Year: 2016 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
A Child's Garden
180 Head Street
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia V8K 1P4
Type of setting: Family child care centre for children ages 3 to 6 years
Each day, children in Kim Hunter's care step through a fairy door into an enchanted and peaceful world where they are nourished, and treated with respect and care.
Philosophy of care
Ms. Hunter advocates for giving children time to play (and wrote and directed a well-regarded documentary film, Time to Play, on this theme), providing opportunities for them to experience the world and work things out through movement and play, while developing fine motor skills.
Support of child development
- Introduces the children to tasks with tangible outcomes—chopping vegetables for lunch, stacking wood or building a chicken coop—to inspire imaginative play and problem solving.
- Emphasizes language development through stories, plays and puppet shows, while instilling the importance of listening and paying attention to others.
- Records detailed daily observations that help her respond to individual children's developmental needs, tailor activities to their interests and prepare helpful written reports for parents.
Involvement with parents, families and the community
- Organizes seasonal festivals to bring children and parents together; typically, these events involve a potluck, storytelling, singing, plays and craft displays.
- Hosts two parent education nights each year, giving lectures herself or inviting guests to speak on topics such as discipline, music education, art, health and nutrition.
- Capitalizes on her long-time residence on Salt Spring Island to build community: making connections between families for play dates and carpooling, or introducing neighbours with skills and talents to share.
"From my first visit, I have been impressed, and charmed, by the gentle, clear guidance that Kim gives to her charges."
"Kim has always been extremely diligent and conscientious in keeping up to date with changing family situations and assisting in ways that go far beyond the expectations of a teacher."
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