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Early Childhood Development Program

Educare has a small staff/child ratio.  We offer language enrichment for every child, encouraging emergent literacy through themed based stories, dramatic play, songs, and finger plays.  Children also learn how to relate with others through social skills intervention and confidence enhancing programming.

We have themes that change monthly, and are never repeated in two years (for returning children).  We offer our children a variety of different daily activities at our Art Centre, Dramatic Area, Science Centre, and Writing Centre.

Speech-Language Program

A child’s facility with language is one of the most significant predictors of school success.  The children at Educare receive speech-language services from a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist.  This involves assessment and identification of children who have mild/moderate or severe language delays.  Parents are provided training and tools to assist their child at home through workshops and parent sessions.

Family Literacy Program

The E.L.F.F. (Educare Literacy for Families) program was established in 2003, and is funded through the Suncor Energy Foundation.

Our E.L.F.F. program provides literacy programming for children and families, and various parenting workshops, with the assistance of a trainer facilitator.  The program assists children in developing emergent literacy skills through stories, songs, and awareness of alphabet letters and sounds.  Parents develop literacy skills as they learn to read to and interact with their child at the preschool and in their homes.  This program is open to community members, runs several times throughout the school year, and is facilitated by one of the  staff of Educare’s Early Intervention Program.

Why is Family Literacy Important?

If children have a good knowledge base of literacy and words, it is one less challenge they will have to face heading into their school years.  A child’s language is one of the most important predictors of success later in life.

 “We learn more in the first five years than any other point in life.  It is important for parents  to get involved with their children and ensure they are gaining the most they can during this developmental stage.”

Program Enhancement

The program enhancement component of Educare’s Early Intervention Program provides the following additional opportunities for learning.

1. Social Skills Program – Four different topics of Social Skills are covered throughout the year.  Our Program Enhancement Facilitator, along with videos and books, teaches the children about:

  • Say Please (Use your manners)
  • Use Your Words
  • Everybody is Different
  • My Body Belongs to Me

2. Reading Center – Stories are read to children on a daily basis through different means:

  • Puppet Shows
  • Flannel Board
  • Books on Tape
  • Big Books
  • Acting out Stories and Nursery Rhymes

3. Writing Center – Children work on their fine motor and pre-printing skills to help them prepare for Kindergarten.  We incorporate the “Writing Without Tears” method in the classroom.

Family Resource Program

Parents are a child’s first teacher.  When parents have the skills and resources to effectively support their child, excellent outcomes are realized.  The Family Resource Coordinator provides home visits and consultation to families in an effort to answer questions and provide referrals to community agencies or to provide support for parenting issues.  All children have contact with Educare’s Family Resource Coordinator.

Sensory Integration Program

We provide specialized Sensory Integration Therapy to children in our program who have been recognized as having Sensory Integration Disorder (DSI).  Our children (and parents) also receive one on one time with a physiotherapist who helps them understand and implement effective solutions at home.

We are proud to have the most well equipped Sensory room in the Municipality, with thanks to the Wild Rose Foundation.

Rock-A-Tots Music Program

Our staff knew that children would benefit with more exposure to music and instruments, and so we developed and incorporated a “Rock-a-Tot’s” program into our weekly routine.  Our program helps children with sequential learning, which is an essential component
to reading comprehension.  It also helps develop rhythm and coordination.  Research has shown that participation in a music program actually helps “organize” the brain in such a way that children are better able to learn in other areas, including language, math, and spatial skills.

Our music program coordinator, introduces different musical hand instruments to the children.  They learn the name of the instrument along with the different sounds each one makes.  Our program also teaches them about rhyming & poetry, and the concepts of fast & slow, high & low (sound), and hard & soft (sound).  The children love it, and are intrigued by Rocky and the stories he shares about his time spent while he is “at home”.  They are always eager to comply with his request to sing a song for him.

Gross Motor Program

This program is offered in partnership with Clearwater Physical Therapy, and is made possible through a donation from the Kinsmen Club of Fort McMurray. Gross Motor development is crucial, as it affects all other areas of development. The large muscles must developmentally conditioned before a child’s mind can start the development of the small muscles. If this is lacking, it then could affect a child’s fine motor skills, as well as speech and language