No TV or Screen Time
We value an environment that builds and promotes creativity. That doesn't mean the latest electronic gizmos. We discourage the use of overly-commercialized products that promote violence, gender bias, and apathy. We feel children need creative activities, such as using blocks and dress-up clothes. We want children to experience, rather than being a passive recipient—squishing mud through their fingers, building sand castles, jumping into a pile of leaves. Unstructured play is one of the best ways that children learn.
Lots of unstructured free-play and outdoor time
We focus on the best possible ways to support you and your child, by finding new and innovative ways to engage and promote your child's social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. It has been noted that unstructured free-play and a lot of outdoor time is where the most developmental learning happens the best. We aim to help your child grow into an independent and confident student ready to embrace the challenges of elementary school.
Healthy meals and snacks
We hold belief in the old adage, ‘you are what you eat’. The foods and liquids we consume provide our bodies with essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that keep us thriving and active. Our fuel for the day contributes greatly to our daily emotional, physical and cognitive function and successful development. It is important we take into consideration nutrition as part of your child’s environment. Often, we’ve observed the results of unfulfilled nutritional needs and the connection to a child’s ability to use and manage their self-control skills, concentrate effectively, and problem solve. If a child’s daily nutritional needs are not being met, it may have an affect on their success throughout the day and ultimately their learning. We also require that families provide zero waste, regarding how they package their child’s meals.
Small class environment- 20 students
A small group environment allows for more personalized attention. Our small daycare size means that teachers are in constant communication with one another throughout the day, so that students are served with seamlessly integrated care and support. We can also spend time observing the children’s intellectual, social, and emotional progress in a meaningful way, rather than just managing behaviours and activities.
Our educational beliefs
At Nanaimo Innovation Academy, we utilize the best practices from various educational philosophies-- Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio, Whole Child Education, Play-based Learning-- without being limited by the rigidity of ascribing to just one philosophy. By being flexible and in constant evaluation of what is best for child development, we can innovate and create a program designed for our student’s current needs, interests, and growth.
Being here: It’s like a family
We teach the value of community. Nanaimo Innovation Academy children, parents, and staff appreciate the warm, supportive family atmosphere here. Our daycare staff are open-minded, value differences, and respect all individuals. Typically, new children quickly become part of the daycare community with ease. There is a two-week trial period to ensure that our daycare is right for your child and vice versa. At various times throughout the year, there will be communal potlucks, guest speakers for the whole family, and outdoor excursions.
Building relationships between students and teachers
It takes time for caregivers and children to develop a connection to the point at which caregivers can truly understand the children in their care. Yet by some estimates, yearly turnover rates among daycare providers are more than 40 percent. Children build trust by staying with steady caregivers over time. At Nanaimo Innovation Academy, we strive to provide an ideal work environment resulting in minimal staff turnover. With continuity of caregiving, educators become attuned to your child's temperament and needs.
Teachers are attuned to child development and know what toys are age/stage appropriate
We only hire trained caregivers who love working with children. Providers have either their ECE or ECEA credential so they know the kinds of interactions children need and child-development stages. Click here to read more about our hiring requirements.
Clear daily schedule with room for flexibility
At Nanaimo Innovation Academy, we recognize one size does not necessarily fit all. We have a general guide for how the day should go, but value a lot of flexibility to follow natural curiosity and progression of exploration, as directed by the children. We aim to help children make connections between various topics and activities that they are interested in, without having a pre-programmed curriculum or prescribed schedule to follow.
Sourcing and using natural products
We value the natural environment and encourage sensitivity, respect, and understanding for all forms of life. Nanaimo Innovation Academy does its best to source and use naturally made products and products from our natural surroundings. Reducing, reusing, and recycling is also very important to us. Children will learn about environmental sustainability and will be encouraged to make environmentally conscious choices.