What is Brightling’s approach to education at the daycare?
Every parent knows it’s easier to motivate a child to do something they enjoy. Brightling’s team knows this too… and we use it to inspire the children in our care to learn.
Academically speaking, we combine a number of tested approaches to early childhood social development and education. Our children’s individual needs, preferences, interests and abilities dictate how we lead them to age-appropriate learning.
We listen – to what our parents tell us about their children, and to the many ways the children express themselves. What we learn by listening shapes our approach for each child.
How is the facility tailored to children and their learning?
Our Centre features include (but are not limited to):
- Its own children’s library, from which caregivers and children read every day, and children are welcome to bring books home every week in our Home Reading program
- A separate classroom in which small groups engage in age-appropriate learning activities – from kindergarten preparation for pre-schoolers, to hands-on elementary curriculum support for school-aged kids
- Child-sized washroom facilities designed to be accessible and comfortable for little ones, and to facilitate staff supervision while maintaining a sense of privacy
- Indoor (in our in-Centre gym) and outdoor (in our enclosed back yard) free-play spaces with equipment designed to build large-muscle-group strength and confidence
- Big windows allowing natural light into every classroom
- Fully accessible facilities
- Musical instruments, light tables, art supplies, a “pet” stick bug tank, and a huge collection of puzzles, games, and toys designed to build reasoning, knowledge, social skills and teamwork.
To really appreciate our Centre, you need to come and take a tour. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-487-7879 to set one up!
What do you provide to enhance children’s learning?
In addition to the regular features of our facility we described above [FIL – LINK TO Q2], Brightling Childcare Academy offers:
- Special guests in the Centre ranging from magicians, musicians and other children’s entertainers; to community service representatives like the Winnipeg Police Service and Winnipeg Fire Department; to people and groups who deliver special activities to introduce children to the sciences and other areas of learning.
- A weekly Home Reading program: each child brings home a selection from our in-house library every week, in their dedicated Home Reading bag. We encourage families to read together with their children, to help build attachment and a love of reading. If your child is too young to read, cuddle up together and enjoy new books we’ll send home every week together.
- Children’s Yoga in the Centre, led by a specialist in yoga for children
- Special experiments, arts and crafts, and musical events
- Field trips to the many venues for early learning we enjoy in and around Winnipeg – from museums to parks.
- Small-group learning circles, in which children are matched with others at the same age and interest/ability levels to build their knowledge and curiosity about the world around them
How important is “outdoor” time at Brightling?”
Brightling children go outside each morning and afternoon, unless the weather doesn’t cooperate. Fresh air and a change of scenery are great for health, and mood, and creativity.
Our children go outside every day (unless temperatures are too cold to do so safely), and play in our 9000 square-foot enclosed back yard. There, they can climb, slide, build, and play in the open. In the summertime, we have “water fun days” that are just as much fun as they sound!
How big is the Brightling facility?
Our Centre at 1461 Chevrier Blvd. is 10,000 square feet, with four separate classrooms, a nursery for babies, an early learning centre for school-aged children, and a gym. We also have a 9000 square-foot enclosed back yard, equipped with children’s play equipment and green space.
Are Brightling staff trained in early childhood education?
Combined, our staff bring well over a century of professional childcare experience.
Brightling Childcare Academy is run by two former Manitoba elementary school teachers who began this Centre in 2003 to provide excellent early-childhood education in south-west Winnipeg.
Our staff are all professional caregivers who have a variety of experience working with young children. Our staff includes certified ECE IIIs, ECE IIs, and Child Care Assistants. Staff maintain First Aid and CPR training. All staff undergo a Criminal Record Check and Child Abuse Registry Check.
How do you group children in the Centre?
Brightling’s babies and small toddlers are in a nursery designed specifically for their comfort, interests and safety.
Pre-school and school-aged children are mixed among our classrooms, to foster intra-age group learning, cooperation, social and personal development, and empathy. Bigger kids love helping littler kids, and littler kids love the attention of bigger kids. In our classrooms, under the close supervision of our professional staff, they learn and grow together.
Our older school-aged children do interact and help out with the little ones, but they also spend time as a cohort, working on homework and other age-appropriate activities after school.
Do the children tend to be with the same staff every day?
Every aspect of Brightling’s Centre is designed to inspire learning and fun.[/caption]Generally, our staff are assigned to specific classrooms where they work with specific children, to help build relationships and allow us to get to know each child’s needs and personality well. There is cross-over between rooms for certain activities and to cover staff breaks, though, so the children do get to know the other caregivers too.
How do you communicate with parents?
Our role as a childcare centre is to partner with parents: to give your children the care they deserve, and to learn as much as we can about your children so we’re in the best position to do that.
That means communication is a fundamental part of our process (and our commitment).
- Our Centre owners and senior management are on-site at the Centre, every day, working closely with all our caregivers and children, and available for formal and informal discussions with parents at any time.
- Through an innovative communication app, with your express permission, we share regular photos and videos of what your children are up to during the day. Please note these are not posted publicly – posts are only made available to our small group.
- Our website is updated monthly with content specially created and curated for Brightling families and your needs, as well as updates on news from around the Centre.
- We send a monthly e-newsletter to all current Brightling parents, with additional information only relevant to you.
- We conduct regular in-Centre activities for the whole family, helping our parents get to know us, and each other, better.
- We share other information of relevance to parents – and celebrate the brilliance of the children in our care – through our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
- We are available to parents all day at 204-487-7879 and email@example.com
Do you involve parents in Centre activities?
Absolutely! We love to welcome parents as additional help and chaperones when we go out on field trips, and you are welcome to drop by the Centre to say hello at any time.
We also run a series of family events and activities at the Centre on evenings and weekends, to give you a chance to get to know your children’s caregivers better, and to see your children interact with them and their friends.
We see our role not as “babysitter” but as “caregiving partner” to our parents. The more opportunity we have to communicate, the better job we can do.
What services are available to transport children to and from school?
Our Centre is located in the Pembina Trails School Division service area, and
operates a shuttle service for children attending schools that aren’t served by school buses. Please speak with the office about your child’s transportation needs.
Is care available for school-aged children during in-service and other school holidays?
Yes. Many of our elementary students that are registered in the before-and-after-school program at Brightling, are welcome to join us for full days on school holidays (including summer).
How does Brightling approach toilet-training children?
Our staff partner with parents on many fronts; in all cases, including toilet-training, we follow your lead.
Our facility is designed specifically to help make the toilets easily (and quickly!) accessible to little ones, with supervision from staff. Classrooms in which children are in toilet-training have special in-room washroom areas (behind a half-wall), with child-sized toilets. Each of these rooms also has a hand-washing station right outside the washroom area, to help build healthy hygiene habits early.
We also have a regular-sized, enclosed washroom for older children who don’t need (or want) supervision.