Program Statement

Confederation College Children and Family Centre is a learning lab school that plays a unique role in the education and mentorship of Early Childhood Education students in the care and education of young children. The Early Childhood team is focused on building thriving relationships with multiple stakeholders – students, children and their families, college faculty and the community. 

We believe in fostering fundamental relationships with each other and with our environments. Relationships are at the core of our program and much care is taken into nurturing them and forming connections with each other. Through our program, we foster a sense of humility where there is a genuine sense of care and respect for the well-being of others.

Learning spaces are set up to create environments that encourage relationship building and offer spaces for holistic learning, reflection, and self-care. The environments are thought out in collaboration with the team and serve as the third teacher. We value the image of the child and offer interactions and experiences that allow the whole child to grow.

We believe continuous professional learning provides the foundation for the pedagogy of the program and ensures the program stays current. Registered Early Childhood Educators set goals through the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario while participating in a Continuous Learning Plan and taking part in professional development in many forms.

How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years outlines the four foundations, which guide practice by fostering the growth of the whole child and their individual learning styles.



Every child has a sense of belonging when they feel connected to others and contribute to their world. The Early Childhood team guides learning through a unified approach where active participation and reciprocal interactions are valued and respected.  Everyone involved in the care and education of children have wisdom and insight to share.

We nurture Belonging by:

  • Making secure relationships a priority and the basis of our work by ensuring we create a welcoming environment and offering anyone new to the program a tour and an orientation to the Centre which allows for an opportunity to:
    • Become familiar with and explore the environment, including the physical space.
    • Introduce the staff and other community partners to begin their relationship journey together.
    • Gain insight into the interests, needs and experiences the person hopes to attain in the program.
  • Ensuring cultural diversity and knowledges are honoured and respected through strong relationships with the team, as well as through continuous professional development.
  • Creating the environment, to support learning, with art, books, toys, photos, and food that allows children to find comfort.
  • Viewing children as competent and capable learners that contribute to the overall learning environment.
  • Fostering reciprocal and respectful relationships as the basis of our work by:
    • Ensuring thoughtful respect for each person’s uniqueness.
    • Encouraging educators to be co-learners alongside children and families.
    • Cultivating and celebrating ways in which families are seen as active members of our team.
    • Creating an atmosphere of trust and a shared commitment to build positive relationships.
    • Observing children’s play interests and responding positively to cues.
  • Reflecting pedagogical documentation throughout the program ensures:
  • Documentation reflects relationships, learning and collaboration.
  • Reflect about how children and think and learn.
  • Highlighting holistic learning.
  • Collaboration with the Early Childhood team.
  • Makes children’s thinking and learning visible.
  • Respecting and accepting individual learning styles and the perspectives of others by valuing their knowledge and allowing space for all voices.


Every child is developing a sense of self, health, and well-being. The Early Childhood team works collaboratively to achieve a healthy physical, emotional, and social environment. We encourage storytelling to honour people and learn from them.

We nurture Well-Being by:

  • Valuing holistic health by:
  • Respecting the land through planting, caring for, harvesting, and preparing the food served during mealtimes.
  • Connecting the cook to the local food producers to consider where purchased food is grown.
  • Offering a variety of food on the menu that is familiar to some, and new to others.
  • Creating a home-like environment that offers a balance of active and calm experiences and encourages self-regulation.
  • Using wisdom and knowledge in taking time to make ethical decisions, thoughtfully and wisely, to create an environment that is accepting and open to all.
  • Valuing diversity and reflecting culture in our environment.
  • Providing a natural, forest like playground for exploration.
  • Providing opportunities for motor and sensory exploration.
  • Offering opportunities to rest and/or sleep.
  • Hearing, accepting, and supporting children’s emotions.
  • Offering opportunities for storytelling by all members of the team.
  • Scaffolding learning and supporting children to engage in risky play, which includes supporting children in identifying inherent risks and hazards.
  • Allowing and trusting children to make decisions about their abilities.
  • Creating space for children to learn coping strategies which leads to resilience and the ability to navigate their emotions.
  • Supporting children to learn to be gracious winners and accept disappointments.
  • Maintaining a healthy and safe environment by annually, and as required, reviewing health and safety practices and policies with the team.
  • Having clear and consistent expectations of the team.
  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times.
  • Fostering humility to ensure the well-being of others.
  • Fostering healthy physical, emotional, and social environments by:
  • Creating environments where every member of the team feels safe, respected, and valued.
  • Sharing the view that all are competent, capable, curious, and rich in experiences.


Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind, and senses. Children have a natural curiosity fostered through our play-based and inquiry-based program. Children learn to problem solve, be innovative, and learn interdependent thinking while exploring experiences in day-to-day programming. The Early Childhood team actively contributes to the success of the working partnership between all members.

We nurture Engagement by:

  • Actively involving children in flexible, predictable, child-lead, responsive routines and rituals that focus on the co-ownership of the interests and needs of the children.
  • Focusing on slowing down the pace of the day to have time to engage in care and educational experiences, as well as time to pause and reflect.
  • Making connections, being present and extending play to ensure children feel comfortable in sharing their emotions and feeling connected.
  • Offering an environment of trust that allows for children to be courageous in meeting and overcoming obstacles.
  • Offering opportunities for storytelling to share and engage with each other.
  • Planning experiences that scaffold and inspire learning that are based on the children’s ideas, knowledge. And curiosity.
  • Creating indoor and outdoor spaces that invite children to investigate, imagine, think, create, solve problems, reflect, and make meaningful connections.
  • Providing hands-on and engaging experiences to explore concepts and theories by seeing, doing, and demonstrating practices
  • Creating an environment that acts as a third teacher to promote the intentions of learning through playfulness, failure, challenges, frustration, wonder, and curiosity.
  • Extending learning by using tools such as demonstrating, questioning, dialoguing, explaining, encouraging, noticing, and reflecting about children’s thinking.
  • Ensuring an ongoing reflection of practice and consideration of new approaches and ways of thinking.
  • Developing relationships with community organizations to support and promote continuous learning.
  • Ensuring the daily schedule allows for extended periods of playtime, both indoors and out, which allows for time to explore and work out theories.
  • Participating in pedagogical documentation encourages co-learning alongside each other to make children’s learning and Early Childhood team practices visible.
  • Engaging the team to networking opportunities with members of the community.


Every child is a capable communicator who expresses themself in many ways. The Early Childhood team creates an environment that supports and encourages freedom of expression, which allows for a feeling of connectedness.

We nurture Expression by:

  • Encouraging ongoing dialogue and creative expressions of ideas, feelings, and interpretations in a variety of ways.
  • Documenting children’s communication and making their learning visible to help revisit thoughts and ideas expressed to extend their understanding.
  • Role modelling open communication that highlights listening and seeking understanding.
  • Ensuring Early Childhood teams are:
    • Aware of how each child expresses themselves.
    • Attuned to various cues.
    • Supporting children to listen and respond to each other with respect, empathy and understanding.
  • Exploring, supporting, and accepting children’s emotions
  • Being curious and supportive of languages and cultures.
  • Encouraging creative expressions of ideas, feelings, and interpretations in a variety of ways to express thinking and learning.
  • Sharing ideas, space, and resources with the community (families, educators, community partners etc.)
  • Providing opportunities for children to think, express their thinking and learning, and convey their understanding of the world through using more than one medium of expression and communication, as well as artistic and communicative media. 

(sculpting, storytelling, painting, music and movement, creative arts, etc.)