Program Statement

Rural Roots Children’s Centre is a non-profit licensed child care centre dedicated to supporting children and families by providing high quality childcare in a safe, caring and nurturing environment.

In order to promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of children staff will strive to demonstrate healthy lifestyle choices by trying new foods, modelling proper handwashing techniques, showing empathy and compassion towards others.  Meals are planned in accordance with the Canada’s Food Guide and reviewed annually by a dietitian at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.  Families also have the opportunity to contribute to the menu by sharing favourite recipes.  To build on their self-help skills during meal times children are given the opportunity to serve themselves.  The day is balanced by providing adequate outdoor time.  Playgrounds checks are conducted daily to ensure space is safe for all to enjoy.  Staff will make every effort to monitor children upon arrival into the program and do a visual and/or verbal “check in” as a way to determine their health and well-being.

Staff support positive and responsive interactions by welcoming families to set up a tour to view the centre.  Home visits for our toddler and preschool children are offered in order to start the foundation to building a trusting relationship. To continue to build and strengthen relationships, daily communication at drop off/pick up time is encouraged to get to know children and families on a more personal level.  Families are also encouraged to call and speak with staff to check up on how their child is doing; especially in the event of a difficult drop off.  We welcome family photos to display in our environment to give the children a sense of belonging.  Monthly staff meetings allow staff to all get together and to converse, share stories and work together in a communities of practice setting.

Children are encouraged to interact and communicate in a positive way and support their ability to self-regulate.  Staff support the children by physical, verbal and/or visual cues to transition through the day.  Environment is arranged in a way to allow children to choose between educator lead or self-directed, individual or group.  As well as adequate space and material. Thought provoking questions are asked to encourage independent thinking and allow children to problem solve. 

To foster exploration, play and inquiry staff are required to observe and document children’s play.  Documentation is brought into weekly team meetings at which time discussions are had in order to guide learning experiences and environment.  Items and rooms are set up to give children freedom to explore at their own individual pace.  Educators act as co-learners asking questions and working together to answer questions instead of providing the answers. Finding out the children’s knowledge; what do you know? what do you want to know?

Child initiated and adult supported experiences are done by Educators by following and expanding on child’s play.  Documentation should show what children may be interested in and planning for the day/week will be based on observations both formal and informal.  Daily schedules will be flexible to accommodate both individual and group learning styles.

Educators plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development will be supported.  Children will be engaged by having play items, furniture, photos etc. at their level.  How Does Learning Happen? document is a guide that is used daily.  Resources such as Think Feel Act, ELECT, Child Development a Primer and others will be used as reference tools.

The daily schedule, flow of the day, is flexible to allow for indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time to give consideration for individual needs whenever possible.  Educators will follow children’s verbal and non-verbal cues to meet their social, emotional and physical well-being. 

On-going communication with the parents and families is integral in our work we do with children each day.  We engage parents through daily conversations to make connections and include discussion in our day to day happenings.  Daily documentation sheets are posted to share experiences. A questionnaire/survey is distributed annually as a way for families to participate, contribute and evaluate to offer feedback for future learning.  Families are welcomed to spend time in the program with their child either one on one or sharing special skills.

Rural Roots partners each year with Confederation College for students to attend our programs for the field placements.  Children Centre Thunder Bay employees the Resource Consultant that is assigned to our centre as well as provides staff and families with children’s mental health information & workshops.  The Health Unit offers also offers training on the health, safety and well-being of children and adults.  Information about events and/or workshops, are displayed on our parent information boards, included in monthly newsletters or electronically delivered.

Staff are encouraged to attend workshops and training as a part of their continuous professional learning.  As professional development opportunities arise posters are posted for anyone interested to attend.  A working group for Registered Early Childhood Educators has been formed to work collaboratively on the Continuous Learning Portfolio. 

Rural Roots Children’s Center will ensure that all staff, students and volunteers review and sign the program statement prior to interacting with children, when modified and at minimum annually.  Monthly staff meetings will incorporate reflective practice as a way to measure standards, quality and to assist with understanding the statement. Feedback will be utilized when updated program statement. 

Special Needs Resourcing

Rural Roots Child Centre has access to a Resource Consultant from Children’s Centre Thunder Bay (CCTB).  The Resource Consultant facilitates the inclusion of children with special needs, and provides care and educational programming for children under the direction of the Executive Director/Supervisor ensuring optimal experiences and successful inclusion practices.

Organizational Structure

Rural Roots Children's Centre is a non-profit, licensed charitable organization. We're managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Executive Director.

Children and their families are an integral part of the Centre. We welcome all feedback about our programs. Please direct any comments to the Executive Director.

Board of Directors

President - Kate Donoghue
Treasurer - Alysia Cooper
Secretary - Laura Caccamo and Leah Kirk
Member-at-Large - Ryan Bhopalsingh


Our team of Registered Early Childhood Educators, Educators in Training and Educator’s Assistants are committed to providing an optimal early leaning and care environment for all children.  Staff attend monthly staff meetings, participate in ongoing Professional Development, submit Criminal Reference Check Vulnerable Sector and are trained in Standard First Aid CPR Adult, Infant, Child.

Our Food Preparer prepares nutritious snacks and lunches.  The Food Preparer plans the menus in accordance with the Canada’s Food Guide, Quality Assurance Tools and also has a Safe Food Handling Certificate.  All kitchens are inspected regularly by The Thunder Bay District Health Unit.



To achieve it program goals, Rural Roots Children's Centre:

  • Supports physical development by encouraging large and fine motor skills, health, safety, daily care routines and proper nutrition.
  • Ensures emotional development by encouraging ongoing communication, promoting opportunities for sharing and cooperating, guiding children's behaviour through example and positive redirection and promoting redirection, and promoting self control skills.
  • Creates a non-bias setting by promoting an appreciation of each child's own culture, or other cultures and by demonstrating the same expectations for boys and girls.
  • Support each child's creative development by providing opportunities for creative self-expression and exploration.
  • Ensure support for ongoing development by stimulating language skills and promoting conceptual and problem solving abilities.

Emergent Curriculum

Emergent curriculum is practiced in all Rural Roots programs. It is a way of planning curriculum based on children's interest, childhood development as well as the educators' knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice. Observation, documentation, creative brainstorming and flexibility guide the planning of the programming. When educators see a child's interest "emerging", brainstorming begins to find ways to study the topic in depth.

Curriculum objectives and documentation are posted for family viewing in each location. Documentation includes photographs, written observations and notes on skills learned.

Program plans outline the activities for groups and individual needs to promote:

  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Language development
  • Cognitive development
  • Social development
  • Emotional development
  • Active and quiet play

Staff to Child Ratios

Rural Roots Children's Centre observes the minimum standard ratios as set by the Day Nursery Act.

  • Toddler - 1 staff : 5 children
  • Pre-school - 1 staff : 8 children
  • Kindergarten - 1 staff : 13 children
  • School Age - 1 staff : 15 children

Rural Roots recognize that, at times, children and programs require extra staffing to maintain high quality. These occasions are identified by the Executive Director in partnership with staff.

Family Involvment and Volunteer Opportunities

Family involvement is strongly encouraged and parents/guardians are welcome to spend time in the program during the day. Throughout the year families will be invited to attend field trips with the children as well as various social events such as Christmas Celebrations, June BBQ's etc. Family members are welcomed to come in and share special talents and/or interests with the children for example baking, carpentry, music etc.
Rural Roots is continuously looking for individuals to sit on our Board of Directors, if you are interested please contact the Executive Director.

How Do We Operate


The Executive Director oversees the day to day operations of all program locations.  A volunteer Board of Directors made up of parents/guardians & community members oversees the overall operations.  Meetings are held monthly with the exception of July & August.  An Annual General Meeting is conducted yearly at which time new Board members are elected; all families are encouraged to attend.

 Rural Roots Children’s Centre operates in compliance with:

  • The Child Care Early Years Act
  • The Ministry of Education
  • All applicable building, health, fire regulations etc.

At least once per year a Program Advisor with the Ministry of Education will make an unannounced inspection of all licensed childcare programs to ensure that:

  • Provincial standards are being met
  • Issue and reissue licences
  • Investigate compliances
  • Monitor operators who have difficulty meeting licensing standards

 A detailed licensing inspection can be found at:  www.iaccess.gov.on.ca/LCCWWeb/childcare/search.xhtml