Harmony is proud to offer a unique child care program that not only incorporates the arts as a precious learning tool, but is also consistent with the Ministry of Education’s policies, pedagogy and curriculum. At Harmony, our philosophy is that every child learns differently and processes information in unique ways. Our aim is to create positive, meaningful connections between students and teach a curriculum that will create the most relevance for the child. Harmony will recognize and value all students strengths, abilities and talents. We believe in a holistic, multidisciplinary and integrated learning approach, combining academics with fine arts and where the environment is the third teacher. By harmonizing your child’s education according to our standards, we truly believe that in combination with the Ministry's policies, pedagogy and curriculum, your child will receive the best education and care.
How Does Learning Happen: Ontario’s pedagogy for the Early Years, is one of the ministry’s documents that is referenced in this document and is a big influence on how we run our program. How Does Learning Happen is available to all staff, families and members of the community and we encourage you to read the document and be a part of early learning.
In the document, it states that there are four foundations of learning. Each foundation can be found in all aspects of our program and is an important part of all our goals and how we implement.
These foundations are:
· Belonging: We want to ensure that every child has a sense of belonging where he or she is connected to the others and contributes to the world. We will cultivate authentic, caring relationships and connections to create a sense of belonging between children, adults and the world around them.
· Well-Being: Every child is developing a sense of self, health and well-being. We want to nurture children’s healthy development and support their growing sense of self.
· Engagement: Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind and senses. We provide an environment and experiences to engage children in active, creative and meaningful exploration, play and inquiry.
· Expression: Every child is a capable communicator who expresses himself or herself in many ways. Our program foster’s communication and expression in all forms
Healthy Children, Healthy Future’s
At Harmony, our goal is to create a clean, safe environment that benefits the well-being of all children. We provide nutritious menu options that change weekly and we have the children be a part of the experience by serving themselves and giving input on menu decisions in order to promote dependence.
Harmony meets all health and safety requirements from the Ministry of Education, as well as the Brant County Health Unit. In Addition, we have our own set of policies and procedures around health and safety that are reviewed with all staff on an ongoing basis to ensure requirements are being met. These policies and procedures are also given out to all families and are available at any time to review. When it comes to healthy eating, our menu is updated weekly with input form both the children and families. We want to encourage and promote healthy eating habits by providing a variety of healthy options in our menu and also providing information to families about healthy living. If there are any children with allergies, there is a notice posted in the classroom and there any anaphalactic plans are reviewed with all staff.
The Power of Positivity
Positive and responsive interactions are something that we believe is an important part of a child’s development and how we as adults communicate as well. It is our goal to roll model and encourage positive and responsive interactions to instill a sense of belonging and self worth in all our children. Through these interactions is how we as educators and parents/guardians can teach our children about self-regulation and being able to communicate in a positive way.
We believe that the best way to reach our goal is through roll modeling positive interactions and responsive communication. When we as educators and parents/guardians communicate positively, we are showing the children how to act instead of just telling them what to say. We believe in self expression whether that be verbally or in another form like art or music. We teach our children that communicating positively doesn’t mean not expressing other emotions like anger or sadness, but trying to stay positive while communicating and using other ways, like art or movement, to express those tough emotions.
Play and Exploration
Here at Harmony, we offer a unique child care program that offers a positive learning experience through exploration, play, visual arts, dance and music. It is our goal to continue to create wholesome learning environments and learning experiences that supports each child's developmental level.
Learning through play and choosing toys/activities that are of interest to the children is what we believe creates the most positive learning environment. Children love to explore new idea’s and are always curious about what’s going on around them. We combine child-initiated and adult-supported experiences to ensure that there is equal opportunity to support each child’s unique learning style. We also have a well-balanced schedule that allows for indoor and outdoor play, active play as well as rest and quiet play time.
Working Together as Educator’s and Parents/Guardians
When we have a new child start at our centre, we always believe that child and family is now a part of our Harmony family and we are a part of their’s. We also believe that working together as partner’s in a child’s learning is the best way to instill a sense of belonging and create meaningful relationships. Our goal is to support children and families in any and every way.
To encourage ongoing communication between our educator’s and families, we have many ways we can connect. Parents/Guardians who come in daily, always have an opportunity to chat with the staff at hand. Our staff communicates throughout the day to ensure that whoever a parent/guardian speaks to is aware of how a specific child’s day went. We also use written communication books, telephone, e-mail , Facebook or Seesaw to connect and communicate, giving families many options that can suit their needs. Seesaw is an app that allows not only for our educator’s to communicate with parents, but also a way for us to document learning and development instantly throughout the day.
There are many community partners that we promote in order for us to further support our children, families and staff. Lansdowne Children’s Centre is one of our biggest supporters in ensuring that all children, no matter what their capability, can benefit from our unique program. We also have information readily available to families about other support’s in our community from information for new mom’s to financial support from various government agencies.
We as early learning professionals are in a field that is continuously trying get better. Is it our goal to provide the best learning experience we can for your child using the most up to date information and experiences.
Harmony staff continuously attends workshops and meetings to ensure that we are keeping up with our professional learning. We also post any information about workshops that parents/guardians can attend as well and encourage parents to use these great opportunities!
Harmony Arts Daycare and Education Centre is committed to our philosophy and program goals. This program statement will be continuously updated to ensure that we are delivering the best program possible. Opinions and observations are encouraged and welcomed so we can work together to ensure every child has solid foundations!