Nurturing Young Minds: Exploring Emergent Curriculum at Summit Start Daycare in Calgary

Written by Vitor Martins

September 19, 2023

In the bustling city of Calgary, where the Rockies kiss the sky and the spirit of adventure thrives, Summit Start Daycares stand as a beacon of early childhood education. Nestled in the heart of several vibrant communities, Summit Start Daycares have embraced the concept of emergent curriculum, creating an enriching and dynamic learning environment for young minds to flourish.

Emergent curriculum has a remarkable impact on the development and growth of children attending this extraordinary daycare.


Understanding Emergent Curriculum

Emergent curriculum is a child-centered approach to education that places the interests, experiences, and needs of each child at the core of the learning process. Unlike traditional, rigid curricula, emergent curriculum allows educators to respond to the natural curiosity and exploration of children. It encourages them to adapt and evolve their teaching methods based on the unique interests and developmental stages of the children in their care.

At Summit Start, the philosophy of emergent curriculum is not just a buzzword; it’s a way of life. The educators here recognize that every child is a unique individual with their own set of interests, questions, and experiences waiting to be discovered.


Key Principles of Emergent Curriculum at Summit Start Daycare

Child-Led Learning: Children at our Daycares Summit Start have the autonomy to choose the direction of their learning. Teachers observe their interests and use those observations to guide activities and projects.

Play-Based Exploration: Play is an essential component of the emergent curriculum. Through play, children learn about their world, experiment with ideas, and develop essential social and cognitive skills.

Responsive Teaching: Educators at Summit Start are highly attuned to the children’s cues and questions. They adapt their teaching strategies, materials, and environments to match the children’s interests and needs.

Documentation: Keeping a record of children’s activities, questions, and discoveries is a crucial aspect of emergent curriculum. This documentation helps educators track progress and plan future learning experiences.


The Emergent Curriculum in Action

Imagine a group of children at Summit Start Daycares who are fascinated by insects. Instead of providing them with a predetermined lesson plan about insects, educators take a different approach.

Observation: Teachers notice the children’s interest in insects during outdoor playtime and document their questions and observations.

Planning: Based on these observations, educators plan a series of activities that allow children to explore insects further. This might include bug hunts, creating insect habitats, and reading insect-themed books.

Collaboration: Children work together to research and create their own insect-related projects, like building a bug hotel in the outdoor play area.

Reflection: As the children engage in these activities, educators continually observe and document their learning experiences, encouraging discussions and reflections.


The Impact on Child Development

The emergent curriculum in at our Calgary Daycare Summit Start has a profound impact on the holistic development of children:

Intellectual Growth: Children are more motivated to learn when their interests are at the forefront. This approach fosters a love for learning and helps them develop critical thinking skills.

Social and Emotional Development: Through play-based exploration and collaboration, children develop important social and emotional skills such as empathy, communication, and problem-solving.

Independence and Confidence: Making choices and exploring their interests independently boosts children’s self-esteem and confidence.

Lifelong Learning: The emergent curriculum at Summit Start instills a lifelong love for learning and exploration, setting a strong foundation for their future educational journey.

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