Little Town licensed childcare center, located in Etobicoke Ontario, is fully licensed by the Ministry of Education and governed by the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014(CCEYA). Our facility provides a unique early year learning experience and serve children from 18 months to 4 years of age.
Little Town Daycare believes that children are individuals with their own strengths, needs, and rates of development. We believe that every child has the inherent right to develop to his or her full potential, socially,emotionally, physically, and cognitively.
We believe that this can only occur in a safe, stimulating, respectful, bias-free, inclusive, and loving environment. Children develop skills appropriate to their stage of development through structured and unstructured play both indoors and outdoors. They are exposed to a wide variety of activities in art, science, music, dramatic play, sensory awareness, math, language, and more. Each child is cared for in ways that encourage a positive self-concept, responsibility, independence, and a sense of security and happiness. They are helped to develop a sense of being a unique and important person, whose individuality is to be respected. They are also encouraged to respect the individuality and rights of others.
Little Town is proud to introduce Speech-Language and ABA therapy in a daycare program. Participating in daycare activities such as group time, following directions and interacting appropriately with other children is a common challenge for many children on the autism spectrum. Little Town offers individual and group ABA therapy programs within the daycare setting to support children with learning new skills and getting ready for school. ABA support at daycare is a better option to center-based programs for many children with ASD because it provides them with the opportunity to play, interact and learn from typically developing children. Our daycare programs are geared to help children develop the ability to understanding and following directions, get toilet trained, participate in group activities and build functional communication skills. We want to do everything we can to help your child reach their full potential. Our therapists are smart, passionate individuals who are committed to helping your child and your family. We will ensure your child receives the best possible care.
The Importance of Play
Play is about much more than having fun, it is a place where all children can be themselves. At Little Town, play has many benefits for toddlers, preschoolers and children diagnosed with autism. It gets them active and moving, which can help instill a love of exercise early and encourage children to embrace the active lifestyle that’s crucial for good health as they grow older.
Play is a significant way for children to learn about the world around them. The indoor gym equipment can help children develop gross motor skills, balance and confidence early on. It can also help them further build social, cognitive, emotional, physical and fine motor skills.
For many children, the indoor gym is one of the first places they get to interact independently with their peers throughout the year without worrying about the weather.
Our Center is also happy to offer special sensory-based toys and occupational therapy-based equipment to foster the learning and the need to thrive in children with autism.
The gym accommodates and helps to improve the children's sensory needs and sensory functions while reducing sensory overload – allowing all children with autism to have fun!
Sensory play equipment can be used by children with autism and those without, letting children play together or individually. The gym can increase independence, ease in social situations, and raise tolerance to new stimuli. Children are guided through activities involving bright colors, balls, or tunnels to cultivate appropriate responses to stimuli. With repetition, these reactions become natural for a child.
Some children with autism tend to have low muscle tone, resulting in challenges with strength, flexibility, and endurance. The indoor gym offers a fun way to help strengthen a child’s arms, legs, hands, and core muscles to improve muscle tone. The indoor gym also helps calm and organize the nervous system as it lowers feelings of stress and anxiety, reduce aggressive behaviors, and improve self-regulation.
Through the use of various equipment, therapists can help a child with autism explore different forms of movement in a safe environment. Repeated exposure helps improve a child’s level of tolerance to the things she/he finds overwhelming or difficult, which in turns helps her/him feel more confident in real life situations.
ARTS AND CRAFT
Art Supports Children’s Development
Painting, coloring, sculpting, drawing, and other forms of creative art are an important part of the child care curriculum. Creating art supports young children’s development across several different domains. Using art tools helps children develop small muscle coordination and control.
Children can practice thinking skills by experimenting with color, texture, and design. Art gives children an opportunity to express their ideas and feelings, relieves tension, and provides limits for self-discipline. Art allows children to achieve and expand their creativity.
Little Town is proud to offer creative art therapies to children with autism. These interventions are based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps children with autism develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.
Therapists have observed that art-making is beneficial to children on the Autism Spectrum due to their sensory needs, difficulties with communication and their need for more visual, concrete, hands-on therapies. Some areas where art therapy can be particularly useful to children on the Autism Spectrum include Communication through art expression, Imagination and abstract thinking, Building of relationships, Sensory integration, Developmental maturation, Recreation and leisure skills, and Visual/spatial abilities.
As many children on the Autism Spectrum tend to be more receptive to information that is experienced visually, art therapy may increase their willingness to engage because it does not rely primarily on words to communicate feelings and thoughts. This enables children to be heard on a new level of communication. Having fun and engaging in this experience can ultimately help regulate the senses, emotions and behaviours.