Diverse Learning Environments
The goal of the programs at Giant Steps Children’s Centre is to provide a positive early childhood or after school experience to every child, including those with special needs.
Children will have opportunities to learn, play and grow in a supportive early childhood setting. Our programs promote active social integration between children with and without disabilities across all parts of our day. Families are involved in identifying skills and goals that are of priority for the children and are encouraged to take an active role in the classroom. Routine based plans are used to provide learning opportunities and effective assessment of children’s short and long term goals. Inclusion is about children and families having a sense of community, about building relationships and about children developing to their fullest potential.
Our infant program is licensed for ten fulltime infants, ages birth to 18 months with three Early Childhood Educators.
Our infant program is in the lower level with a separate entrance and cubby area. Our indoor play space is large, comfortable and home-like. There is also a separate nap room, with a crib for each infant. There is separate outdoor play space which includes many different surfaces, such as rock walk-ways, grass, decking and sand and shaded areas.
Babies grow and change dramatically during their first year. Our program is geared toward the encouragement and development of each child at his or her own rate. Our open-door and strong parent communication policies support the development of trusting relationships between parents and teachers. Educators work closely with families to understand each infant’s unique personality along with likes and dislikes to develop the best schedule to meet each infant’s needs.
Giant Steps Children’ s Centre has 5 classrooms that have toddlers. The toddler ratio is 1 staff member to 6 children.
Our toddler teachers get to know these little people and their families on an intimate basis. Our program includes nurturing care as well as education. Our educators develop connections and relationships and respond to the children’s cues and interests. A typical toddler day may include, music, art, indoor and outdoor play, sign language, science, dance, pre-literacy, and word development through speaking, reading, singing, and listening. Toddlers strive for independence; our teachers create a program that supports each child’s individuality. Some of the most important learning outcomes in our toddler program are language development, socialization, self-help skills and development of fine motor and eye/hand coordination.
Full Day Preschool
A preschooler is more than just an age category or a time to prepare your child for school. During this time frame of life from age 2 ½ to 5 years your child will develop language, personality, values, and independence. “What children learn does not follow as an automatic result from what is taught, rather, it is in large part due to children’s own doing, as a consequence of their activities and our resources.” Loris Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children. At Giant Steps Children’s Centre we believe that offering children many varied experiences and opportunities allows them to explore their interests and learn as a result of being engaged in the experiences. Children will be offered activities based on their interest and invitation from the educators within their learning environment.
School Age Program
At Giant Steps Children’s Centre our school age spaces make up over half of our licensed spaces. We have always believed that this group of children deserve to have a safe, nurturing environment in which they can unwind after their day at school and on holidays and school breaks. We provide developmentally appropriate activities and opportunities for them to grow and explore what matters to them. Our school age playgrounds have been especially designed for this age group and their need to run, jump, explore, build, work at a group or by themselves, all the while providing support and guidance from educators when it is needed. In addition this group gets to explore our community a bit by walking on the rails to trails or walking to a community playground.
Family Day Care
Family Home Day Care
Giant Steps Children’s Centre has an agreement with the government of Nova Scotia to provide a Family Home Day Care Agency. Together with our consultant Giant Steps recruits and supports family home care providers by approving them under the regulations to run a Family Home Day care in the providers’ home.
In addition to supporting the providers, we provide them with professional development training, supported visits from our consultant, and an extensive toy lending library where they can borrow toys and equipment to support their day home.
The government of Nova Scotia offers subsidized spaces for families attending any licensed childcare centre or any approved family home.
Music Education Program
We do music everyday!
We sing songs or play games that provide an opportunity to practice various gross motor skills such as jumping, walking, tip toeing, swinging, etc with/without a partner. Sometimes we use props such as parachutes, scarves, beanbags, balls……
We participate in a sharing circle in which we pass around one or two instruments for students to play as soloists. We support each other by taking turns and patting the beat as our friends play.
We play rhythm instruments as a group. Every child has an instrument. Sometimes we provide sounds for story songs.
We sing action songs in which we can practice motor skills and learn the story of the song with our hands as well as our voice.