The Kids Learning Centre is a privately-owned day care facility and non-formal educational institution for children up to 12 years old. It is located at the heart of the City of Downtown, just behind The Business Building, a convenient place where parents and guardians can drop off their children safely. It operates from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM daily, and closes only during major holidays. Like other day care facilities, The Kids Learning Centre strives to provide the best in child care.
As part of their program to deliver quality service to the kids and their parents, the centre has established the following: I. Security, Safety, Health The centre has an open-door policy, allowing and welcoming parents to visit and observe their children at any time. This, however, is a regulated procedure in order to provide security for the children, and is implemented under the following measures: * Upon enrolment, the parent/ guardian is issued an individualized Parent Identification Number, which he/she uses to go through the facility’s entry system.
Visitors are required to present a valid ID with photo before being allowed to enter, and he or she is escorted and supervised by the Assistant Director during the entire visit. * The centre has an emergency lock-down procedure – forced entry will automatically send an alarm to the police department. Moreover, the centre has a closed circuit classroom monitoring system, wherein the classroom is fitted with a four-way camera. The system records daily activities for the protection of both children and caregivers. In addition, sprinklers and fire extinguishers are present in every area of the building.
Fire alarms are installed, and the fire department is automatically alerted when the alarm goes off. The school conducts a monthly fire drill and fire alarm safety practice to ensure that the staffs is prepared in case of emergency, and would be able to protect the children should a crisis occur. Aside from security and fire safety, the centre is also very particular about the health and well-being of the kids. The centre, licensed by the Department of Health, provides healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals and snacks for the children.
The daily menu is planned by the school’s chef and the Director a month in advance. Also, a sick child is not allowed to enter the facility to avoid contagion; and a doctor’s note stating that the child is not contagious must be presented before the Director would allow the child to rejoin his group. II. Environment The classroom is bright and colourful – a place designed to be attractive and interesting to kids. The walls are painted with animal pictures, and the floor is covered by carpets, safety mats, and cushions in vivid colours.
There are six rooms and each room is fully-equipped with age appropriate safe toys that stimulate the different senses and develop gross motor and fine motor skills, including building blocks, rubber balls, stuffed animals, books, tinker toys, and many more. These are organized on kid-sized shelves, baskets, and containers that develop a child’s organization and sorting skills. The room is a place for kids to have fun and learn at the same time. They are able to express their energy in safety, and also explore, experiment, touch, and fill their senses using the wide variety of learning materials available in the area.
III. Caregivers The Kids Learning Centre is comprised of a group of devoted individuals trained to protect, nurture, and educate children. As part of the school’s policy, all the members of the staff underwent a criminal background check through the Department of Public Welfare’s state and federal fingerprinting system before being hired. They are likewise First Aid/ CPR Certified. The centre is currently composed of seven individuals: the director; the assistant director; five lead teachers; and two assistant teachers. * Director. Ms.
Mayan holds a Degree in Early Childcare Education, and has been a director for five years. She is very warm and friendly. * Assistant Director. Ms. Dina also has a degree in Early Childcare Education and has more than 30 years of experience in a childcare facility. She supervises and trains teachers. * Lead Teachers: * Baby Teacher. Ms. Mina is a high school graduate and has 5 years experience in the medical field and 20 years of experience with children. She loves to talk to babies with her calm and gentle voice. * Young Toddlers’ Teacher.
Ms. Fine is currently taking up Child Development Associate Certification and has a three years experience as day care assistant teacher at the YMCA. She is consistent in setting up limits, making sure young toddlers return the toys they are playing with before they get another toy. * Older Toddler Teacher. Ms. Georgia has childcare certification from Better Kid Care and has six years experience as assistant teacher at Head Start. She can handle difficult children very well. She is firm and the children listen to her when she says something.
Pre-School Teacher. Ms. Barbie finished her 2 years in Education and has three years experience as lead teacher. * Pre-K Teacher. Ms. Nita finished her associate degree and earned her directorship certificate at the Best Care Centre. She has been a lead teacher for ten years and have been a director for five years. * Assistant Teachers: * Older Toddlers’ Assistant Teacher. Ms. Darlene is in her senior high school and she just started a couple of months ago. The children are very comfortable and love to play with her. * Pre-K Assistant Teacher. Ms.
Julia has been in the academe for twelve years, and has been working in daycare for two years. As a day care worker, she is very warm and friendly with the children. She is very patient and always encourages the kids to always be nice to each other. One particular teacher I observed to be the most effective is Nita – the Pre-K teacher. Her class is so structured – she follows her daily schedule, she is very warm and friendly when parents drop off her/his child. She supervises her class very well. Even when she is talking to an adult, she is still able to hear and see what’s going on in her class.
She uses the reward system to encourage children to participate in group activities. She always tells jokes and the children love it. She teaches various skills to her class, such as dancing, singing and storytelling, as well as some Spanish words. Two Instances that I’ve observed about Ms. Nita’s quality child care were: * when a child was hurt while playing outside; Ms Nita immediately and calmly attended to the child and talked in gentle manner. The other one who apparently hurt him was next to Ariana, watching as the teacher performs first aid.
After Ms Nita was sure the Ariana was fine, she talked to both Ariana and the other child and asked them what really happened, she asked both side very patiently and then asked them what they should do next time, both boy apologizes and came to a conclusion that it is not nice to keep hands to others. * Another instance I observed was that Ms, Nita individually ask the children to check how they are doing both at the day care and at home; I particularly remember when she asked Karina and how’s she doing at home, the child answer that she is sad because her dad went to jail.
I saw how her compassion rise up as she talked to the child and gave her a big sympathetic hug. IV. Activities The Kids Learning Centre provides a program to develop positive social skills and ideals and learn about their world through age-appropriate play, projects and activities. It provides a stable and protected learning environment that fosters a solid foundation for lifelong success. The children are encouraged to foster a love for nature and the environment through the centre’s Agricultural Program. In that program, the children experience how to cultivate and develop the Earth.
Through agricultural lessons that include outdoor planting of fruits and vegetables, each child is able to experience the joy of caring for the Earth. The children also experience daily interactions that promote positive self concepts. All programs are curriculum based – Infant through school-age children. The daily schedule for Pre-K is as follows: 6:30 – 8:30 AM| Free Play| 8:35 – 9:00| Art Project| 9:00 – 10:00| Breakfast| 10:00-10:30| Circle Time| 10:30-11:30| Gym Class or Outside Time| 11:30-12:00| Science/ Math| 12:00 NN| Lunch Time| 1:00 – 3:00| Nap Time| :00 – 3:30| Snack Time| 3:30 – 4:00| Story Time| 4:00 – 4:30| Review Time| 4:30 – 5:30| Outside Play| 5:30 – 6:00| Library Time| From six thirty in the morning up to eight thirty in the morning, the children are allowed to choose centres (like dramatic play, table toys, or blocks ) of their choice – giving them freedom to select a toy or game for themselves in a small group, at Eight thirty to Nine in the morning, the children make art or crafts; this activity enhances the children’s fine motor skills at the same time appreciate the beauty of art.
At Nine o clock to Nine thirty in the morning, the children wash their hands and have their breakfast. Ten O’ clock up to Ten thirty in the morning is circle time; during circle time, children learn the different season, month of the year, days of the week, the alphabets and numbers and study a particular book and song of the day. At Ten thirty to Eleven in the morning, the children will go outside to get fresh air and to boost their gross motor skills.
At eleven o’ clock to twelve noon the children observe a science experiment or play math games depending on the lesson plan for the day. At twelve noon up to one o clock, the children wash their hands and have their lunch. At one O’ clock to three o’ clock in the afternoon, the children will have their nap time. If the child can’t go to sleep, the child will be provided a book and read quietly or he/she can lay quietly on her cot, Three O’ clock noon is snack time, three thirty to four thirty is review time; where children will be asked what they have learned for the day.
Four thirty to five thirty in the afternoon is outside play and finally five thirty to six thirty is library time; the children will read book quietly as they wait for their parents to pick them up. V. Guidance and Discipline The Kids Learning Centre sets rules with the children at the beginning of the school year. The child’s role in the Guidance Process allows the child to be involved in writing the class rules. The teachers set clear limits and are always consistent.
They redirect the children whenever possible. They include the children in the problem solving processes. Positive reinforcement and acknowledgement of good behaviour is encouraged. If a child exhibits improper behaviour, he/she is removed from the area The teacher then discusses the improper behaviour with the child – what choice would be better next time – and allows the child to return to the activity as soon as he or she feels she can already manage his/her behaviour appropriately.
Should a conflict arise between two kids, they will have a reasonable opportunity to resolve the problem on their own, under the watchful eye of the teacher, before a she steps in. They will be given the chance to make an effort to change any unacceptable behaviour. If a child hurts another child, the teacher will attend to the injured child immediately. The child that did the injuring will stay with the injured child and the staff member looking after the injured child, until the injured child is ready to return to the classroom activities.
The former will be asked what s/he can do to make the latter feel better. If the teachers see a continuing pattern of misbehaviour, the following steps will be initiated: * Phone call from the teacher informing the parent of the concern or “red flags” that have been observed. * As parents have a major role in the guidance process, they are requested to share any relevant information with the teachers to help understand any underlying issues. They are encouraged to open up when the teacher gives notification of a concern or if a continuing pattern of misbehaviour is observed.
They are expected to follow through on any recommendations made by the staff including evaluation by the school district. * Contact between parents and the centre is made within two weeks of the recommendation, * Staff members are expected to work as a team so everyone can be consistent in expectations and help the child understand what behaviour is acceptable and not acceptable. * After attempts have been made to meet the individual needs of the child, any child that has demonstrated inability to benefit from the type of care offered by our school, or whose presence is detrimental to the group, shall be discharged from the school.
The centre prohibits any form of corporal punishment or yelling at a child, ridiculing a child or the child’s family, blaming, teasing, insulting, name calling, or threatening the child with punishment, withholding food, affection, or positive attention. Personally, I find that The Kids Learning Centre ranks high in the following areas: * Security. The security system and fire safety features are technologically advanced and are quite impressive. * Nutrition. The children’s diet is balanced, and they receive highly nutritious meals and snacks daily. * Kids.
The children are simply magnificent. Although The Kids Learning Centre’s main goal is it to provide quality care for the children, the fact still remains that it is a business. It is, therefore, not surprising that despite its efforts to provide excellent service; much is left to be desired. Some areas that can be improved include: * Teacher Benefits. The centre lacks benefits and incentives for teachers, and is not very generous with remuneration and salary increase. Management also falls short in terms of support and encouragement for their staff. * High Turn-Over.
Due to the lack of benefits for teachers, the turn-over rate is high. This is disadvantageous as constant adjustment is necessary between co-workers as well as between teacher and child. * Discipline. Also, some teachers become too absorbed in terms of child discipline that compassion is overlooked. It is ironic because some of the teachers are themselves in need of discipline in order to avoid squabbling among themselves. The centre would benefit most if it could improve on the following areas:
* The management needs to evaluate teachers fairly and give benefits, incentives, and salary increases accordingly. The management needs to provide a better support system for the teachers; give positive reinforcement, remind the teachers their duties and responsibilities. * The management also needs to set a better standard for teachers and their behaviour, not only towards the kids but also among themselves. * Teachers should have training at least every quarter to help them learn new strategies in caring for the little ones. * Teachers should join a caregiver/teachers association to help them get encouragement from other professionals.
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