Greetings from the Executive Director:
"In 2018 I travelled to Reggio Emilia, Italy to study their approach to Early Childhood Education. Beyond my formal training, I was amazing by their entire city’s dedication to children. It was the social interactions between all generations and the conversations of wonderous possibilities the was empowering. Their shared knowledge and ideas were captured in endless community art installations and events. It was evident throughout my training and my visit that children were greeted and respected as equal citizens in their city. Returning to my childhood home of Thunder Bay, my professional career was transformed with a renewed passion to ensure children had the same opportunities to be heard and seen for their curiosities, capabilities, and creativity as I witnessed in Reggio Emilia. In my role as Executive Director at Nanabijou Childcare Centre, I am extremely proud to lead a team of educators dedicated to provide quality child care. Together, with your family, we are building a community and actively committed to an adventure of playful learning, discovery, expression and imagination. I am looking forward to sharing this journey."
- Marcia Arpin, Executive Director
Early Learning for Every Child Today
The Nanabijou Childcare Centre Board has embraced and adopted the Ministry of Education’s Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT) framework. Included in the framework are the principles and beliefs that guide practice in early years settings and guide the practice at our Centre.
The Principles are:
1. Positive experiences in early childhood set the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour, health and well-being
2. Partnerships with families and communities are essential
3. Respect for diversity, equity and inclusion is vital
4. An intentional, planned program supports learning
5. Play and inquiry are learning approaches that capitalize on children’s natural curiosity and exuberance
6. Knowledgeable, responsive and reflective educators are essential.
Our Centre believes that high-quality early childhood programs:
1. Establish positive, responsive relationships with children and their families
2. Value children as individuals and as active and competent contributors with their own interests and points of view
3. Recognize the connection between well-being and social and cognitive development and the importance of focusing on these areas holistically
4. Provide environments and experiences for children to explore ideas, investigate their theories and interact with others in play
5. Engage with families and support each child within the context of their family, recognizing that family and child well-being are inextricably linked
6. Provide ongoing opportunities for educators to engage in critical reflection and discussion with others about pedagogy and practice to support continuous professional learning and growth.
The Ministry of Education identifies “four foundational conditions that are important for children to grow and flourish: Belonging, Well-Being, Engagement and Expression.
They are four conditions children naturally seek for themselves.
Belonging refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual’s experiences of being valued, of forming relationships with others and making contributions as part of a group, a community, the natural world.
Well-Being addresses the importance of the physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as selfcare, sense of self, and self regulation skills.
Engagement suggests a state of being involved and focused. When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged. Through this type of play and inquiry, they develop skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and innovating, which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond.
Expression or communication (to be heard, as well as to listen) may take many different forms. Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication. Opportunities to explore materials supports creativity, problem solving, and mathematical behaviours. Language-rich environments support growing communication skills, which are foundational for literacy.”