Empowering Children and Families
VSOCC licensed child care programs provide safe, holistic, nurturing, and inclusive learning environments for children and families to thrive and meet their fullest potential, and achieve life-long success.
Our curriculum is play-based, emergent and guided by B.C’s Early Learning Framework.
What are VSOCC’s child care philosophy & guiding principles?
The Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres is a non-profit organization that believes children are capable, competent, naturally inquisitive and creative. Our educators are committed to understanding and supporting each child’s unique strengths, interests and inquiries, within the contexts of both family and community. Parents have the most important role in promoting their child’s well-being, learning and development.
The following principles are central to creating VSOCC’s quality learning experiences and environments:
- Uphold a strong image of the child, family, and educator.
- Environments are inclusive and create possibilities for learning and well-being, unique to each child and family
- Relationships are the context for learning. Children, families, and educators share and are partners in learning.
- Play is integral to children’s lifelong health, development, and learning
- Reflective, collaborative, and responsive practice are critical to program quality
- Learning is holistic – there is a connectedness between a child’s physical, personal, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being as well as the cognitive aspects of learning.
- We acknowledge the land, culture, community, place, and history by responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and Rights of the Child
What is VSOCC’s Emergent Curriculum?
- Well-being and Belonging
- Engagement with Others, Materials & the World
- Communication and Literacies
- Identities, Social Responsibility, & Diversity
VSOCC educators follow a cyclical process of curriculum planning based on the emerging interests of the children in the program. The cycle begins with written observations of children at play, identifying children’s interest and then embarking on a collaborative planning process that could last days or months. Through the process, indoor and outdoor program environments transform to reflect the interests and living inquiries of the children.
Curriculum plans and written observations are posted in programs allowing for increased dialogue between home and care. On hallway bulletin boards, program shelves and suspended from ceilings in programs, traces of children’s learning will be seen in all VSOCC programs which may include any combination of: photographs, stories, reflections and artifacts made by children.
What are VSOCC's Educator qualifications and ratios?
VSOCC educators are highly trained.
- Under 3 Year Group Care educators are qualified and certified Early Childhood Educators with Infant-Toddler, First-Aid and Food Safe certifications.
- 3 to 5 Year Group Care & Preschool educators are qualified and certified Early Childhood Educators with First-Aid and Food Safe certifications.
- School-age Group Care educators have school age specific training and certifications in First-Aid and Food Safe certifications.
All VSOCC group care and preschool programs are licensed by the Ministry of Health: Community Care Licensing and meet staff to child ratios:
- Under 3 Year Group Care: 1 educator to 4 children
- 3 to 5 Year Group Care: 1 educator to 8 children
- Preschool: 1 educator to 10 children
- School age Group Care for Kindergarten and Grade 1: 1 educator to 12 children
- School age Group Care for Grades 2- 7: 1 educator to 15 children
How are children with additional supports or special needs included?
VSOCC is an inclusive environment and welcomes children with special needs. We work with parents and the child’s other service providers to:
- Assess the child’s strengths, interests & needs;
- Determine how our program meets these needs; and
- Identify the supports needed to successfully include the child in our program.
Click here for information about services for children with extra support needs.
How are the VSOCC play spaces designed and set up?
VSOCC centres are welcoming, calm, and inspiring spaces that promote play, exploration, and creativity. Our indoor and outdoor play areas exceed Child Care Facilities Licensing requirement of 3.7m2 per child, and are designed for children’s comfort and well-being.
With a focus on quality and natural materials VSOCC’s equipment and furnishings, including sandboxes, climbing structures, and play houses are designed to inspire children’s Play. Unique to each of VSOCC’s 16 locations, the playgrounds include children’s gardens, fruiting trees and shrubs and play structures made of local wood and logs to create a natural oasis for the children. Children have opportunities to explore plant, nurture, grow, harvest and enjoy the fruits and vegetables from their gardens while learning how to live well with “all world relations”.
How often do children go outside and get active?
Active play promotes healthy growth and development. Active play builds strong bones and muscles; improves body control, balance and coordination; and assists with the development of gross motor and fine motor skills.
Each day, our full-time group childcare programs ensure a minimum of 60 minutes of outdoor active play. Our part-time preschool and school age programs have a minimum of 30 minutes of outdoor active play.
Click here for more information about BC’s Standards for Active Play in Childcare Programs.
Can families visit and participate?
Yes, we welcome family participation and involvement. We invite parents and family members to spend time in our programs:
- Come and play with us. Participate in an activity – tell a story, read a book, bake, garden, explore art, come for a walk, join us on a fieldtrip, and more
- Share your family traditions, culture, celebrations, and/or adventures
- Share your skills and talents – artistic, musical, building, gardening, recreation & hobbies (yoga, dance)
- Share your work experiences — organize a visit to your workplace, if appropriate, and
- Help with fundraising or special activities.
Are snacks and lunches provided?
Yes! Healthy snacks are provided in the morning and afternoon for all programs. An optional healthy lunch program is available in the Under 3’s and 3-5 Group Childcare Programs for an additional fee.
Helping children develop healthy attitudes toward nutritious and varied foods is important for lifelong health.
At VSOCC, we provide a relaxing environment and encourage children to try a variety of foods and cuisines. Our lunch and snack menus meet Canada’s Food Guide and have been approved by a Dietician from Vancouver Coastal Health.
Click here for more information about the Canadian Food Guide.