Three to Five Program Guidance Policy

At Leap Forward Childcare, guidance centers on respect and responsibility. All children and Educators are encouraged to act respectfully and responsibly towards one another. We use guidelines to ensure a safe and respectful environment for everyone. Educators avoid challenging moment by managing and supervising the environment. They provide clear and consistent limits for children so they are easily able to learn what an acceptable behaviour is. Educators point out positive behaviours rather than giving attention for negative behaviours. They speak in a positive way so that children will not only be encouraged to listen and respond but will actually want to. For example, instead of saying "Don't throw sand!" The educator would remind the child that, "The sand is to stays in the sandbox please".  A statement with a reason such as, "If the sand is up in the air it may get in your eyes", may be added.

We encourage children to solve their own problems by having them communicate with each other. Educators allow the children opportunity to come up with their own solution to the problem. We remind children to tell each other about how they are feeling. An example of this might be encouraging a child to use an "I" statement to let another child know how they feel. "I am angry because you ran over my building that I worked so hard to build." After this situation occurs we would try to encourage the child, who ran over the building, to help the other child rebuild their building and work together. For example, an educator might say, "I see Matt is very angry that you ran over his building. What can you do to help him feel happy again?"

When talking to the children we get down to their level and help them resolve their conflict together, acting as a mediator when necessary. We ask open-ended questions to encourage children to problem solve together. For example, "There is only one ball today. Is there a way to use the ball together?"

When a child needs more help and is not communicating effectively on his own, we intervene by offering him an appropriate choice. This way he is still able to feel responsible for the choice that he makes. For example, "There are some felt pens out that you can colour with, or you can join Jenny playing with the blocks".

We make sure our messages are clear so there are no misunderstandings. We also remind children that we are here to keep each one of them safe and that every child is entitled to their feelings and help from an adult. We point out the natural and logical consequences of their actions. For example, "When you throw the toy and it breaks, the toy can no longer be used."

The child's feelings are always acknowledged and expanded upon. For example, "I see that you are really angry, and you really want that dump truck, but we cannot hurt our friends. Would you like to use the dump truck when Matt is finished using it?"

If other children or adults are at risk of being hurt, the child, who is acting out, will always remain with an educator. We have that child sit or stand next to the staff member and spend some one-on-one time until they are able to re-join the group. The educator will explain to the child that right now they are not being safe with themselves or their friends, and therefore, they cannot be a part of the group. The educator lets the child know that when he is ready to re-join the group he can let her know. At this time the educator briefly discusses what happened and what appropriate behaviours will need to be used to be part of the group again. When the child is able to re-join the group, the educator will help him to re-join the group so he feels comfortable and his self-confidence is not compromised. At times, staff member might take away certain equipment if it is being used dangerously.

Leap Forward Child believes guidance is the process by which children learn to develop socially acceptable and appropriate behaviours. At Leap Forward Childcare, we talk the children through difficult social situations. We model appropriate self-concepts and self-control. The children are taught and shown, through example, what to do, rather than what not to do. At Leap Forward Childcare we believe that regardless of a child’s age or developmental stage, they are always deserving of guidance that is respectful and teaches responsibility.