughts, acts and expressions will shape the relationships today, which will influence their tomorrow.
Ontario’s “How Does Learning Happen” is an introspective document combining a series of international theories, principles and practices that focuses on quality early childhood education.
Inspired by this document, we are crafting a philosophy and pedagogy that not only views the child as competent and capable, but as curators of their own world and the world around them. By embracing this approach, we hope to foster future generations of homegrown innovators, problem solvers and artists.
HEALTH, SAFETY, NUTRITION AND WELL BEING
The safety and needs of each child are of utmost importance to Kindertown educators. Through the implementation of specific strategies, an intuitive curriculum and engaging learning environments, we instill in every child a self-confidence that they can carry with them at school, at home and during their everyday.
Through constant self-reflection and a modeling behavior, Kindertown educators assess how children engage with the learning environment, materials and one another. In doing so, educators adapt a flexible schedule to best suit the needs of their class.
Fundamental to this development is a sleeping schedule and nutritious menu that is prepared daily by our Red Seal chef, Mrs. Alyssa. Keeping in line with the Canadian Food Guide, our seasonally changing menu provides children with nutritious snacks and lunches that are locally sourced when possible. During summer months, our on-site chef is able to use vegetables and herbs produced on our own KinderFarm, a quarter acre garden located upon our western lawn.
CREATING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH ENGAGEMENT, INTERACTION AND REFLECTION
Each day, beginning with the morning hellos and hugs, our Kindertown educators are dedicated to establishing and maintaining honest and caring relationships with both children and their families. Throughout their day, educators and children are constantly interacting with one another. Whether playing in the dirt, painting with their fingers, or eating together at lunch and snack. Kindertown educators are constantly engaged in the learning process, while also acting as provocateurs of curiosity and wonder.
Providing children with a set of knowledge and tools to cope and build upon their own stressors, challenges and accomplishments, will allow them express their own ideas, theories and solutions about themselves and their role in the world around them. Working with parents, and the community at large, through open and collaborative relationships, we hope to continually build on this self-awareness. Perhaps just as important, by engaging with parents to participate in the classroom, on projects, or in our very own KinderFarm, we can begin to create real relationships and the building blocks of a healthy community and city, that is not just the best place to raise a child, but also the best place to be a child.
PROGRAM, CURRICULUM AND THE THIRD TEACHER
There are multiple nooks, crannies and open spaces throughout and across our facility that encourage exploration, discovery and imagination. Surrounded by a generous amount of suburban green space, our outdoor playground and urban farm provides children with an array of different sensory, gross motor and artistic opportunities to engage in. Within our walls we have various loft spaces, designated learning areas and a diverse wealth of materials that encourages a more introspective and intuitive type pf play.
In either scenario, our educators use thoughtful provocations, questions and reflection to guide children through their own daily adventures. Through diligent documentation, research and planning, Kindertown programming unfolds as the children’s interest grows. In an effort to constantly build and improve upon their practice, Kindertown educators are active participants in professional training sessions, workshops and conferences held throughout Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area.
THE BEST PLACE TO RAISE A CHILD AND BE A CHILD
Over the last twenty-five years, we have been dedicated to providing children in our community with the best possible learning start. As both longtime residents and organization leaders, we believe that Kindertown children are not just a priority, but also an asset. As a result of this, we truly believe that our very own Heritage Green Community, and Hamilton as a whole, possess the potential to become an exemplar of early childhood development. Not because we are parents or educators, but because we are a community, a neighborhood and a city.
If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow – Alfie Kohn