Partnerships help educators meets the needs of all children

Grant allows purchase of new toys

By Manor Park Chronicle

The new approach of "emergent curriculum" allows children's interests to guide their own learning. Photo: MPCC
The new approach of "emergent curriculum" allows children's interests to guide their own learning. Photo: MPCC

MPCC’s Before and After-School in Manor Park strives to be an inclusive and welcoming environment for all children. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Andrew Fleck’s Children’s Inclusion Support Services (CISS) for their continuous partnership and support in helping us to be so successful in delivering Manor Park child care!

I would like to specifically thank our resource consultant, Caitlyn Murray-Ford. Caitlyn provides consultative support to our program, and many other licensed childcare programs in the City of Ottawa, by suggesting strategies for adapting activities and providing training to ensure a positive inclusion experience for everyone. Using a team approach, she facilitates the development of a functional collaborative inclusion plan.

Caitlyn also works with a team of behaviour consultants and inclusion facilitators.

This year, Caitlyn brought an inclusion facilitator into one of our groups for four weeks. Their job was to support the implementation of her recommended strategies and developmental programming by supporting the transfer of knowledge and skill development to our educators.

After the inclusion facilitator left the program, the educators had a far better understanding of emergent curriculum and the types of programming they can offer to meet the needs of all children in the room.

Emergent curriculum

Emergent curriculum has replaced the idea of “themes” in early childhood education. (It’s a method of planning children’s curriculum that incorporates the child’s interests to create more meaningful learning experiences.)

Although themes can be fun and included in plans, emergent curriculum allows the children to be the leaders in their own learning and focuses on their interests and strengths.

To support these ever-changing interests and learning experiences, CISS has presented Manor Park Community Council a grant to purchase new toys. A big thank you to CISS for this grant! It gives us the ability to purchase toys tailored to inclusion and replace some beloved toys that have seen better days.

Not only has CISS provided invaluable support to our program through their highly skilled resource consultants, behaviour consultants and inclusion facilitators, we are also very fortunate to receive funding for enhanced staff support.

Enhanced staff support funding has allowed us to hire a program assistant whose job it is to support an individual child whose needs meet the eligibility criteria for this level of support to ensure a positive inclusion experience.

We are lucky to receive this funding for not just Before and After-School in Manor Park but also for Manor Park Child Care Centre. And on top of all of this, CISS also provides free training to our educator teams during staff meetings!

Thank you, Andrew Fleck’s Children Inclusion Support Services for your continued support and for ensuring licensed child care programs around the City of Ottawa can provide high quality care to children of all abilities.

This article was written by Amy Mombourquette, registered early childhood educator (RECE), and Meagan Noonan, RECE, with Manor Park Community Council.