Ministère de la Famille
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Objectives and principles

The educational program promotes:

  • the educational quality of the childcare services offered;
  • consistency in the educational approaches adopted in the various educational childcare establishments;
  • continuity in the educational interventions carried out with young children and their families.

Basic principles of the educational program

  • A partnership between the educational childcare establishment and the parents is essential to the children’s harmonious development.. The process of accompanying young children in their overall development is a joint project shared by parents, the educational staff, the home childcare provider (HCP), and, when applicable, the administrators or any other person working in the childcare establishment. Based on a relationship of mutual trust, this partnership reassures the children and helps establish a meaningful relationship between them and the adults who take care of them during their parents’ absence. It also promotes the choice of individualized interventions adapted to each child within the same group at the childcare establishment.
  • Children learn through play. It is through play that children learn and develop. By helping them derive full benefit from the play they initiate, the educational staff and HCPs support their overall development.
  • Children are the main actors in their development. Young children are most likely to achieve their full potential when they are the main actors in their development, and when they are able to initiate play themselves, make suggestions that are implemented in the childcare establishment and participate in decisions.
  • Each child is unique. An in-depth knowledge of each child and his or her development helps the adult in charge of that child to recognize and respect his or her particular nature, rate of development, areas of interest and needs.
  • A child’s development is a comprehensive, integrated process. A child’s development is a comprehensive process involving all areas of development at the same time (physical and motor, social and emotional, cognitive). All these areas interact and are integrated into a whole: the child.

Areas of a child’s development

  • Physical and motor — Health and safety, physiological needs (nutrition, sleep, hygiene), sensory development, perception of their own bodies, gross and fine motor skills.
  • Cognitive — Attention, memory, symbolic function, the capacity to categorize and conceptualize, reasoning, mathematics and science awareness.
  • Language — Prelinguistic language, oral language, reading and writing awareness, as well as graphic development.
  • Social and emotional — Attachment (establishing meaningful affective relationships), temperament, self-concept, identity, emotional and social skills.

Playing is learning

For children, playing is the ideal way of exploring and understanding the world around them. Playing must therefore be seen as an essential activity through which they learn to express themselves, understand the world and integrate into a group.

Whether it involves individual or group play and simple or complex rules, playing helps children learn different things in different ways.

A balanced program

Each childcare establishment applies the principles of the educational program, taking into account its own context, resources and the opportunities available in its environment. It adapts the program to the ages of the children in its care and the hours of the day when they are present.

Although the experiences offered to children can vary from one childcare establishment to another, the daily educational program must always be balanced. It must include indoor and outdoor play, calm and active play, individual and group activities, as well as small and large groups, while always being mindful of the children’s health, safety and well-being.

Educational staff and home childcare providers:

  • supervise and assist the children as they play, and through observation, collect information that is essential to assisting them in other activities;
  • provide the children with the materials they need and suited to their interests and level of development;
  • support and encourage them.

Your role as a parent

You are the person best placed to guide the educational staff or the HCPs. You can also help your child by:

  • taking an interest in his or her childcare experience;
  • asking the educators questions and giving them useful information about your child;
  • attending parent meetings.

Your collaboration is invaluable to the childcare establishment and essential to your child’s harmonious development.

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Last modified date :
August 20, 2019