Principle 4

Principle 4

A planned program supports early learning.

What the Experts say

A planned program:

  • Begins with an informed understanding of what children are capable of learning and how they learn.
  • Is based on ongoing collaboration, considers multiple perspectives and reflects the unique strengths, needs and interests of participating children.
  • Sets specific goals to benefit all children's enjoyment, learning and development, and full participation.
  • Includes goals to support the development of identity, social inclusion, health and well-being, self-regulation, physical skills, language and thinking skills, and goals to set the foundations for literacy and numeracy.
  • Supports learning through active engagement, observation, experimentation, and social interaction.
  • Organizes the physical space, materials, time, and experiences that support the learning process.

Principles Into Practice

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Based on your own experiences and practices, consider the following questions related to program planning:

Philosophy, values, goals and approach

  • What is our image of children? What do we want for children?
  • What is the role of early childhood educators and other early learning practitioners in supporting children's development and learning?
  • What is the role of families within the program?¬†What do families want for their children?
  • Do our day-to-day practices reflect our understanding and values about children, our role, and the role of families?

Planning for children's learning

  • What are our broad goals and expectations for children's learning and development?
  • How do our plans address individual differences and abilities to ensure full participation?
  • How do our plans build on children's prior knowledge, expressed interests, and ideas?
  • How do our plans incorporate opportunities for learning in daily routines and transition times?
  • How can I support goals for learning through my words and actions?

Organization of the learning environment

  • How do we organize the physical environment to support our goals?
  • What materials are needed?

Reflecting social and cultural values and practices

  • How have the perspectives of families been incorporated?
  • How do plans reflect children's lived experiences?
  • How can goals for children's learning be embedded in all elements of the day?

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