Bridges Childcare and Learning Center is dedicated to providing high quality childcare in a warm, loving, nurturing and stimulating environment, which encourages the child's natural curiosity and fosters independence, confidence and respect while guiding each child's individual development.Here, children spend as much of their day as possible outdoors, where they develop a sense of wonder and respect for their environment. Research shows that natural environments are an optimal context for early childhood development. They are more stimulating, less stressful, safer and healthier. Outdoor playtime has numerous benefits for children, including improved physical, mental, emotional, and psychological ability and well-being.Much of our days outdoors are spent digging in the dirt or rocks, riding cars and trikes, climbing our treehouse or playing in our outdoor mud kitchen and water table Within a 5 minute walk we also enjoy
more swings, slides and running through the big open field and rolling grass hills at our quiet, neighbouring park. .Children’s growing minds and bodies benefit from healthy, primarily organic, local, seasonal foods, which are abundant during the summer months from our fruit trees and garden beds Bridges is foundationally a play based -Child - first curriculum: We recognize that Play is an integral part of young children’s lives, and that being able to play, both alone and with others, is a hallmark of children’s healthy development. We also understand that play enhances children’s physical, social/emotional, and creative growth.
During the first few years of life, children are working on acquiring a sense of trustworthiness of oneself and others to whom the child is attached. In the toddler years, a strong sense of autonomy is building. This comes from being treated as an individual and being allowed opportunities for independence.
When children feel the sense of independence, power , and competence, they can step out into the world and be active learners and problem solvers. Young children need a safe environment full of opportunities to explore and have fun. They need to be able to see, touch, feel, and move.
Planning for infants and toddlers does not necessarily involve “lessons” but rather opportunities for experiences that as individuals they can make the most out of. When teachers organize materials for the room, they take into account children’s individual differences along with their knowledge of child development. Planning is based on observations of the children using their new skills and reactions to materials. As the children grow and change, the teachers change the classroom environment. They may put out more challenging equipment or add a building area with different toys or offer more complex art mediums to explore with; a classroom may look different at the end of the year than it did in the beginning!
Our center is light, spacious, clean and well organized to create an inviting and stimulating environment. The daily schedule includes time for free play, art, quiet or story time, large group activities, guided activities, individual exploration of materials and outdoor play. We keep the schedule flexible allowing for questions and projects that often spring from curious minds and busy hands.
Children learn in different ways through different mediums. To accommodate the many ways children’s minds work and absorb knowledge, the centre has plenty of space for materials for every type of learner. These include math, science, dramatic play, blocks, art, music and movement, language and literature, sensory tables, manipulatives and puzzles, and sand and water exploration. As weather permits, outside activities, which take advantage of our large play yard, where tricycles, climbing, sliding, water play, gardening, running and other large muscle activities are encouraged. Painting, clay, art materials and crayons are made available to the children. Puzzles and books encourage cognitive development. Legos, blocks, and other toys invite manipulation and construction. Musical instruments, CD’s, and ribbons encourage singing, dance and other rhythmic activities. A variety of dolls, soft stuffed animals, housekeeping furniture and cooking utensils lead to imaginative play while a variety of hats, dress up clothes, costumes and puppets lead to dramatic play.
Young children enjoy a structured routine that allows for flexibility.A schedule helps the day to flow more smoothly, allows the children to anticipate the coming events and aids in achieving a variety of goals. We will adhere to the written schedule to the best of our ability, keeping in mind that anything can happen when children are involved. There will be times when we have to make adjustments to the schedule.