Our View of Children

Teachers need to build strong, trusting relationships with children, centered on a profound respect for who they are.

Their view is that children are powerful, competent and rich.

Children are valued as influential and contributing members of society.

They are trusted to be interested in things worth knowing more about.

They are seen as having rights rather than simply needs.

Teachers are deeply aware of children’s potentials, all their work and the environment needs to reflect the children’s experience.

Young children are seen as wanting and needing to express ideas and messages through many different expressive avenues and symbolic media.  It is important that the teachers see themselves as guides, preserving the child’s natural sense of wonder by showing a genuine interest in their thoughts and ideas.

Children are profound thinkers and are constantly learning through their play and activities.  Teachers need to acknowledge them by being attentive to what they are saying and doing.

Young children learn through meaningful activities.  Activities that are meaningful and relevant to the child’s life experiences provide opportunities to teach across the curriculum and assist children in seeing the interrelationships of things they are learning.

*This has been adapted from the Reggio Emilia-View of the Child by the staff of HELC (April 2012)  

How does learning happen

Positive learning Environments to Support Children’s Development

We understand that children require a learning environment that enriches and expands their experiences. The centre strives in making the environment a place where children will be physically, emotionally, aesthetically and intellectually nurtured. The teachers, through the activities and materials they provide, establish an environment that is challenging and encourages children to problem solve and develop their own theories.
The centre focuses on Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years; How Does Learning Happen? This document outlines the four foundational conditions for children’s growth and development as: Belonging, Well-Being, Engagement and Expression
The centre is guided by the ELECT (Early Learning for Every Child Today) six principles

  • Positive experiences in early childhood set the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour, health and well-being.
  • Partnerships with families and communities are essential.
  • Respect for diversity, equity and inclusion is vital
  • An intentional, planned program supports learning
  • Play and inquiry are learning approaches that capitalize on children’s natural curiosity and exuberance.
  • Knowledgeable, responsive and reflective educators are essential

For more information visit the Ministry of Education’s Website, at

Programming: Group & Individual

The program is developed through the child’s interest.  The environment is set up for children to discover and the teachers conduct direct observations and documentation throughout the day to establish their interest and emerging skills.  Documentation may be in the form of written, video or still photos and is posted on Storypark weekly.  The program plans are based on the documentation and the emerging skills of the group.  The program plans outline the emerging skills in all areas of development (social emotional, cognitive, physical, language and literacy) along with the activities that will be introduced to enhance those skills. The program plans are created on a weekly basis though Storypark. All programming both individual and group is consistent with the philosophy of the centre.

Hamilton Early Learning Centre

10 George St,
Hamilton, ON L8P 1C8