Larch Street Kids is a well-established Childcare Centre located in the City of Greater Sudbury, opening its doors in September 1991. Larch Street Kids (LSK) consists of five childcare sites and one administration site. All childcare sites open at 6:30 AM and close at 6:00 PM, with the exception of the Larch Street site, which offers an evening program and remains open until 12:00 AM.
LSK’s childcare program includes children from the ages of 4 months to 12 years. All children are welcome. Our agency works closely with other community agencies such as Child and Community Resources (CCR), The Children’s Treatment Centre (CTC), The Child and Family Centre (CFC) and Wordplay to ensure we enrich our programming to meet the specific needs of each child. Besides having a high ratio of RECE’s employed at our Agency, we also have many Community Support Workers (CSW’s) employed with us to assist the Educators in their programming for groups that may have higher needs than others. We believe that all children are competent, capable and curious in their own diverse way.
Children and their ideas are valued at LSK. Each child is given the chance to explore the world around them through sensory, cognitive, creative and physical play.
Physical Health is very important to the well-being of all children. Our children play outdoors on a daily basis, a minimum of two hours per day for Infant, Toddler and Preschool children, weather permitting. School-age children play outdoors for at least half an hour each day during the school year, and as much time as possible during summer and winter breaks. These children spend all day in the classroom and deserve the opportunity to have freedom of space and movement.
Rest time is also very important for our children. Our younger children have two hours of sleep and/or quiet time daily, based on individual requirements. Our older children also benefit from quiet activities each day.
LSK believes that exploring our community by visiting parks, local business’ and recreational facilities is a great way to give our children a sense of belonging. We incorporate field trips into our programming as much as possible, giving the children a chance to interact with the world around them.
Sensory and creative play are available at all times. Materials are provided at the child’s level in order to engage and stimulate their interests. We see the children as being capable and competent and allow for materials that can be used independently as well as those to be used with an Educator’s support.
We provide a rich learning environment that allows children to individually express themselves. children may express themselves through music, movement, dramatic play or any creative process of their choosing.
LSK believes in giving children the opportunity to self-regulate their behavior. Children should be given opportunity to reflect on their actions and then, with the guidance of the Educator, make positive choices. Self-regulation is a learned skill, and for those who have not achieved it yet, redirection may be an option that helps to guide the child.
Another component of the health of each child is nutrition. We currently follow a Healthy Eating Policy in which we address the importance of proper nutrition and healthy eating habits. We encourage children to self-regulate their diet by allowing them to serve themselves where age-appropriate. Staff are to model proper eating habits and table manners while enjoying a family-style meal together with the children. We follow an eight-week menu rotation which follows the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide.
The goal of Larch Street Kids Child Care Centre is to build respectful, trusting relationships with each child, parent, employee and community partner. Healthy, honest relationships are the foundation of any team. This can be a team of:
All this can be achieved with guidance from the Ministry document How Does Learning Happen.
We as an agency believe that the health and safety of each child is paramount.
By ensuring that policies and procedures are set in place and followed, we believe that we can offer not only a welcoming and nurturing environment but a safe one as well. Policies are reviewed on an annual basis, with reflection given to the purpose of the existing policies and the possible need for future policies. As new or revised policies emerge, they will be sent to parents and/or staff through e-mail and/or a link added to our website at larchstreetkids.com
All staff must read and understand the policies of LSK before beginning employment and annually thereafter. Students and volunteers are required to read and understand policies before beginning their placements.
LSK highly values the Continuous Professional Learning of their staff. Bi-annual Professional Development is planned for all staff. These two days consist of Team building exercises, Ministry of Education requirements, The College of Early Childhood Educators mandates, and mandatory staff training such as WHMIS, Anaphylaxis and AODA Training. Staff are also encouraged to partake in community events such as workshops, book studies, webinars and various other formats of learning.
LSK works with Postsecondary Institutions in order to coach and mentor future Early Childhood Educators. These students are valued members of our team and bring as much to our programs as we do to them.
The program Statement for Larch Street Kids is a living document. It is reviewed on an annual basis and the input of each and every staff is valued. It is a document that is to be revised as our program changes with the needs of the children and the community. All members of Larch Street Kids are to review the Program Statement on an annual basis and are to implement the contents in their everyday actions.