Ages: 3 months – 5 years old
Hours of Operation: M-F 7:30am-6:00pm
The early childhood years are crucial and formative years. Your child’s experiences during these years plays an important role in determining the way the feel about themselves, relate to others, their capacity to solve problems, and the way they think and learn.
Fun, Exploration, Creativity and Engagement
We believe that Oona’s PlayCare should be an enjoyable and fun place for children to be. We see children as being active participants in their own learning and recognize that this will happen best in an environment that provides fun, enjoyable, and engaging experiences and where children are supported and encouraged to be creative and to think creatively, given time to explore their environment, test out ideas, investigate, express curiosity, ask questions, and wonder in their environment.
Relationships and Communication
A key element of our program is to support children in developing the tools, knowledge and insights in how to communicate; and how to initiate, develop and sustain positive relationships and social connections. Relationships are key in developing a sense of belonging. We place an emphasis on communication, positive relationship-building, and on learning within the context of groups/social contexts throughout our day. We place a value on supporting and fostering positive and respectful relationships with communication between staff and families (and extended families) and within the staff team.
Inclusion, Respect, Social Justice and Acceptance
Oona’s PlayCare acknowledges and respects the uniqueness of each child and their family, culture, structure, language, beliefs, and customs. We acknowledge that children learn within the context of their family and extended community and that they bring this knowledge and a wide range of experiences with them to the classroom.
We place a value on ensuring that our program is accessible and meaningful for all children, that it includes and supports children and families with diverse abilities and alternative perspectives.
We extend this attitude of inclusion, respect and acceptance to visitors, students, and staff members.
At Oona’s PlayCare we recognize the tremendous importance of these early childhood years and our role as early childhood educators in supporting, nurturing, and facilitating the growth and development of children.
With this in mind, we believe that it is important to establish a professional culture of reflective practice, one where ongoing professional development for educators is supported and encouraged. An environment where there are high expectations for the quality of the educational program. Our school’s culture values relationships to develop mutual respect between families and educators. This allows us to work together harmoniously to ensure a positive start for your child.
Learning, education and transition to school
We support all areas of our curriculum through the educational, play-based program. Foundations of literacy and math, as well as other pre-academic skills, are learned both in the context of play, and through responsive and intentional teaching. In practice, this means that rather than “teach” the alphabet, or “practice” counting or implement off the shelf reading/phonics program; we instead look for opportunities to engage with children about text and meaning, language, rhyming, ordering, counting, matching, and spatial awareness (for example) in a natural play-based context. Our program aims to equip children for a positive transition to school. We pay close attention to research that suggests that emotional and social preparedness are key drivers in terms of being ready for school. We focus on a child’s “being” as well as a child’s “becoming” — a recognition of the here and now as well as future development and transitions.
Routines at Oona’s PlayCare!
Counting, Letter, Sorting
Salt and/or sand trays to draw letters, clothespins to choose the correct number on cards, counting trays, sorting colors, sorting sizes, matching shapes, fun hunts for things a certain color, etc. All themed around our monthly focus!
Art Display Wall
Students can choose what they want to display on the art wall that they made, they can change it as much as they would like. There are fresh paper and utensils each day available to them.
Out (or In) door Adventures
We hunt for things we imagine in class (for example, the topic of a recently read book), nature scavenger hunts, nature walks to gather art materials, lollipop (or any treat) hunt on special days when we all deserve a delicious treat!
After breakfast we gather on the rug and say hello to each other, talk about how we are feeling today. Children are shown any new sensory bins or anything new that day that they can explore. Children “check” themselves in and one student will get to determine the weather on the weather board. We also enjoy a welcoming song or story!
Students each have a wooden piece with their name on it and they move it to the “Here!” side each day during our welcoming circle.
There is a picture schedule for children to look at and know what it is we will be doing next.
Every day a new child has the opportunity to work on the weather board. They determine the weather by looking out the window.
Children help water and care for herbs, watch them grow, even taste them!
Before we get ready for nap, we stretch and relax our bodies.
Typical Daily Schedule
7:30 Arrival and Settle In – shoes off, potty, wash hands
7:30-8:30 Free choice
8:30-9:30 Breakfast & Clean Up
9:30- 10:30 Free play/Skills/ART/Story Time -Small group/one on one or outside play-weather permitting
10:30-11 AM Snack
11:30-12:00- Yoga and flashlight stories
12:00pm-1:30 (or waking) Nap
(Upon waking children play with sensory buckets and quiet bins or read books until children all wake up)
1:30/2:00-2:30 Lunch & Cleanup- teeth brushing
2:30-3:30 Free Play/Outdoor play or gross motor movement –weather permitting
3:30-4:00 Group Play / Skills/Music/Story Time/Art
7:30 Arrival and Settle In – shoes off, diaper change, wash hands
7:30-8:30 Social Interaction/group interaction
8:30-9:30 Infants: On individual feeding schedule
9:30- 10:30 Skills: 1.5 mo-3 mo; Tummy time Story time Music, Outdoor Play.
4-6mo; Practice sitting up, getting used to be spoon fed, Index finger& thumb coordination, Crawling, Pulling up on furniture, Baby sign language, Story time, Music, Outdoor play.
7-12 mo; Practice walking, climbing, cup training, Sign language, story time Music, Outdoor time.
18-24 mo; sign language, story time, art projects walking climbing music, outdoor play.
10:30-11 AM Infants on own schedule for feeding
11:30-1:30 Infants on own schedule for Nap
1:30-2:30 Infants on own schedule for feeding
2:30-3:30 Free Play/Outdoor play –weather permitting
3:30-4:00 Age appropriate Skills
4:00-4:30 Infants on Own feeding schedule
Clean Up & Prepare for Pick Up
4:30-6:00 Free Play/ age appropriate skills until pick up
Example Lesson Plan & Activities
At Oona’s PlayCare, our monthly lesson plans provide seasonal and theme-oriented ways for your child to learn and grow. Each week, your child has access to wonderful sensory bins to help build their understanding of the world around them, art projects to provide an outlet for their creativity and self-expression, and activities to support development of their skills.