September 24, 2018
Faery childcare has been exploring the concepts of Risky Play for a while now. We love going to the forest, exploring the world around us, climbing, running as fast as we can, sliding toys down the slide, climbing up the slide, mixing and getting messy, sadly our forest adventures have to change to meet the ministry guidelines for bodies of water.
Now, Faery Childcare is in the process of obtaining a license with the Region of Waterloo. Where, according to Roger Gilbert from the Region of Waterloo, Home Childcare, "We really do value and promote appropriate risk play. We absolutely value and promote outdoor exploration and learning honestly, in any nature based program, it is a huge strength. We certainly have advocated for the benefits of children being able to explore near standing bodies of water such as creeks and streams. What we have been told by the ministry is we can allow exploratory play at the edge of the stream/pond (e.g. children can get right up to the edge, put their hands in, etc…) but that they cannot get in."
Subsection 3.9– Bodies of Water Ontario Regulation 137/15, 30.1 (1)
"Every licensee shall ensure that in each premises where the licensee oversees the provision of home child care, no child under six years old who receives home child care at the premises is permitted to use or have access to any standing or recreational body of water on the premises. If a licensee that oversees the provision of home child care at a premises permits children who are six years old or older who receive home child care at the premises to use or have access to a standing or recreational body of water at the premises, the licensee shall, (a)ensure that, at all times when the children use or have access to the body of water, a lifeguard is present who meets the requirements of clauses 17 (6) (a) and (b) of Regulation 565 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Public Pools) made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
While, the children and I will miss the wadding in the Water. It is not worth more, then the professionalism, the accountability to the community, or commitment to my profession.
I am hopeful this still will be okay, where the children are exploring at the edge of the water. However, I know this little guy will sit down at the edge and let his legs be in the water. He simply loves the feeling.
In an article I read, they shared that “Reasonable risks are essential for children’s healthy development,” says Joe Frost, an influential safety crusader. While, I value risky play, there is a little more to it then just safety, we also need to follow the rules and guidelines that have been set out by the Ministry of Education; even if we do not 100% agree with the rules. It is about being accountable for our actions!
I read a paper called, see file above, "The Overprotected Kid A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution. By By Hanna Rosin," The article made me think back to my own childhood, walking places alone, walking and playing at the bridge and water by my home, forest discovery, and a sense of independence I do not see in some children anymore. Rosin also talked about, The article called “Children’s Risky Play From an Evolutionary Perspective: The Anti-Phobic Effects of Thrilling Experiences.” Sandseter, 2011 She shares and "identifies six kinds of risky play: (1) Exploring heights, or getting the “bird’s perspective,” as she calls it—“high enough to evoke the sensation of fear.” (2) Handling dangerous tools—using sharp scissors or knives, or heavy hammers that at first seem unmanageable but that kids learn to master. (3) Being near dangerous elements—playing near vast bodies of water, or near a fire, so kids are aware that there is danger nearby. (4) Rough-and tumble play—wrestling, play-fighting—so kids learn to negotiate aggression and cooperation. (5) Speed—cycling or skiing at a pace that feels too fast. (6) Exploring on one’s own."
So today, we went on a journey to explore the forest without the water part. They had a great time, they discovered a different aspect of the forest, they were able to run faster, they were able to "get lost" hide and seek, jumping on and off and to try and climb great heights.
We had a wonderful time!
By Lesley Cressman, RECE
Isaac is about 3.5 years old. He has been given the most amazing gift by his parents and his provider (Faery Childcare) to steer his own early writing development . I am a firm believer in following the children's lead, however, I am also a purposeful educator. Which means provocations are set in place to help expand new discovery and growth. Personally, I love letting children and their parents discover the joy of their child's development. I was so please to hear from Isaac's mom that he showed her his newly developing printing skills last night.
Mary, Isaac's mom shared, "I read an article once, I believe it was written by a kindergarten teacher, suggesting that parents focus on teaching their children social skills and manners, rather than pushing them to learn all of the things they are meant to learn in school anyway. This was very eye opening for me, and quite honestly, took a lot of pressure off! We still work on things and are continually taking opportunities for teachable moments, but we don’t stress when we see things like, one of his friends counting to 20 already when he gets stuck at 12, and we don’t sit down and do exercises, because we know that when he’s ready, it will click."
In the document, How Does Learning Happen, "Pedagogical approaches that nurture learning and development in the early years include: establishing positive, responsive adult-child relationships; providing inclusive learning environments and experiences that encourage exploration, play, and inquiry; engaging as co-learners with children, families/caregivers, and others". Being able to share in the delight of his mother last night was incredible gift for me. I am so grateful every day to work with these children each day with their amazing parents.
Titi MacLennan, DECE, Being an Educator in Kindergarten, I am often asked, “How do I prepare my child for school? Do they need to know how to write their name, know the alphabet, or count to a certain number?”
She shared, she always respond with the same answer, "If you want your child to be successful show them they are loved, that they deserve your time, attention and admiration. Above that, provide them with opportunities to be independent so that they can gain the confidence they need to explore new experiences and discover new wonders. Why, you may ask? It’s simple, this allows them to learn that failing is the first step to succeeding and not a reason to quit. If you can gift your child with these opportunities you will be providing your child the strongest foundation to conquer the demands of school. We need to remember that all children will reach expected milestones when they are good and ready to do so and not a moment sooner. By comparing them to their peers we in fact hinder their development. It will shock most parents to know that the new kindergarten curriculum is not focused on reading, writing and arithmetic. In fact language and math are grouped together and only make 1/4 of the program. The other 3/4 revolves heavily on Self-Regulation & Well-Being; Belonging & Contributing; and Problem-Solving & Innovation. Then we must remember that we have two years to help guide your child to reach their full potential in all these domains. So please believe me when we say don't fret about your child's writing and reading skills, instead, let them get ready to dress for outdoor play, open up containers and put on shoes independently and while you're at it give them opportunities to partake in risky play. These experiences will better prepare your child for school by reinforcing their confidence in themselves and building a positive self-image. The brain develops exponentially faster through these experiences rather then forcing them to read or memorizing the alphabet song." Titi MacLennan, DECE
As a purposeful educator, I work very hard at letting the children follow their interests, and letting them process in a healthy and stress free way. I spent a great deal of time researching the implacations of stress within young children and how that stress impacts on their brain development. If you are interested in learning more, I would suggest starting at The Hurried Child, David Elkind.
According to Zero to Three, in the article, Learning to Write and Draw "For very young children, there are four stages of drawing and writing that you may see as your child grows from 15 months to 3 years old. By offering repeated fun experiences with a variety of art and writing materials, you will see forward progress over time."
These beliefs were shared by one of the most forward thinking ECE's I know, Natasha, "When we follow a child's interests and scaffold their learning based on that curiosity they feel heard and valued. Children will always be more engaged when the subject or skill they are learning is one that interests them and because of this they retain more of what they are learning. As an educator taking the time to observe, reflect and know the children's interests demonstrates the care we have for the little ones in our programs. They are each individuals and it is so important for us to meet them where they are and guide them with love and support." Natasha Kocher, RECE
Articles such as, Development of emergent literacy and early reading skills in preschool children: Evidence from a longitudinal study., "Although research has identified oral language, print knowledge, and phonological sensitivity as important emergent literacy skills for the development of reading, few studies have examined the relations between these aspects of emergent literacy or between these skills during preschool and during later reading...Structural equation modeling revealed significant developmental continuity of these skills, particularly for letter knowledge and phonological sensitivity from late preschool to early grade school, both of which were the only unique predictors of decoding." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved) $11.95 for the article, but well worth the money and the read.
Doctor Cathy Barclay (1996) - 7 Stages to a child's development of writing skills, Link
Some downloadable PDF articles or online reading:
One of the ways you can see the professional accountability of a
daycare provider is if the provider has First Aid and CPR. It might
sound like common practice, for someone working with small
children, however, common sense sometimes is not common.
When I searched under the Staff training and development, of the
Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 11, Sched. 1 ,
in section 58. (2) "Every licensee of a child care centre or home child
care agency shall ensure that the following persons have a
valid certification in standard first aid, including infant and child CPR, issued by a training agency recognized by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board:
1. Every supervisor of a child care centre.
2. Every employee of a child care centre who may be counted for the purposes of meeting the ratios required under section 8 or 8.1.
3. Every provider of home child care or in-home services. O. Reg. 126/16, s. 38."
While, I am not in a licensed program as of yet, still working on my paperwork, it is important to me to be a professional. On Saturday, September, 2018, a peer Candace from Trinity Childcare and myself, where lucky to spend some time with Amber from the First Aid & CPR with Amber, under the Red Cross umbrella. Amber was great, she walked us through the in class section with a warm and authentic learning style. She was able to utilize any situations we spoke on to bring the learning back to a personal story to build a long term memory.
Here is a link from You Tube on the Red Cross First Aid videos, there are about 17 different videos to watch for more information.
At the end of the day, I am happy to share I was able to earn my first aid and CPR/AED Level C. I was able to work at my own pace and complete the online part, and Amber was able to accommodate Candace and myself for our in person part, within a few weeks for completing the online section. She also told us if we needed yearly, renewals she can make that happen as well. It was a wonderful experience to take my course with Amber, and I would highly recommend her classes.
I also received my PDF of the certificate within 20 minutes, it was super fast.
Lesley is a graduate of the Early Educator Diploma course, who excelled in her learning at Conestoga College. Additional has taken Social Work and the Law, Group Dynamics, psychology, Sociology and Redefining Early Learning and Care. She has also taking Reaching In Reaching Out, RIRO 1 and 2. Working within Early Learning and Care framework, as well as, the children and families under that umbrella is a passion of Lesley's.