Program Statement

The Centre of Early Childhood Development is the centre of ‘inquiry’ where educators and children both engage on the path of learning together. ELCC programs provide an inclusive, bias free environment that supports each child’s optimal learning.

Pedagogical Approach and Guiding Principles

The instructional approach at Fraser River CEC is diverse. FLIGHT, Alberta’s Early Learning and Child Care Framework, as well as the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, are being implemented.  Following the advice of both Frameworks and other pedagogical approaches in the Early Childhood area. We will use an emergent curriculum to engage with children and families at our programme.

We strives to create a stimulating and engaging environment for the children that fosters children’s exploration, inquiry and play. Our Educators are co-learners and observers in children’s play. Through observations and meaningful dialogues, we integrate children’s learning into the planning and programming.

Inspired by and consider a variety of approaches and research findings within our early learning program. We think critically about how these different aspects can support our mission, vision and objectives and goals for our program. As we learn and grow with the children and families in our program, we continually question our practices to ensure that they are relevant for our current contexts.

Many different approaches and perspectives inspire us within our emergent curriculum, including:

  • The children and families we work with
  • Our community that we live in
  • Current research within the field of early learning and care
  • Loose Parts Play
  • Nature-based/Adventurous Programming
  • Dr. Jean Clinton, Dr. Stuart Shanker, Karyn Callaghan, Lorrie Baird and Anne Marie Coughlin are ey figures and researchers in early learning, are as following: . In addition to above few more early theorists such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygosky, Abraham Maslow, John Dewey, Stanley Greenspan, and Howard Gardner.

Educators in the programme work directly with the ‘Programming Director’ as part of the program’s commitment to offering the best quality programming. The Programming Director’s role is to serve as a Pedagogical Leader and to assist an early learning and care organisation in developing its early learning philosophy, knowledge, and practises.

Guiding Principles

Following are the guiding principles of our childcare program:

  • Children are born with an innate curiosity and a determination to understand the world around them. They are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential.
  • Learning must provoke inquiry, critical thinking, and fulfillment through play.
  • Focusing on observations of what children express through their paths of discovery, so that intentional curriculum can be designed as play continues to evolve. It is essential to understand the ‘whole child’ so that all aspects of development such as physical, emotional, social, emotional, aesthetics can be promoted.
  • Through reflection, we can examine the main inquiries that children are exploring about their world.

Furthermore we are guided by FLIGHT-Alberta’s Early Learning and Child Care Framework and Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, the principles that educators follow from the Frameworks are:

FLIGHT-Alberta’s Early Learning Program and Child Care Framework Guiding Principles:

  • Child’s life-long health, well-being, learning, and behaviour are strongly connected to their early childhood experience.
  • Childhoods differ depending on social, cultural, and economic circumstances.
  • Children interact and learn in multiple learning communities. The relationships inside and between these societies, particularly the family relationship, have a tremendous influence on their learning.
  • Children thrive when fostered in tight, constant interactions, and their families benefit from the same.
  • Through firsthand experiences and reciprocal relationships with people and things in their environment, children are active co-constructors of knowledge.
  • Every Children is unique learners who use multimodal literacies for exploration and expression to develop and represent knowledge.
  • Kids are active members of society and citizens.

Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework Principles (ELCC Programs):

  • Indigenous knowledges, languages and cultures

    Realizing the crucial importance of Indigenous ELCC programs that is rooted in distinct Indigenous cultures, languages as well as knowledge. As the foundation from which children form their individual and collective identity, and as an essential component of wellbeing.

  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis determination

    Acknowledging that First Nations, Inuit and the Métis are distinct peoples with rights to self-determination including the right to control the design, delivery and administration of an Indigenous ELCC system that reflects their unique needs, priorities and aspirations.

  • Quality ELCC programs and services

    Led by Indigenous peoples, creating culturally-appropriate and distinct ELCC programs and services that are grounded in Indigenous cultures and delivering through a holistic approach that supports the wellness of children and families in safe, nurturing and well-resourced programs and environments. Providing culturally-competent, well-educated, trained and well-compensated early childhood educators in healthy, equitable and supportive work environments.

  • Child and family-centered

    Understanding the child in the context of family and prioritizing the direct involvement of families in the delivery of a continuum of programs, services and supports, from prenatal to school age and beyond. Supporting families to heal from past and present trauma.

  • Inclusive

    Taking into account and building upon the diversity of Indigenous children and families. Creating ELCC programs that include a range of supports to respond to children’s, families’ and communities’ diverse abilities (including physical, psychological and developmental abilities), geographic locations and socio-economic circumstances.

  • Flexible and adaptable

    Enabling and supporting flexible ELCC programs and services that are responsive to the unique needs of a child, family or community.

  • Accessible

    Supporting access to affordable ELCC programs and services for all Indigenous children and families who require them.

  • Transparent and accountable

    Designing, delivering and funding ELCC in ways that are accountable to children, families, communities and partners. Moreover sharing data in transparent and ethically appropriate ways, with reciprocal and mutual accountability between those who are collaborating to design, deliver and fund services.

  • Respect, collaboration and partnerships

    Indigenous peoples are leading the way in developing and promoting new and emerging partnerships. Moreover they are collaborating at different levels, across sectors, and with numerous participants in programme design & delivery to achieve shared goals.

    Recognizing that no one program can meet all the needs of children and their families, fostering a network of supports based on community needs and creating opportunities to support Indigenous families and communities to care for their children in more comprehensive, holistic, effective and efficient ways.


Loose parts play

Loose parts play is a play that supports invention, divergent thinking, problem solving and offers a sense of wonder to children.

What are the benefits of playing with Loose parts:

  • Demonstrate how children learn as individuals and in groups
  • Engage in problem solving and abstract thinking
  • Establish social interactions as they begin to explore their community of peers in a shared space
  • Discover new worlds and the unknown via experimentation and exploration.
  • Happiness and delight can be found in new experiences.

Nature-based/ Adventurous programming

Fraser River CEC- The Centre of Early Childhood Development and Family Services is committed to offering positive nature experiences to all children. We inspire children to be curious in nature and encourage exploration to their inquiries by ‘being in nature’ within their indoor and outdoor spaces.

Children are given ample opportunities to access adventurous/risky play throughout the day. Adventurous play is an unstructured play that involves some risk and is essential to every child’s well-being. It helps children learn, develop and grow their understanding of their own abilities.

What are the benefits of Nature-based programming?

  • Nature-based environments increase fitness and builds active, healthy bodies
  • Children gain sense of independence and autonomy
  • Children gain better language skills and more self-discipline
  • However spending time in the open air and learning outside will consequently increases children’s ability to think both critically and creatively.

What are the benefits of Adventurous play programming?

  • Promotes independence and problem-solving
  • Provides direct experience of cause and effect (natural consequences)
  • Develops coordination and bodily control
  • Boosts self-confidence and emotional resilience
  • Satisfies natural need for challenge and thrill