Our Approach

At Boat Daycare we work hard to foster what we beleive are children’s fundamental needs. Here are some of the core values we hold dear at Boat:

Image courtesy of Danika Sea.

Image courtesy of Danika Sea.

Respect as Individuals

We feel it is important to treat children fairly, with the respect deserved by all individuals. This respect includes really listening to what children say and knowing that each child has his/her own individual personality that needs to be understood and accepted. The children are expected to show the same respect for adults as each other. Our program is designed to meet the physical, social, and emotional needs of the children.

Physical Needs

We believe in getting out of doors for at least one hour a day, and two hours if possible. We provide art and music/movement activities to encourage the use of fine and gross motor skills. Healthy attitudes and habits toward the care of our bodies are encouraged. Two nutritious snacks are prepared daily. We encourage good eating habits and model these habits ourselves. Special diets can be accommodated.

Cognitive Needs

We try to present a stimulating program that encourages positive attitudes toward child development, while making learning enjoyable. We believe in allowing children to explore, experiment, and create without unnecessary interference from staff. We encourage independence and hope to promote in children the ability to think for themselves. Our program is equally divided between staff-directed activities and free play time.

Social Needs

We hope to teach children an understanding of how people interact in socially acceptable ways. We encourage verbal communication to work out social problems. Staff expect children to try to work out problems among themselves as much as possible. Our program encourages group play, yet recognizes and respects the need for time to be alone. We discourage prejudice or any other discrimination in the centre. We respect cultural differences and try to make these differences an asset.

Emotional Needs

Children have a right to their emotions. Staff try to help children understand their emotions and deal with them in acceptable ways. The staff works to create an atmosphere of trust and love between children and teachers that allow children to feel free enough to express emotions without fear of ridicule. We accept that crying is an acceptable and healthy way of expressing emotion, but we also discourage its use as a way of getting attention. We hope to create a feeling at Boat Daycare that allows the child’s spirit to grow. We wish to encourage a natural zest, and appreciation of life.


Discipline is a necessary part of guiding a child’s growth. We believe children need to learn what acceptable behaviour is and it is our job to reinforce this behaviour. Behaviours are referred to as acceptable or unacceptable, rather than good or bad. It is important to differentiate between the child and his/her actions when correcting behaviour. If this is not done, children may take correction as a personal criticism. They see themselves, rather than their behaviour, as bad. If the child continues the same behaviour after being spoken to, he/she is then either removed from the situation or loses the privilege of using the equipment involved. The teacher spends time discussing the problem with the child to ensure he/she understands what is happening.

For example, if a child is fighting in the doll corner, the child sits out until calmed down and ready to resume playing.  Or, if a child is abusing a toy, the child is not allowed to use the toy for a specified time (e.g. the rest of the morning).

Respect for Property

The staff feels that learning respect for and taking care of property is an important part of growing up. We encourage the children to take care of the toys and materials they use at the centre. If children misuse materials they lose the privilege of playing with them. We hope to make caring for property a habit that will carry over into other areas of life as well as at the centre.


Rest is an important part of one’s day. It provides the body with a chance to relax and restore itself. Daycare children spend a long day away from home and encounter situations many children do not see until kindergarten. This added emotional strain increases their need for rest and relaxation. Children are given the opportunity to nap or spent quiet time resting every day after lunch.  During rest time, staff remain in the room rubbing backs, helping the children to relax.

Toilet Training

Ideally, children starting at the centre should be toilet-trained, as the centre does not have change tables or facilities to easily wash a child.  Should a child be transitioning from diapers exceptions may be made as long as all parties are making a concerted effort to toilet train. Parents and staff will be expected to communicate regularly on the progress being made in the area of toilet training.