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. Our Early Learning Programs provide an inclusive, bias free environment that supports each child’s optimal learning.

Our Pedagogical Approach and Guiding Principles

Fraser River CEC has a multifaceted pedagogical approach. We are guided by BC’s Early Learning Framework and through the guidance of the Framework and other pedagogical approaches in Early Childhood field, we have created an emergent curriculum to work with children and families at our program.

Our program 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.

We are inspired by and consider a variety of approaches and research findings within our programs. 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
  • Key figures and researchers in early learning, such as: Dr. Jean Clinton, Dr. Stuart Shanker, Karyn Callaghan, Lorrie Baird and Anne Marie Coughlin, and early theorists such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygosky, Abraham Maslow, John Dewey, Stanley Greenspan, and Howard Gardner.

As part of its commitment to providing the highest quality of programming, educators in the program work directly with ‘Programming Director’. The role of the Programming Director is to be a Pedagogical Leader and support an early learning and care organization with developing its philosophy, knowledge, and practices related to early learning.

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.

As we are also guided by BC’s Early Learning Framework, the principles that educators follow from the Framework are:

First Peoples Principles of Learning:

  • Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors
  • Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)
  • Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions
  • Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities
  • Learning recognizes the role of Indigenous knowledge
  • Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story
  • Learning involves patience and time
  • Learning requires exploration of one’s identity
  • Learning involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations

B.C.’s Early Learning Framework Principles:

  • Children are strong, capable in their uniqueness, and full of potential
  • Families have the most important role in contributing to children’s well-being and learning
  • Educators are researchers and collaborators
  • Early years spaces are inclusive
  • People build connection and reconnection to land, culture, community and place
  • Environments are integral to well-being and learning
  • Play is integral to well-being and learning
  • Relationships are the context for well-being and learning
  • Learning is holistic


STEAM Learning

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Each of STEAM’s five subjects share a common approach and focus. They require gathering and using evidence to create knowledge or solve problems. The Centre of Early Childhood Development has designed the centres in the rooms in a way where STEAM experiences are naturally present. Our educators also use ‘provocations’ to encourage further explorations in designing the projects with children.

What are the benefits of STEAM Learning?

STEAM learning happens naturally everyday as children explore, play, and try new things. When children are provided with opportunities to investigate the world around them, they learn and experiment with new STEAM skills and theories. Research shows there is a positive relationship between early STEAM experiences and future success in school.

Loose parts play

Loose parts play is a play that supports invention, divergent thinking, problem solving and offers a sense of wonder to children. The materials can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways.

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
  • Experience wonder through experimentation and discovery of new worlds and the unknown
  • Experience happiness and a sense of joy 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
  • Spending time in the open air and learning outside 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