Centre Philosophy

    • Capilano University Children's Centre strives to provide high quality, affordable and accessible childcare to all children and families.

       Our Goals

      The Capilano University Children's Centre Educators are committed to the following:

      • Providing a safe, secure, happy and nurturing environment for children, Families, and Educators that is aesthetically pleasing and well supplied with materials and equipment.
      • Recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of each child and family.
      • Honouring each child as a unique, powerful and capable individual and to give each child the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential by allowing them to learn at their own speed and in their own way.
      • Fostering a partnership with all families by maintaining open communication, exchanging information, sharing resources, and providing a variety of opportunities for families to become involved in the childrens centre.
      • Facilitating play as the child’s primary mode of learning which fosters curiosity, initiative, independence, self-esteem, decision making, problem-solving, and communication skills, as well as positive interaction with and respect for others.
      • Assisting children in their social development by facilitating new friendships, life skills, and modeling positive interaction with others, emotionally by facilitating the expression of feelings in a positive way, physically by encouraging participation with both small and large muscle activities, intellectually by providing stimulating activities that support pre-reading, writing, and math skills, and creatively by providing opportunities to express themselves through a variety of play and art activities.
      • Encouraging advocacy by collaborating with agencies in the community to provide the best possible resources for supporting the children and their families

      Teaching Strategies

      The Capilano University Children's Centre team values the quality of childcare and the level of professionalism required to maintain a highly respected childcare program. For this reason, all Early Childhood Educators recognize the importance of keeping up to date with current trends and teaching practices in the early childhood education field. Our teaching strategies continue to evolve as we change and grow both as individuals, and as a team. The following are the teaching practices that currently hold special significance for us:

      1. Curriculum
        The projects (or topics of interest) that arise in the childrens centre are derived primarily from the children’s interests rather than being established by the teachers. We find the children learn more when they are learning about something that interests them, as well as empowers the children to see their ideas come to fruition. Projects can last for a few days or extend over several months. The Early Childhood Educators plan activities for the children as well as facilitate spontaneous learning during play to validate new ideas, expand their knowledge, and encourage problem solving around these topics of interest. Because the curriculum unfolds in this way, we discuss traditional holidays such as Halloween and Christmas in an informal way. This ensures the children’s learning is continuous and that one learning opportunity can build on the next without interruption.
      2. Routines
        The Early Childhood Educators acknowledge the importance of providing a safe and secure environment for the children so they have a sense of predictability and know what to expect. For this reason, the Early Childhood Educators gets to know each class by carefully examining individual circumstances and group dynamics and then establish a daily routine. A typical daily routine may include a circle time (group time), free play, snack time and an opportunity for outside play (weather permitting) for large muscle development.
      3. Creative Art
        The art area is stocked with a vast assortment of materials and recycled items to encourage the children’s curiosity and creativity. This is a place where the children think for themselves and learn how to make their ideas into creations. Teachers rarely use cut out shapes or a teacher’s own art as an example, as children often feel discouraged and feel they are unable to duplicate it. Teachers will ask the children questions to help them reflect on their thinking and find resources for themselves. By approaching art in this way we are placing the emphasis on the process rather than the finished product.
      4. Equipment and Materials
        The Early Childhood Educators are beginning to discover how they can teach children to be producers of culture by presenting materials in unique and creative ways. Historically,childcare settings placed value on having a variety of toys (i.e. Fisher Price garage, cookie cutters for play dough, etc.). Increasingly, these toys are being seen more for their entertainment or consumerism value rather than an educational value. Imagine the richness of the experience where children are given the materials to make their own garage, or cut their own shapes from clay. Although these items are still found within the environment, the trend is to move towards having more natural interactive materials available where children have to think about what they are doing, how to mix or use materials, or how to solve a problem.
      5. Documentation
        Documentation is a variety of techniques used to tell the children’s story of what they are thinking about, or what their learning process is. This could be a series of photographs with captions outlining the children’s conversations, a small story written beside the child’s artwork, or a list of questions and the children’s responses. We find that these strategies serve three purposes:
        • It focuses the teacher’s attention on the children’s thinking and ideas and gives us new ideas on where the children would like to go with the curriculum.
        • It gives the children an opportunity to collaborate and revisit what they have learned or perhaps give new ideas to an unsolved problem.
        • It serves as a way to communicate with parents the projects that are unfolding and what their children are thinking about and doing in the childrens centre.
      6. Our Childcare Community
        We feel fortunate to have so many wonderful Early Childhood Educators, children, and families that come to us with a wealth of individual knowledge, ideas, and resources. It is vital that the Early Childhood Educators team works together as a cohesive unit, and also within the team defined by each room. From this we gain support from each other as well as diverse curriculum and program ideas. Within this, the Early Childhood Educators collaborate with the children to bring their ideas into action with the ongoing support and collaboration from families. We are very fortunate to have parents who offer resources (i.e. wood scraps, fabric remnants, etc.) to continue our projects. We are thankful to have access to a vast variety of resources, which ultimately reflects in the richness of the program and the quality of care the children receive.