Look for Quality Early Childhood Education Programming When Choosing a Daycare in Ottawa
When you’re looking for a daycare to send your child to, it’s important to consider the daycare’s programming and activities. How staff teach and engage with the children has a positive impact on your child’s education and skills development. A quality daycare in Ottawa should use a curriculum that promotes all aspects of child development and education—cognitive, emotional, physical, and social—so research daycares beforehand to determine if their programming and activities will be beneficial to your child.
A daycare’s programming is their philosophy for teaching. It includes routines and activities that provide children with the necessary skills for school and life. There are many world-renowned philosophies for early childhood education, and daycares often combine these approaches to create their own programming, which typically includes play-based learning.
Instructors and educators prepare lessons to teach children the key learning concepts that are part of a curriculum. Most people are familiar with theme-based curriculums. With this type of curriculum, lessons and activities are based on seasonal and cultural themes—i.e. fall harvest and Thanksgiving—with lessons often planned weeks in advance.
On the other hand, a teacher following an emergent curriculum will use the children’s interests and preferences to create lessons. This approach tends to have a high level of engagement since children are learning about what they are interested in.
Daycares in Ottawa who create their curriculum based on the Government of Ontario’s ELECT (Early Learning for Every Child Today) guidelines will provide quality programming that focuses on four key elements of education: cognitive, emotional, physical, and social. These daycares use both indoor and outdoor lessons and activities to teach children valuable skills that will benefit them throughout school and life.
Quality Programming & Activities
When choosing a daycare in Ottawa to send your children, ask the daycare staff if they can provide you with an outline of activities, and look for the following signs that the daycare uses quality programming and activities:
- The children are busy and involved in activities;
- There are entire-group, small-group, and individual activities;
- There are various activities, such as arts, crafts, games, puzzles, singing, reading, outdoor play, and pretend play;
- The toys and books suit various interests;
- There are enough toys to prevent children from arguing;
- There are occasional field trips, outings, and guests;
- The class projects reflect important themes and skills;
- Individual creativity is reflected in the children’s artwork;
- The children help with set-up and clean-up before and after activities; and
- The children are taught important life skills such as sharing, taking turns, hand washing, and being responsible for personal belongings.
The daycare staff engage with the children as a group and individually, answer questions, read out loud, talk with each child during activities, and describe things to the children;
Not only will your child have fun at a quality daycare in Ottawa, but they will also learn skills that will help them in school and even throughout their adult lives.