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Monday, 25 April 2011

Early Writing

In her Child Care Exchange magazine article, "Encouraging preschoolers’ early writing efforts," Leslie Falconer observes, "If there’s one object common to preschools and child care centers the world over, it’s pieces of paper covered with looping scribbles made by small hands learning to hold a pencil or crayon.  The next time you’re cleaning up at the end of a busy day, though, consider taking a closer look at those scribbles.  They’re actually samples of early writing, and an invitation for you to channel those small hands into recording their new ideas and creative thoughts....

Early writing — scribbles, drawing, a child’s first attempts at letters or his name — develops more than just fine motor skills.  It is a way for children to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others.  L earning about writing — as with reading — begins in infancy.  Before children can sound out letters, or even hold a crayon, they can observe an adult making marks on a notepad or a letter to Grandma.  Children watch their teachers write key words on a large piece of paper as they brainstorm ideas around a theme.  When the adult rereads the idea list, children make the connection that words can be expressed in symbols to be reread later.  For preschool-aged children, dictating words and ideas to an adult teacher — an activity called story dictation — who can then read them back to the children in their own words, can be a very empowering experience.  Inviting children to make creative choices in their storytelling enhances that accomplishment.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

8 Things Everyone Should Know About Early Development

With thanks to Richmond Children First:

1.      Child development lays the foundation for community and economic development. Healthy children create healthy communities and economies.

2.      The architecture of the brain is built through a step-by-step process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. Building a strong foundation in the early years increases the chances of positive development, and vice versa.

3.      One skill leads to another. Brain development occurs from the bottom up, with increasingly complex skills and capacities built on top of simpler skills and capacities.

4.      Thinking, emotional, physical and social skills are intertwined. So is learning and behaviour, and mental and physical health. You cannot address one area without affecting the others.

5.      Children’s relationships with family, caregivers and the community shape the wiring of the developing brain. This happens through a serve and return process, like in a tennis or volleyball game. Young children naturally reach out for interaction. When adults respond consistently and appropriately, the brain is wired in a way that supports healthy development. When adults do not respond or respond negatively, the brain is wired in a way that leads to dysfunction and difficulties.

6.      Toxic stress in early childhood, caused by extreme poverty and abuse, for example, can damage the developing brain and cause lifelong difficulties in behaviour, learning and mental and physical health.

7.      The brain becomes less malleable and behaviour more difficult to change over time. Providing children with the right supports for healthy early development is an effective preventative measure.

8.      Early childhood supports can be measured for their effectiveness, and sound policy and program choices can then be made.

Jack P. Shonkoff and Susan Nall Bales. Science Does Not Speak for Itself: Translating Child Development Research for the Public and its Policymakers. Child Development. January/February 2011, Volume 82, Number 1, pages 17-32.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Game Day

As many of you will know not only are are parents and children really interested in hockey but we happen to employ the Canucks Greatest Fan too.     Our infant staff Sandy P is literally the biggest Canucks Fan I know. 

When I come in before 7:30am and Sandy is opening she has sports radio playing.  On her lunch break she catches up on all the stats, news etc.... There is nothing she does not know about her team!!

This passion is part of what makes Sandy a great Early Childhood Educator.  She has a point of connection with so many of the Dad's and many a hockey debate is had at pick up and drop off.  

Dad's can sometimes find themselves feeling a little out of place at a child care centre where all the staff are women....... and sometimes they are new to the parenting role and feeling a bit out of their comfort zone, and some are doing a double drop off (that's 2 children in 2 rooms in under 20 minutes - we take our hats off to you!)....... so being able to have a bit of hockey chat certainly eases the transition.

Today Sandy is a bundle of nerves as the playoffs start but she is boldly wearing her Canucks gear and has put up the poster from today's paper on the front door of the Infant room.  She also took a bit of ribbing from parents who enjoyed pushing her buttons today but fortunately she is one of the most good natured people I know.

Thanks Sandy P for being the SRCC's very own Hockey Queen!!

Go Canucks Go!!!

Friday, 8 April 2011

First Week

It has been a great first week of the new website.  Several parents have come by to say how much they love it and are looking forward to the plans we have to communicate more with them.  Even a few people who waitlisted this week commented on the site!! Yay!

The consent forms for web photos are coming in fast and so far are all positive so we will soon have photos up. 

It has been a busy week here at the SRCC as we make the most of the couple of sunny days.  The children and the teachers love being outdoors and seeing all that nature has to offer as we transition from winter to spring.

Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

Monday, 4 April 2011

We're live

We are delighted that our new website courtesy of Garth Poon at the Simpler Site is LIVE!  Thank you Garth for your professionalism and skill! 

We wanted this updated site to accurately reflect who we are and what we do.  We also wanted to make more of the work we do accessible to our families.  We still have a few things to work out (if you have your website photo consent form, please get it back to us ASAP) but we look forward to sharing our work with you in a meaningful and useful way!

As always - we love your feedback so let us know what you think so far and what more you would like to see.

Chat soon.