Child Care Centres
Child care centres are a place where children learn through play, in a safe environment. This allows parents and educators to focus on work, study, family life, or community activities. The centre may be operated by a private company, non-profit or government and may serve different age groups (i.e. preschool, infants and toddlers, and school-age children).
The federal government and Nova Scotia are working together to ensure that all families have access to high quality licensed Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) across the province. The long-term vision and objectives for Canada-wide ELCC set out in the Multilateral Framework will guide the investment of ELCC funding committed by all parties.
Nova Scotia is making progress in the goal to have a more highly educated ECE workforce. This includes supporting professional development opportunities for educators and providing access to scholarships and loans to help them achieve their education goals.
The Nova Scotia government is working to implement the recommendations from the Quality Matters (QM) evaluation. QM is a program that supports and enhances high quality in all regulated programs including licensed child care, family home child care, wrap around/before and after programs and school based early learning programs. Starting April 1st 2022, regulated programs will be required to participate in QM. Each regulated program will be rated annually and the results will be made available online to support transparency and accountability.
At preschools, teachers use a variety of educational approaches that help children develop their creative and social-emotional skills. They may also work on fine motor skills, such as manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. They might also try to nurture a child’s passion for learning by letting them choose their own projects and activities.
While every preschool has its own philosophy, many follow a religion-based approach. The teachers and children discuss their beliefs openly and focus on the spiritual aspects of education. However, this doesn’t mean that religious teachings are the only priority. Children are encouraged to learn about all cultures and faiths, while still practicing their own beliefs.
Some preschools have a specific curriculum that they follow. The YMCA Early Learning Center, for example, follows the Creative Curriculum, which is designed to foster children’s creativity and confidence by promoting exploration and discovery as a way of learning. It’s a developmentally appropriate program that offers both structure and flexibility, allowing teachers to adapt their teaching methods to the needs of each child.
Educators working with preschool-aged children in centre-based services must have, or be actively working towards, a diploma level education and care qualification. This is a requirement under the National Quality Framework. Some centres provide a return-to-work grant to support educators in meeting the qualification requirements. This supports the return of qualified staff to work with young children.
Children have a lot to get used to when they start kindergarten. In addition to new rules and the transition to a school environment, they have to contend with homework and new routines at night. For Walker Sheppard, 5, that has meant spending up to an hour on his homework each night after returning from day care or preschool.
Educators in early learning centres are trained to use play as a means of learning. There is a mix of free and teacher-directed play, with each child’s development evaluated by the educators. They also plan the types of materials and activities that are available to each group of children.
The YMCA uses the Creative Curriculum, which is a research-based curriculum that supports positive outcomes for young children. Teachers work with children to foster their creativity, confidence, and lifelong critical thinking skills.
In Australia, kindergarten (frequently referred to as kinder or kindy) is an institution for students around the age of four, and it is the precursor to primary school. In Victoria, Tasmania, and Queensland, it is known as prep and is the first year of primary school.
Paige MacLaren, a Level 3 ECE educator at Morell & Area Early Learning Centre in Morell, New Brunswick, says there is a growing demand for qualified educators. She says that although she is a highly qualified educator, it is difficult to find people with her qualifications, especially those with experience in multi-age environments. Cache level 3 and Early learning centres