Program Statement


It is often said that learning begins at home, in an environment that is warm, safe, loving, and nurturing.  Private-home day care is often the first choice of many parents, as it allows the home environment to be best-replicated, outside of the child’s actual home.  The small-group learning experiences support children to self-regulate in a calm environment with fewer distractions.  We know that young children flourish, in all areas of development, when they are in supportive, caring, and responsive relationships with adults.  At TotLot, our caregivers provide a safe, secure, caring, and stimulating environment so that your child’s growth, learning, self-esteem, and well-being are given every chance to develop.  This is the foundation of quality child care!


Playing to Learn & Learning to Play ~ Children are Competent, Curious, & Rich in Potential

We understand and recognize that each child is a unique individual who brings their own abilities

to the program and deserves the encouragement and space to try new things, explore new ideas, and develop their own, unique, creativity.  Since we know that children learn, best, by pursuing their personal interests and goals, we work hard to create flexible and fun programs that meet and cater to each child’s abilities, interests, and characteristics.  Our programs focus on each child's social, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive development through exploration, play, and inquiry.  We, also, know that young children learn through play.  Play is enjoyable and spontaneous.  Children are curious beings who explore their world through play.  We ensure that children are given the freedom and time for child-initiated play and adult-supported experiences.


Children are offered a rich variety of experiences:


  • Dramatic play
  • Music & dance
  • Language and literacy
  • Visual arts
  • Physical literacy, outdoor play, and exploration
  • Science
  • Rest time (based on each child’s individual needs)


Health, Safety, Nutrition, and Well-Being of Children

TotLot Licensed Childcare is licensed under the Ministry of Education, Early Learning Division, and complies, strictly, with all day care legislation, as stipulated by the Government of Ontario, in The Day Nurseries Act of Ontario and the Child Care and Early Years Act.  We believe that every child deserves a safe and caring environment; a place where children want to be and where they feel “at home”.  A safe and nurturing environment allows children to grow and develop to their maximum potential.


We work with nurturing and caring professionals who understand children’s needs for a safe, stimulating, and fun environment.

TotLot caregivers must pass an extensive screening process which includes an application process consisting of a detailed application form, a telephone interview, an in-home interview, several successful reference checks, a completed medical, a thorough home safety check, verification of immunization for all family members, and

completion of a Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector, before care begins, by all parties living in the home who are 18 or older.  To assure that children receive the highest quality of care, all TotLot caregivers obtain compulsory First Aid/CPR training, which is refreshed every two years, as well as ongoing training in nutrition, child development, and behaviour management, and ongoing professional development in other areas related to professional child care.  Safety checks on child care providers’ homes are performed every 3 months, and are accompanied by unannounced staff visits, at least once every month.  TotLot ensures that caregivers practice fire evacuation procedure with the children in care, at least once a month, and provides caregivers with safe equipment for your child’s use, as well as care in alternate provider’s homes, when available, in case of provider illness or holidays.


TotLot follows Canada’s Food Guide to develop menus for snacks and meals.  We accommodate, whenever possible, dietary restrictions for the children in care.  Safety procedures are followed for children with allergies.  For more information, see our Allergy Policy.


Positive Environments, Positive self-expression, & Self-regulation

We welcome children of all abilities and respect diversity.  We foster, support, and encourage the many ways children express themselves.  We believe that children should be encouraged to express themselves freely.  We believe in the importance of positive interactions between children and adults. A positive, joyful environment fosters happy children and allows them to self-express.  A positive environment, also, allows children to make choices, creates calm, and stimulates learning.


We understand that children learn self-regulation through play.  We believe it is important to develop strong relationships and connections between the children and their caregiver.  We understand that when a caregiver has a good connection and builds trusting relationships with the children in her care, they can better support the children in developing strategies to regulate their emotions, which allows them to better recognize the effects of their actions on others.


Family Participation ~ Parents as Partners

Parents must be confident and comfortable with their child’s caregiver and, to ensure this, parents choose their child’s caregiver - one who shares their goals, values, ethics, and ideas on child-rearing.


At TotLot, we encourage our staff, caregivers, and parents to work as partners to keep the lines of communication open, to better meet the continuing and changing needs of your child.  We believe it takes a ‘village’ to raise a child; that a team approach is essential to promote a sense of belonging for children and their families.  We believe that parents are a valuable resource and are able to help us in many ways to care for their children.  TotLot has an open door policy; families are welcome at all times!



Continuous Professional Learning, Documentation, & Community Partners

TotLot’s program is guided by Early Childhood Educators, who support the home child care providers, the children in care, and their parents.  Our Early Childhood Educators provide ongoing training and learning opportunities to our caregivers through one-to-one support, as well as group-learning.  We strive to assist our caregivers and parents to connect with resources and learning opportunities offered within the community.  We believe in the need for continued professional learning and are committed to this continuous learning.  Our agency is an active member of the Home Child Care Association of Ontario, as well as the Licensed Home Childcare Network of Ottawa.  In addition, our staff are members are registered members of the College of Early Childhood Educators.  Our involvement with these organizations supports our continued learning and fosters our connections with the community.  TotLot remains committed to involving and engaging with our local community partners in supporting children, their families, staff, and our home child care providers.


Our policies, procedures, and Program Statement are reviewed, annually.


We use written documentation to record the events of the day and to share information with parents.  Caregivers are encouraged to develop their own practices for documenting each child’s progress.  It’s important to reflect on this documentation to plan purposeful and meaningful activities for the children in care.  We believe caregivers should reflect and assess their program and environment, regularly, to ensure that the program is meeting the individual needs of the children and that their environment is set up according to the interests of the group.


Reviewing the Impact of our Program Statement ~ The Goal

Our staff meet, regularly, to discuss, reflect, and collaborate on our pedagogy.  We understand that this process is essential to our program’s growth.  This reflective process assists us with our future planning.  Our Program Statement will continue to grow and change as we do.

TotLot Childcare’s, Program Statement is consistent with the Minister’s programming and pedagogy, “How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years”.


Our goal:


  • To value and respect each child as a unique individual, who is competent, curious, and rich in potential.
  • To build positive, caring, and responsive relationships with each child.
  • To provide an environment that fosters children’s growth and learning.
  • To provide an environment that allows for flexibility, based on each child’s uniqueness, ability, and personal interests.
  • To focus on children’s social, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive development.
  • To support learning through exploration, play, and inquiry.
  • To foster the relationships between parents and caregivers, and the community at-large.
  • To engage in ongoing learning and self-reflection.