Conestoga news

April 15, 2019 7:24 AM

Early Child Development Centre at Doon expands

Regional funding received by Conestoga’s Early Child Development Centre has led to the expansion of its infant care program at the Doon campus.

Conestoga College - ECE Centre 2019.jpg
Renovations to the infant care area at Conestoga's child care centre at the Doon campus were recently completed. The space can accommodate an additional four infants now.

“Renovations in our infant area have been completed and it’s a beautiful open space,” said Deb Crawford, supervisor, Early Child Development Centre. “Since January 2019, this growth has enabled our centre at Doon to provide quality child care for more than 70 families in our community.”

Through the funding, the infant program - which delivers care for children from zero to 18 months - has grown from six to ten spots. The centre also delivers programming for 15 toddlers and 40 preschoolers.

“Last year the region identified a need for additional child care spaces and looked to centres that could expand their existing programs. We stepped in - our waitlist for infant care is quite lengthy and adding four extra spots is something we can keep sustainable,” said Crawford. “The funding has provided wins on two fronts: families in the region are appreciative of the expanded programming, and the expansion has led to the addition of a new full-time position at the centre.”

The centre also serves as a living lab for students enrolled in Conestoga’s early childhood education programs. The centre works in concert with faculty to support student learning through intentional and meaningful observations using secure cameras in play areas.

“The cameras provide teaching opportunities and make that connection between faculty, students and the living lab. For example, if faculty have a discussion about environment, they can simply turn on the channel for students to make observations. We use the most current practices at our centres so students are able to observe that as part of their coursework.”

The Doon child care centre is one of many that Conestoga operates throughout the region to serve college students and employees, and members of the local community. Other centres are operated at Driftwood, Glencairn, and Silverheights public schools, and a number of before and after-school programs, as well as summer camps, have also been established.

Another new addition for the centre’s complement of programs includes the launch of the Care for Newcomers to Canada program at the John W. Tibbits campus in Waterloo, which provides care for children of students enrolled in the college’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program.

Each centre is guided by the philosophy taught to early childhood education students and has been developed using a thoughtfully constructed curriculum design that draws upon evidence-based research in the fields of early learning and care. Full-time employees at the centres are Registered Early Childhood Educators.

For general inquiries about the Conestoga’s child care centres, call 519-748-5220, ext. 2202.

Visit the School of Community Services, for more information about the college’s Early Childhood Education diploma programs.