Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW)
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
Our entire organization is strengthened by the inclusion of individuals with a diversity of lived experiences. As we strive and work to create a culture that is welcoming and accessible to all members of our community, we acknowledge that this can only exist when the voices of those historically underrepresented in our community are centered, respected, and amplified.
Statement by the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph
How Does Learning Happen? states that “Children are competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential. They grow up in families with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Every child should feel that he or she belongs, is a valuable contributor to his or her surroundings, and deserves the opportunity to succeed. When we recognize children as capable and curious, we are more likely to deliver programs and services that value and build on their strengths and abilities.” How Does Learning Happen? 2014, page 6.
Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW) recognizes that children are capable and curious and delivers programs and services that value and build on their strengths and abilities. At CROW we view children and families as community members with valuable ideas and perspectives.
CROW is guided by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years as a professional learning resource guide for Educators to support pedagogy and curriculum/program development in our early learning programs. This aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Policy Statement on programming and pedagogy.
CROW is committed to supporting the goal of the Child Care and Early Years Act in building a child care and early years system that supports parents and gives children the best possible start in life. We are committed to ensure that the provisions set out in the Act will strengthen compliance, health and safety in our child care settings as well as help parents make informed choices about their options. The individual needs of the child are always to be considered throughout the day.
Children’s Resources on Wheels is Committed to:
The early years set the foundation for children’s health and well-being. The brain’s architecture is shaped by a child’s interactions and relationships with parents and other significant people in their lives. Early brain development is stimulated through experiences and interactions with responsive adults.
We understand that in establishing and nurturing health, safety and well-being for children in our programs is through the connections they make with staff, home child care providers, volunteers and students. We believe that nutritious meals and snacks are critical to promote healthy child development, and that these meals and snacks are provided in a positive environment that is responsive to the child’s cues of hunger and fullness.
CROW endeavors to meet and exceed health and safety requirements of the Ministry of Education and local government bylaws. Information on children with life threatening allergies is posted in Home Child Care provider homes and readily available at other program sites. All parents with children in Home Child Care are provided with the Parent Handbook. Program staff are available to discuss the Parent Handbook, health and safety policies and protocols.
CROW Licensed Home Child Care provider homes incorporate indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time; into the child’s day.
We believe that educators are partners in learning with children. We believe that knowledge is socially constructed through relationships with others. With this view, educators build strong trusting relationships with the children, and their families, and learn alongside them. Educators observe and listen to the children and encourage deeper thinking through thoughtful questions, documentation of their thinking and an engaging environment full of a wide range of materials that meet each child’s strengths and interests.
CROW believes every child is entitled to be given the opportunity to develop personal responsibility and social skills; to learn to problem-solve and to learn about diversity and inclusion.
The skills of conflict resolution are important to lifelong learning. As competent individuals, children are active participants in resolving conflicts. We encourage them to come up with ideas and solutions to problems that arise.
- Recognize each child as having equal rights to participate in program activities; inclusive of all children, including children with individualized plans.
- Recognize and respect the unique qualities of each child and family, including ancestry, culture, ethnicity, race, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, family environment, and developmental abilities and needs.
- Create strategies that value the culture and first language of all children. Establish programming strategies to foster an inclusive learning environment in which every child can participate.
- View the diversity of children and families as an asset, and plan programs to reflect differences and enrich the environment.
- Focus on active play-based learning as the way that children naturally learn best. It is their natural response to the environment around them. When children are manipulating objects, acting out roles, or experimenting with different materials, they are engaged in learning through play. Play allows them to actively construct, challenge, and expand their own understandings through making connections to prior experiences, thereby opening the door to new learning. Intentional play-based learning enables children to investigate, ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking.
- Our program also recognizes the need for children’s self-regulation, their ability to deal with stress and remain calm, alert and ready to learn. When children are calmly focused and alert, they are best able to control their emotions, pay attention, ignore distractions, inhibit their impulses and understand the consequences of their actions. We are committed to learning about how to create learning environments and programming that helps support children’s self-regulation—to help children remain or return to a state of calm.
We believe that parents are their children’s first teachers and as such, have much to offer to their child’s program. Parent participation can greatly enhance their child’s program and maximize their learning experiences. The meaningful exchange of ideas between educators and parents support the child as they grow and develop within our program. We encourage parents to be active in their child’s experience in our programs through the many opportunities that we offer.
CROW aims to ensure that families have the support of available, affordable, safe, reliable, high quality programs for their children, which ensures parents peace of mind while their children are in the CROW program. Respect, care, empathy, trust and integrity are core values in our interactions with families.
We believe that our partnerships with our families help our programs to best meet the needs of the children:
The needs of each child are considered in the context of their family composition, values, culture, and language. This approach enriches relationships between early childhood settings, families, and their communities.
In addition to the daily interaction with program staff, we offer opportunities for parent feedback and involvement—such as surveys, board of directors, parent education and training workshops. We use parent input to improve our programs and services.
CROW is committed to engaging with local community partners in supporting CROW children, families and staff.
We are active partners with Public Health, Preschool speech and language, Children’s Mental Health (Open Doors), education, Early Integration Program, libraries and other community resources. We value the relationships we continue to build and believe that families are better served with integrated services.
- Our Early Childhood Educators are registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators (ECE). Other qualifications include: Primary Education Studies, Recreation and Leisure, and Child and Youth Work.
- CROW Licensed Home Child Care providers have various skills and abilities to provide a stimulating learning environment for children.
- All staff, providers, students and volunteers have completed a Vulnerable Sector Screen.
- All staff and providers are required to have a valid standard first aid certification including infant and child CPR.
- CROW staff are encouraged to participate in Professional Development and Continuous Learning activities.
Formal professional learning is vital, but we also know that the most central professional growth happens day-to-day, as our staff co-learns with children and each other as self-reflective professionals.
At CROW, we believe that knowledgeable and responsive early educators:
- Recognize that responding to the unique abilities, needs, and characteristics of each child, family, and community is central to supporting learning and development.
- Engage with children as co-learners as they explore their environments.
- Provoke children’s thinking, create meaningful programs, and guide interactions with children and their families.
- Use a warm and positive approach to support children’s developing ability to express emotions and take other perspectives.
- Know when to stand back and observe and when to enter children’s play to stimulate thinking.
- Make a commitment to build self-awareness, regularly reflect on practices and engage in new learning experiences, both individually and with colleagues.
At CROW, we understand that pedagogical documentation is a way for our program staff to learn.
The purpose of our documentation is also:
- A way to value children’s experiences and help them to reflect back on those experiences and what they have been learning.
- A way to reflect on developmental growth over a period of time.
- An opportunity to make children’s learning and understanding of the world visible—to themselves, to other children, to their parents and other families, to the program staff.
- A process for program staff to co-plan with children about learning.
Two Streams of Service
Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW) programs provide families with opportunities for education, stimulation, socialization and safe non-threatening environments within their own communities.
EarlyON Child and Family Centre
EarlyON Child and Family Centre (EarlyON) (a program of Children’s Resources on Wheels, CROW) provide opportunities for children from birth to 6 years of age to participate in play and inquiry-based programs, and support parents and caregivers in their roles. These centres offer safe and welcoming environments open to all families across Ontario, with qualified professionals and quality programs. Families and caregivers are able to find support, advice, make personal connections and access a network of resources.
Licensed Home Child Care
Licensed Home Child Care (LHCC) (a program of Children’s Resources on Wheels (CROW)) operates in the County of Lanark with provider homes in many areas including Almonte, Blacks Corners, Carleton Place, Franktown, Perth and Smiths Falls. We are licensed by the Ministry of Education and follow the home child care regulations as set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
We believe that Children’s Resources on Wheels is an organization where: