Family Drop In & Resources
Early Literacy Programs
A.O.K – All Our Kids is a place for play. It provides FREE part-time drop-in programs for parents and caregivers to come with children under five. They are staffed by experienced and trained Early Childhood Educators who promote quality, interactive activities and act as a resource to parents and caregivers. Currently available in Holland Landing, Richmond Hill and Newmarket. This program is funded through The Regional Municipality of York.
View Flyers for date, time and location:
- Richmond Hill Flyer (Emmanuel Church)
- Holland Landing Flyer (Holland Landing Public School)
- Newmarket Flyer (Glen Cedar Public School)
Research has shown that children learn best through play and active hands-on involvement with learning materials.
Play for young children is important for their social, emotional, intellectual and physical development. Through play children learn how to get along with others, to use their imagination, to deal with their emotions and feelings, to develop their fine and gross motor skills, to concentrate, to problem solve and much more. Children are born with a natural curiosity and a desire to learn.
How to Choose Quality Child Care
Selecting your child’s caregiver is one of the most important decisions you will make. Please review or print the following checklists and use them as a guide to help ensure that you choose the best child care for your children.
- Qualify by rigorous screening hiring process including criminal reference check
- Warm, friendly and knowledgeable in child development
- Sensitive and responsive to child’s needs
- Speak directly, kindly, calmly and respectfully to children
- Helpful and supportive
- Participate in ongoing training
- Encourage communication with parents
- Able to communicate their philosophy of child-rearing and approach to discipline
- Correct ratio of adults to children (In centres 1:3 infants, 1:5 Toddlers, 1:8 pre-schoolers, 1:15 Schoolage)
- Homes: No more than 2 under 2 years, 3 under 3 years and a maximum of 5 under 5 including the providers own children
Emphasis on Health/Safety
- Teachers and Providers with First Aid Training
- Facility meets fire and health regulations
- Medical emergency procedures in place
- Children’s allergies posted
- Immunization policy in effect
- Emergency evacuation procedures and fire drill regularly practiced
- Liability insurance coverage
- Safe play areas and stairways
- Hazardous plants, chemical cleaning supplies (W.H.M.I.S), inaccessible to children
- Visible fire extinguishers, smoke detectors
- Non smoking agency environments
- Playground safety checklist
A Supportive Administration
- Policies and procedures outlined in a parent handbook including an expected code of behaviour
- Tax receipts issued.
- Positive, age-appropriate behaviour management policy reviewed regularly with staff.
- System for ensuring knowledge of children’s whereabouts – e.g. system for signing in and out.
- Supervision of programs and accountability for high standards by management.
- Annual parent survey.
- Parent Advisory Committee encouraged at each site
A Welcome Setting
- Space for active quiet play, eating, individual and group activities and rest time.
- Clean, safe, warm, well lit inviting rooms with sufficient natural light
- Child sized table and chairs. Indoor space for active play
- Equipment and toys placed so children can choose activities
- Sufficient variety of equipment, play materials and books for all children
- Convenient toilets, wash basins
- Outdoor play space fenced and supervised with easy access and a variety of equipment
A diverse and stimulating program
- Variety of planned activities to stimulate children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth
- Combination of planned activities and activities that children choose themselves
- Weekly schedule of activities and learning objectives posted
- Some quiet and some vigorous activity
- Arrangements for play and rest and for children that do not rest
- Carefully planned, purposeful field trips
- Regular updates on child’s progress
Nutritious Lunches and Snacks
- Attention to Canada’s Food Guide
- Staff/Provider eat with children during meals to create a family atmosphere
- Menus are posted
- Food allergies are posted and carefully observed
- Children are encouraged to develop health life long eating habits
This checklist is based on what you can expect to find in Centres and licensed homes provided by York Professional Care & Education. We hope you will find it a useful guide to assist you in finding a quality program for your child.
You’re the parent….the choice is yours.