Archived — Carol McPhee
Year: 2010–2011 – Province: Saskatchewan
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Gator Park Co-operative Childcare Centre
2941 Lakeview Avenue
Regina, SK S4S 1G8
Type of setting: Childcare centre for children aged 18 months to school age
Some observe stars, but Carol McPhee is an excellent observer of the children in her care. Looking for a spark of interest, or listening for questions and curiosity, Ms. McPhee creates fascinating projects that captivate children for hours and even days.
Philosophy of care
A snowball effect best describes Ms. McPhee's programming. Observing the children's skills and abilities in one activity, she continuously builds learning based on their cues. On one occasion a poem about scarves led to dancing and children slinging their arms like pirates. And this prompted the "pirate project" which guided children in the creation of mini boats, a life-sized boat, pirate soup, games and songs.
Support of child development
- Quick to recognize diversity amongst the children in her care, Ms. McPhee incorporates their experiences into the classroom and invites them to perform and share with the others. One child's attendance at a Pow Wow, resulted in a teepee, jingle dress and First Nation's stories. Another child taught Hungarian drumming skills to his peers.
- Ms. McPhee works with the kindergarten teacher at the school to share information and make the transition for her children a lot easier. The daycare children have put on a performance for multiple audiences, including the kindergarten class, and the kindergarten class has asked the daycare to tend their garden over the summer months.
Involvement with parents, families and the community
- Ms. McPhee spends time getting to know each child's family, communicates with them daily and often invites them into the classroom. When the Play and Exploration Guide was published by the Ministry of Education, Ms. McPhee provided each family with a copy, pointing out best practices and how they're used in the centre.
- When one mother wrote a thank you note in Japanese and the children were impressed with the new print, Ms. McPhee invited the mom to share books with them. She even read to the children in Chinese!
"Everyone seems to know about "Carol at Gator Park" because she is so innovative and passionate in everything she does. (…) It has been an honour to have had Carol care for my children and to have worked with her in a professional capacity."
"Carol spends many hours at the centre. (…) [She] is one of the most knowledgeable people in the field of early childhood education. Educators who are experts in the field will often consult with Carol about best practices and ask for her input."
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