>

We would like to introduce you to the childcare department here at CHS. The childcare department functions at all three Family Support Centers and primarily meets in the evenings with the exception of Ballinger Homes, who also has programming during the afternoons. The goals of the childcare department are the following:

1) To encourage the development of positive self-esteem and self-concept
2) To promote development of positive social skills
3) To promote development of fine and gross motor skills
4) To promote development of cognitive and creative skills in art, music, literacy and language development
5) To promote development of independence, self-reliance, and self discipline
6) To promote development of positive communication skills
7) To promote development of sound health and nutrition
8) To promote appreciation for cultural diversity in community

The childcare department at all three sites keep these goals as the focus when planning and implementing curriculum into their programs. The children program specialists encourage the children to participate in circle time where they can exchange different ideas regarding their interests, take turns reading books to each other, sing songs, and play games.
Another vital part of the program is center based free play. This is where children have the opportunity to engage with one another as well as express their interests in whatever center they choose at the time. The centers include: Dramatic play, blocks, reading, art, and sensory. The program specialists use this time to really gain a sense of what the children are interested in and use this information to plan the emergent curriculum accordingly.
One part of the curriculum that the children seem to enjoy well is where they are able to bring their creativity to the table and utilize all materials possible to re-create their interests. . Our lead childcare specialist Analillia Garcia who works at Northshore Family Center, has been striving to allow the children within her care to do just this, by providing opportunities for them to engage with nature. A mixture of the beautiful weather and several children’s enthusiasm to be outside, gave Analillia the idea of a nature walk. As the children were engaging with her on this walk, the children began examining the different types of rocks. They decided to each pick one rock of their choice and brought them back to the center with them. Ana set out paint and brushes and the children went to town painting. “It was really cute watching the children use their imagination while mixing colors, picking rocks with different shapes and proudly showing their art to their parents” Paola Noel quotes.

~ Alisha Klaassen