Omni Learning Centre offers half-day programs throughout the week. Children attending Omni will have the option of attending Monday and Wednesday mornings or afternoons OR Tuesday and Thursday morning or afternoons and are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Omni also provides a half-day program on Friday mornings. This special program focuses on activities for kindergarten preparedness, including monthly trips to the public library where the children will loan out a book. It is meant to compliment our other weekly programs and is only available to those who attend Omni during the week.
Monday & Wednesday Mornings (8:50 am – 11:30 am)
Monday & Wednesday Afternoons (12:50 pm – 3:30 pm)
Tuesday & Thursday Mornings (8:50 am – 11:30 am)
Tuesday & Thursday Afternoons (12:50 pm – 3:30 pm)
Friday Mornings (8:50 am – 11:30 am)
Omni Learning Center offers a learning program that is consistent with Ministry of Education policies, pedagogy and curriculum. Some of the Ministry documents we reference in our program include the following:
- How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years
- Ontario Early Years Framework
- Ontario Early Learning Framework
- Think Feel Act: Lessons from Research About Young Children
- Early Learning for Every Child Today
Since we know that children learn best by pursuing their personal interests and goals, children make their own choices about materials and activities during the program time. As they pursue their choices and plans, children explore, ask and answer questions, solve problems, and interact with peers, program staff, volunteers, students on placement and other adults.
Children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential.
OMNI recognizes each child is a unique individual who brings his or her own abilities to the program and deserves the encouragement and space to try new things, explore new ideas and develop their own unique creativity.
We provide an environment that fosters curiosity, one that allows children to explore. We believe that every child deserves a safe and caring environment (a place where children want to be and where they feel “at home”), in which to grow and develop to their maximum potential.
We understand the importance of taking children’s stages of development into consideration. For each child, their stage of development is an individualized and complex interplay between developmental factors and their unique family, community and life experiences. In each case, we aim to integrate all areas of the child’s development into our program in a holistic way.
Our goals for children, consistent with the Ministry of Education pedagogy, include the following:
- Every child has a sense of belonging when he or she is connected to others and contributes to their world.
- Every child is developing a sense of self, health, and well-being.
- Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind, and senses.
- Every child is a capable communicator who expresses himself or herself in many ways.
Children’s interests are valuable to their learning and offer a rich variety of experiences.
The type of activities we offer daily include:
- drama, music, dance and art
- physical activity
- language and literacy
- nature, science and technology
- construction and design
- daily opportunities for physical active play
Our programs are designed to:
- encourage children to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate
- foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry
- provide child-initiated and adult-supported experiences
- offer opportunities to create authentic lasting relationships with others in the program
Health, safety and well-being of children
We know that the early years set the foundation for children’s health and well-being.
- The brain’s architecture is shaped by a child’s interactions and relationships with parents and other significant people in their lives.
- Early brain development is stimulated through experiences and interactions with responsive adults.
We understand that the first step in establishing and nurturing health, safety and well-being for children in our programs is through the connections they make with the program staff, volunteers and students on placements.
Positive self-expression, communication and self-regulation
At OMNI , our inclusive program leads to children’s sense of belonging. Positive learning environments and experiences, focused on active play-based learning, encourage children’s communication, self-expression and self-regulation.
We strive to be aware of, foster, support, encourage, respond to and document the many ways in which children express themselves, the many tones with which they articulate their ideas, the variety of languages they use to communicate. We also strive to honour and reflect children’s home language and culture in our programs.
In our inclusive learning environment, we welcome children of all abilities. Respect for diversity, equity and inclusion is vital for optimal development and learning.
Here are some of the ways in which we create an inclusive environment in our programs:
• Recognize each child as having equal rights to participate in program activities, trips and events.
• Recognize and respect the unique qualities of each child and family, including ancestry, culture, ethnicity, race, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, family environment, and developmental abilities and needs.
• Establish programming strategies to foster an inclusive learning environment in which every child can participate.
• View the diversity of children and families as an asset, and plan programs to reflect differences and enrich the environment.
Our programs focus on active play-based learning as the way that children naturally learn best. It is their natural response to the environment around them. When children are manipulating objects, acting out roles, or experimenting with different materials, they are engaged in learning through play. Play allows them to actively construct, challenge, and expand their own understandings through making connections to prior experiences, thereby opening the door to new learning. Intentional play-based learning enables children to investigate, ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking. Play is responsive to each child’s unique learning style and capitalizes on his or her innate curiosity and creativity.
Our program also supports children’s self-regulation, their ability to deal with stress and remain calm, alert and ready to learn. When children are calmly focused and alert, they are best able to modulate their emotions, pay attention, ignore distractions, inhibit their impulses and understand the consequences of their actions. We are continually learning about how to create learning environments and programming that helps support children’s self-regulation—to help children remain or return to a state of calm.
Parent engagement and communication
OMNI aims to foster outreach, engagement and communication with families about our program and their children’s learning experiences. We believe that families are experts on their children. Sharing knowledge is integral to the success of your child.
OMNI aims to ensure that families have the support of available, affordable, safe, reliable, high quality licensed child care for their children, which ensures parents peace of mind while their children are in the program. Respect, care, empathy, trust and integrity are core values in all our interactions with families.
We know that our partnerships with our families help our program to best meet the needs of the children:
- Families form the foundation for a child’s early development. Families know their children best, and are the first and most powerful influence on learning and development.
- The needs of each child are considered in the context of their family composition, values, culture, and language. This approach enriches relationships between early childhood settings, families, and their communities.
- We involve parents and other important adults in various events and activities at our programs. This connects them to their children’s early development, and enhances the child’s learning.
At any time throughout the year, parents are welcome to contact the Staff at OMNI to provide feedback and express any concerns they may have about the program. Parents are provided information and support responsive to their needs.
OMNI is committed to involving local community partners and to engaging those partners in supporting the children, families and staff.
We also have community partners—individuals and agencies who support OMNI children and families financially or through in-kind support. We collaborate with these partners and continue to create more opportunities to expand these relationships on behalf of our children and families.
Supporting staff in continuous professional learning
OMNI is committed to hiring, training and fairly compensating staff. We hire staff who have a positive and sensitive attitude towards children. Our non-discriminatory hiring practices provide individuals of all backgrounds the opportunity for employment. We believe that everyone has worth and value, and all staff are entitled to be respected, supported and treated fairly.
OMNI staff foster children’s inquiry and creativity. Staff plan on a daily basis based on the observations that they make on children’s interests. In this way, learning is extended, leading to deeper investigation with materials and the environment. Staff plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported.
Through positive adult-child interactions, staff work closely with children to extend their learning by encouraging children to build upon their existing knowledge. Our staff develop an intentionally planned program that supports early learning.
We believe that knowledgeable and responsive early educators:
- Recognize that responding to the unique abilities, needs, and characteristics of each child, family, and community is central to supporting learning and development.
- Engage with children as co-learners as they explore their environments.
- Provoke children’s thinking, create meaningful programs, and guide interactions with children and their families.
- Use a warm and positive approach to support children’s developing ability to express emotions and take other perspectives.
- Know when to stand back and observe and when to enter children’s play to stimulate thinking.
- Make a commitment to build self-awareness, regularly reflect on practices and engage in new learning experiences, both individually and with colleagues.
Staff working in our centre have completed studies in the field of early childhood education, and are registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators. Professional development opportunities are available to staff, on an ongoing basis, throughout the year. Each year, a variety of workshops and courses are offered to all staff.
Formal professional learning is vital, but we also know that the most central professional growth happens day-to-day, as our staff co-learn with children and each other as self-reflective professionals.
Documenting and reviewing the learning program at OMNI
We understand that pedagogical documentation is a way for our staff to learn about how children think and learn.
Our staff conduct observations of children in the program and use this information to inform their future planning. Our intention is to move beyond reporting of children’s behaviour, in order to find meaning in what children do and experience. The purpose of our documentation is also:
• A way to value children’s experiences and help them to reflect back on those experiences and what they have been learning
• An opportunity to make children’s learning and understanding of the world visible—to themselves, to other children, to their parents and other families, to the program staff
• A way to reflect on developmental growth over a period of time
• A process for program staff to co-plan with children about learning
• A dialogue with families about children’s experience and an invitation for parents to add their own documentation about their children’s learning
• A self-reflection opportunity for program staff, as they participate in continuous professional learning
Through pedagogical documentation staff will endeavor to:
• Make children’s learning visible;
• Understand what children are thinking through the course of their experiences
• Explore how children learn and what they are passionate about
• Capture how children’s learning and their understanding and experiences change over time.
The program statement and various policies are reviewed with all staff, students on placement and volunteers prior to commencing work with the children and annually thereafter. Area Managers document the behaviour management practices of each staff three times a year and follow up on any areas of concern.