Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 8: Developmental and Educational Activities

A variety of activities and lessons promote social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (CA-ECE)

VIEW THE STANDARDS

Purpose

Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Curriculum for each age group
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Policy for the use of technology in the classroom
  • Procedures for the use of technology in the classroom
  • Sample daily activity plans for each age group from the previous six months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe interactions:
    1. Teacher/child
    2. Peer/peer
    3. Group

CA-ECE 8.01

The program implements a curriculum that:
  1. guides the provision of daily activities and the selection of classroom materials; and
  2. acts as the foundation for ongoing, purposeful assessment of children’s progress.

CA-ECE 8.02

The curriculum:
  1. is developmentally appropriate and reflects what is known about child development and learning;
  2. is adaptable to the strengths, interests, family situation, interpersonal characteristics, and needs of each individual child within the group setting; 
  3. is culturally appropriate and reflective of the social and cultural backgrounds of each child in the group;
  4. promotes social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development; and
  5. fosters and supports the attitudes and skills needed for learning.
Examples: Attitudes and skills that support learning can include:
  1. the ability to make decisions;
  2. a willingness to try new things;
  3. taking the time to finish what one starts;
  4. curiosity and a willingness to ask questions;
  5. creativity; and
  6. the capacity to become fully engaged in an activity.

CA-ECE 8.03

Ongoing assessments are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate and take into account:
  1. individualized developmental and educational goals;
  2. variations in learning and development; and
  3. input from parents, regarding their child’s behaviour and development at home.

CA-ECE 8.04

Results of assessments:
  1. are communicated to parents; and
  2. inform the selection of daily activities and classroom materials.

CA-ECE 8.05

A wide variety of developmentally-appropriate activities are provided including:
  1. both large- and small-group activities as appropriate to the age range of children in the group;
  2. independent activity;
  3. daily opportunities for active and quiet play, nap time, and conversation;
  4. daily opportunities for both teacher- and child-directed activities;
  5. opportunities to meet developmental milestones through play;
  6. daily indoor and outdoor activities, when safety permits; and
  7. access, either in the classroom or in the community, to resources such as libraries, museums, and recreational, educational, and cultural sites or events.

CA-ECE 8.06

Activities and lessons reflect a multi-cultural society to promote cultural awareness, sensitivity, and understanding.

CA-ECE 8.07

To support cognitive development, classroom activities:
  1. offer choice;
  2. provide opportunities to question, experiment, and explore;
  3. are appropriate to the developmental level of children in the classroom;
  4. provide new challenges and reinforce already acquired skills;
  5. reflect a variety of educational techniques including play;
  6. encourage the child’s sense of mastery of new skills and experiences; and
  7. incorporate curriculum content areas including literacy, math, science, social studies, health and nutrition, and the arts.
Examples: Teaching staff can promote the development of literacy skills in infants and toddlers through:
  1. interactive reading, such as asking questions, reading with expression, and naming objects or people on the pages;
  2. making board books available in the classroom;
  3. rhyming;
  4. providing opportunities for children to use writing utensils; and
  5. singing.
In pre-school classrooms, the recognition of print can be emphasized by:
  1. labeling items in the classroom;
  2. using dictation, where the teacher writes down what the child is saying;
  3. using print to describe daily routines or rules the child is familiar with;
  4. making developmentally-appropriate books available in the classroom; and
  5. providing ample opportunities to recognize and write letters.
Examples: Math content for infants and toddlers can include:
  1. exposure to different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns through objects in their environment; and 
  2. mathematical concepts that can be expressed non-verbally such as “more or less” or “big and small.”
Math content in pre-school classrooms can include:
  1. opportunities to gain familiarity with numbers, shapes, and patterns;
  2. opportunities for children to categorize items by size, color, shape, and pattern;
  3. recognition of numbers and their meaning; and
  4. use of mathematical terms in their daily life.
Examples: Science content for infants and toddlers can include:
  1. opportunities to explore their senses;
  2. exploration of cause and effect; and
  3. opportunities to explore their capacity to affect or change their environment.
Science content in pre-school classrooms can include opportunities to:
  1. explore the differences between living and non-living things;
  2. observe the life cycle;
  3. learn about the earth;
  4. observe and learn from the weather and their environment;
  5. explore cause and effect;
  6. use simple tools, such as a magnifying glass, to observe objects; and
  7. practice different methods of documentation such as drawing pictures.
Examples: Social studies content can include discussion, materials, and activities that explore concepts such as:
  1. diversity;
  2. varying definitions of family;
  3. the environment and environmental responsibility;
  4. fairness;
  5. friendship; and
  6. the local community.
Examples: Teaching staff can facilitate exploration of the visual and performing arts by:
  1. offering a variety of developmentally-appropriate art supplies;
  2. teaching new skills or ways to use art supplies;
  3. playing music in the classroom;
  4. displaying children’s art in the classroom;
  5. exposing children to professional artists;
  6. displaying art at children’s eye-level;
  7. singing songs;
  8. playing instruments; and
  9. engaging in imaginative play.

CA-ECE 8.08

Language development is promoted by:
  1. regularly engaging children in dialogue and encouraging children to engage in conversations with others;
  2. rephrasing children's ideas in complete sentences;
  3. minimizing “baby talk;”
  4. introducing new words and concepts;
  5. asking open-ended questions;
  6. talking to children about familiar items or activities;
  7. offering alternative communication options for children who are non-verbal; and
  8. responding to vocalizations and attempts at language.

CA-ECE 8.09

Activities and materials that promote physical development:
  1. include the development of both fine and gross muscle control; and
  2. foster a variety of skills including balance, strength, and coordination.
Examples: Activities for infants can include:
  1. changing position;
  2. discovering hands and feet;
  3. spending time on their stomach; and
  4. pushing, grabbing, kicking, and mouthing.
Activities for older infants and young toddlers can include:
  1. crawling;
  2. walking with assistance; or
  3. holding and using writing utensils, paint brushes, or other materials that assist in the development of fine motor skills.
In pre-school children, fine motor skills are developed through activities such as:
  1. writing;
  2. drawing;
  3. puzzles;
  4. painting;
  5. working with clay; and
  6. working with manipulatives.
In pre-school children, gross motor skills are developed through activities such as:
  1. throwing;
  2. climbing;
  3. kicking;
  4. running; and
  5. skipping.

CA-ECE 8.10

Teaching staff recognize opportunities for children to learn and practice emotional self-regulation including:
  1. encouraging exploration of the senses;
  2. mentoring and practicing skills; and
  3. helping children to identify and appropriately express their emotions.

CA-ECE 8.11

Use of passive and interactive technology is limited, targeted, and purposeful, and:
  1. supportive of the child’s educational and developmental goals;
  2. tailored to the child’s age and developmental stage;
  3. monitored by staff at all times; and
  4. never used for children under the age of two.
NA The program does not use television, video, and computer equipment.