By Evangeline Campeau, Early Childhood Educator, Louise Dean Centre, Catholic Family Service
The Louise Dean Centre is a joint initiative between Catholic Family Service and the Calgary Board of Education where young parents can attend high school and receive wrap-around services for both themselves and their children.
One such service is the Parent-Child Learning Centre, an Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) site that offers specialized child care to children, ranging in age from six weeks to three years old, and their families.
As an ELCC site, the Parent-Child Learning Centre has adopted the Flight curriculum framework as one of the driving forces behind our programming. Flight is a curriculum framework for young children that has been developed in Alberta and is being implemented province-wide.
Flight encourages looking at the whole child, seeing them as mighty learners and capable individuals who co-construct their learning with the support of their families, communities, and early childhood educators. Here’s a look at one of the ways that the staff in the Parent-Child Learning Centre are implementing this new framework:
This beautiful board created by Marti (pictured above), an educator in the Older Infant Room, is a Learning Story about the exploration of paint. Learning Stories are a Flight curriculum-based way of representing a child’s learning and showing the children and their families how much we value their effort and play. Learning Stories allow us to reflect on what we have seen children doing, find connections between a child’s play and how they are learning and growing, and work with children and their families to nurture developing abilities and interests by presenting expanded play opportunities.
Marti explained that this activity started out with a plan to make hand prints, but as the educators watched the children explore it grew into a deeper exploration of art and the senses. As the educators noticed the children’s interest they were quick to begin documenting through pictures. Once the experience was finished they looked back at the pictures and were able to see ways in which the children had created, explored, worked together, and developed a sense of autonomy. These reflections have led educators to present other creative opportunities to further enhance this exploration. It’s amazing to watch children and educators working together to create an environment of learning!
“When you choose an image of the child as a strong, resourceful, and capable mighty learner and citizen, you enter into relationships with children to learn about what they know and want to know and you have an opportunity to respond to that information through your curriculum decisions.” Makovichuk, L., Hewes, J., Lirette, P., & Thomas, N. (2014). Flight: Alberta’s early learning and care framework. Retrieved from flightframework.ca
Catholic Family Service offers an enriched learning environment for infants, toddlers (age six weeks to 35 months) and young mothers (age 20 and younger) who are registered at the Louise Dean Centre or the Calgary Achievement Centre for Youth (CACY). For more information, contact Amy St. Jean, Supervisor, at 403.205.8511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.