Cariboo Child Care Society (CCCS) practices a play based emergent curriculum. Our programming is based on the belief and understanding that young children learn and develop all their skills (large and fine motor, communication and language, cognitive, and social and emotional) through play, experimentation, risk taking, and real-life experiences. These important life skills develop in a caring, loving and supporting environment.
CCCS aims to focus on natural learning materials. We often refer to our ‘toys’ as ‘loose parts; Loose parts are objects of various colours, shapes, textures, sizes, etc. with no predetermined use or outcome. The use of loose parts as learning materials fosters imaginative play and provides limitless exploration.
All Educators at CCCS use the environment to plan purposeful and meaningful play for the children. Each program changes the environment and materials they offer based on the educator’s observations of the children, their interests and needs.
The core values of the educators working at CCCS are Belonging, Play, Respect, and Competence. These values inform the decisions that are made each day. Healthy attachment is established between educators and children through a sense of belonging and relationship building. Each child’s ability to learn, grow and develop will naturally happen once attachments are formed
A few unique things about Cariboo Child Care Society
Celebrating vs Acknowledging Holidays
At CCCS we don’t “celebrate” Halloween and other celebratory events; however, we do acknowledge them. Our hope is to make each day as “normal” as possible for the children. By making celebrations like any other day, children are rested and not full of sugar and therefore, are able to cope better when celebrating with their families. Premade holiday crafts are not provided, but if a child is interested in making something special for someone (any day of the year) we encourage them to do so. Educators will script for them what they want to say as well as provide them with any materials that they will need. It is typically after the actual holiday that children’s play and interests reflect what they have experienced. For example, children love to play Santa and gift giving in January because they more clearly understand the concept. To honor that learning, we do not set Christmas displays up in December only to take them down in January. CCCS planning is emergent; and therefore, based on the children’s current interests. Children have long days in care and by following routines at the centre, the children have a more balanced day. This is especially important when families are celebrating holidays.
Developmentally Appropriate Early Literacy
Educators are often asked, “Where is the alphabet posted? How do the children learn to read and write here?”
Young children naturally care most about themselves and others around them that they feel an attachment to. Therefore, a literacy rich environment is one that supports a child’s need to see themselves and those close to them reflected. Literacy rich environments are carefully planned and implemented by the educators in every program. Educators are trained to model printing, reading, narrating, playing games and singing. Scaffolding a child’s efforts and extending their interests through play provides them with the foundation needed to begin reading and writing.
Supporting Early Childhood Education students and other students on Campus
CCCS is a practicum site for the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Early Childhood Education program. The centre models and maintains best practice childcare philosophies and techniques. Current TRU ECE students come to our centre to observe and participate in the 3-5 programs. This gives the students the opportunity for practical hands on education with mentorship from the senior educators who liaison with the students and staff of the ECE program. We also support practicum students from the Infant and Toddlers and Special needs post diploma programs, as well as the TRU nursing students during their observation process.