McMurrich Sprouts Daycare Program Statement
McMurrich Sprouts Daycare (Sprouts) is a non-profit childcare centre located in McMurrich Public School. We have eight distinct 12 month programs: Baby Sprouts, Little Sprouts (Toddlers), Big Sprouts and Bean Sprouts (Preschool), Dragons and Geckos (Junior and Senior Kindergarten) and Spacers and Rockets (Grade 1-6). At Sprouts each child has the unique opportunity of growing up here: starting as an infant and ending as a graduate into middle school. Subsequently, our staff have the distinctive opportunity of facilitating children sprouting at Sprouts!
Sprouts embraces the view that children are competent and capable of complex thinking, are curious, and are rich in potential. They grow up in families with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Every child should feel that he or she belongs, is a valuable contributor to his or her surroundings, and deserves the opportunity to succeed. In order to support and act on this view, Sprouts uses the documents “How Does Learning Happen?” (HDLH) and “Early Learning for Every Child Today” (ELECT) as the framework to guide programming and pedagogy for each of our programs.
Sprouts follows the four foundations of HDHL: Belonging, Well Being, Engagement and Expression.
Sprouts strives to incorporate the following principals that orient Early Learning for ELECT:
- Early child development sets the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour and health
- Partnerships with families and communities strengthen the ability of early childhood settings to meet the needs of young children
- Respect for diversity, equity and inclusion are prerequisites for honouring children’s rights, optimal development and learning
- Knowledgeable, responsive early childhood professionals are essential
- These documents and our philosophy allow us to establish a flexible program in an inclusive, supportive, and non-discriminatory environment.
Program Expectations & Goals for Children
To promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of children
- We recognize that children are at their optimum when they are well rested, properly nourished, and when they feel safe and secure.
- Staff are attuned to the physical and emotional states of each child and respond in a warm and sensitive manner
- We ensure the required staff/child ratios are met at all times
- We adhere to all hygiene and sanitary policies set up by Toronto Public Health
- We have an “in house” cook who follows the Canada Food Guide, CCEYA Guidelines with respect to planning, developing and implementing menu
- A registered dietician reviews and approves our menus
- Staff recognize the importance of communicating with each other regarding any issues regarding children eg: injuries, illness
- Staff incorporate opportunities and time to practise self-help and self-care skills based on each child’s capabilities throughout daily routines and activities
- Staff are certified in Standard First Aid and Infant and Child CPR
To support positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, and staff
- We understand that children demonstrate a sense of belonging when they feel included and safe in positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents, childcare providers and staff.
- Staff establish positive and nurturing relationships with parents by building a rapport (i.e. written documentation of children’s day as well as verbal communication on a daily basis about children’s interests, accomplishments and skills)
- Children have opportunities to engage with and make contributions to the world around them in order to develop a sense of belonging and connectedness to their local community (i.e. visits to neighborhood businesses such as veterinarian, dentist, etc.)
- Staff provide opportunities to support children’s connections to the natural world (i.e. planting in a community garden)
- Staff help children develop a strong sense of self and the ability to value their own unique identity
To encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate
- We acknowledge that there is a direct correlation between promoting children’s self-esteem and assisting in the development of self-regulation.
- Staff use redirection rather than time out
- Staff support each other to ensure that children’s ability to self-regulate is the primary goal
- Staff use conflict resolution with the children as a means to resolve conflict
- Staff plan and implement calm transitions and use transitions as learning opportunities
- Children transition into the next age group gradually (transition happens during a three week time frame with each week introducing a new transition e.g. week one: until after playground time, week two: until after lunch time and finally week three: until after nap time).
To foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry and to provide child-initiated and adult-supported experiences
- Play is a means to early learning that capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity and exuberance We recognize that every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind, and senses.
- We design our program based on detailed observations and interests of the children while focusing on developmental skills and domains from the ELECT framework Staff ask open ended questions
- We plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported while incorporating child-initiated and adult-supported experiences
- Staff plan for age and developmentally appropriate field trips and special interest visitors to enhance the program.
To plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported
- A planned curriculum supports early learning
- Our weekly programs are created based on observations, and children’s interests
- Staff meet weekly as a team to discuss observations and interests of the children, their skill levels and concentrate on the whole child
- Staff plan and implement positive learning experiences that include inclusion, diversity and respect
- Celebrations are incorporated into the program
- Curriculum focuses on diversity and inclusion
To incorporate indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time, into the day, and give consideration to individual needs of the children receiving child care
- Staff create safe and stimulating outdoor space for intentional active play, offering individualized and flexible challenges that are within each child’s ability to master
- Staff generate and maintain a safe, inviting age appropriate indoor environment for purposeful play while considering individual interests and needs Children who are in our care for six hours or more and are under the age of four are given a time for rest/sleep but are also given alternate activities if they choose not to sleep
- Staff work in conjunction with families to recognize and incorporate the child’s home life into the daycare environment
To foster the engagement of an ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children
- Parents are encouraged to communicate in each room’s daily log
- Our infant and toddler programs complete a daily chart for parents to reference and to add information as they desire.
- Sprouts utilizes a daycare software program “Himama” which allows staff to input developmental milestones, photo documentation, daily records and observations for each child. This program enables parents to access all of their child’s individual documentation on line and encourages parents to add information at any time.
- Monthly newsletters are sent out to entire family population
To involve local community partners and allow those partners to support the children, their families and staff
- We work in partnership with the educators of McMurrich Public School
- Our Special Needs Consultant is part of our team
- We invite families to participate in our daily curriculum by participating in celebrations and by sharing family traditions
- We are recognized within the community for our high quality program
To support staff and others who interact with the children in relation to continuous professional learning
- We budget annually to ensure that there are sufficient funds available for staff to attend ongoing training
- Workshops are researched by staff and management and made available to all staff
- Staff are encouraged to utilize online resources for professional development
- Staff review Assurance Quality guidelines put out by the City of Toronto. This assessment tool also serves as a planning implement for staff, allowing staff to reflect on ways to improve our program to deliver a high quality program to all of our families.
- Staff are able to access the Ministry of Education’s website on HDHL to understand the new pedagogy put forth by the Child Care Early Years Act (August 2015)
- All of our Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) are required by the College of ECE to engage in the Continuous Professional Learning as set out by the College.
In addition to the goals listed above, Sprouts supports staff, students or volunteers interact with our children in relation to continuous professional learning.
Furthermore, these goals and expectations are also intended to guide the process of observing, documenting, and reflecting so that we can review the impact of these strategies on the children in our care.
Last, to guarantee that there is strengthening in the quality of our programs and to ensure high quality experiences that lead to positive outcomes in relation to children’s learning, development, health and well-being, all Sprouts staff, students and volunteers review the program statement prior to employment or placement, annually and at any time when the program statement is modified.
What We're About
McMurrich Sprouts Daycare provides an early childhood learning and care program in a safe and nurturing environment.
Our child-centered program fosters each child’s individual cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.
Our Registered Early Childhood Educators are committed to providing a rich, stimulating, varied environment.
McMurrich Sprouts Daycare does not discriminate in hiring or enrollment with respect to race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or special needs.
Our program is inclusive of all parents and children regardless of employment or socioeconomic status.
This approach recognizes that such arrangements may fulfill a wide range of objectives including care, learning and social supports.
McMurrich Sprouts Daycare started as home-based and informal childcare, operated by two Early Childhood Educators.
As the demand for quality childcare in our community increased, it became necessary to expand from a home setting to a space better equipped to accommodate more children.
Sprouts incorporated as a non-profit program in McMurrich School in August 1987 and within two months grew from the original six toddlers to 26 children.
The original goal of Sprouts was to provide non-profit quality childcare at an affordable cost to the community that would not require staff to subsidize care by working for low wages.
Over the next few years, the program expanded to include children attending kindergarten and grade one.
At the beginning of 1996, the creation of an infant room at Sprouts meant the circle of care was complete. Sprouts now provides care for more than 100 children from birth to 12 years.
Providing the community with childcare options for all age groups allows children to experience consistent and continual care throughout their early years. Families with two or more children of varying ages are able to enjoy having their children together in the same childcare centre.
Sprouts continues to strive to fulfill its commitment of providing high quality affordable care to all families who need and want it. As a support service for working and studying families, we are here to assist you in raising healthy and happy children.