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!
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.