Are you a nut free school?
Yes, we ask that you do not send items with nuts or nut products to school. This includes peanuts and tree nuts and items such as Nutella, but does not include coconut, or other nut-free butter replacements such as soy or sunflower (those are ok). If you send a nut-free alternative butter, please label it so we know it is not peanut butter. Should your child accidentally come with something containing nuts, we will offer them an alternative snack, and send the nut containing item back home with a note.
Are you affiliated with the church you are in?
No, we simply rent space in the basement, and are very thankful to the Pastor and Vestry for this!
What is the difference between the 2 day program and 3 day program?
In our 2 day program (18+ students) we encourage the children in proper pencil and scissor grip, learning basic school routines, simple color-cut-glue crafts, learning colors and shapes, sorting and matching, name recognition, as well as becoming independent and confident away from their parents. This includes life skills such as putting on and taking off their own shoes in class, getting coat and shoes on and being ready to go home at the end of class, being responsible to tidy their snack space and put away their lunch kit, and standing in line to walk carefully up the stairs as a group. This class is intended for children who will be finishing 2 years of preschool before continuing on to Kindergarten.
Our 3 day program (max of 22 students) tends more towards preschool/ pre-kindergarten where we work on proper writing of their name, calendar months and days, the weather outside, keeping track of the first 100 days of school, learning all letters and numbers, counting groups up to 10, more advanced routine, more independently finished crafts, they are more involved in cleanup and sorting of toys when tidying, and is intended for children who are continuing on to Kindergarten the following year. We want this program to prepare them for the next year and make it easier on them to be away from mom and day every day (or all day in some cases).
What is a typical day like at the preschool?
When the children arrive, they have a specific routine they follow, which includes finding their name and placing it on or near our indoor welcome tree. Once all parents have left, we begin our morning meeting. Stories, songs, rhymes, counting practice, author study time and general discussion are part of our morning meeting. Next, the children play. Staff observes as the children engage with the materials in unique and interesting ways. Our staff will often take photos of the children during this time, so that we can share what happens in preschool with our parents. At least once a week we will work with small groups of children on process art, crafts or letter writing practice. This happens during the play time, as we pull small groups of children to work with at one time. We will eventually sing a clean-up song, and the children will clean up and then line up to wash their hands for snack. We have our snack and then transition to our carpet for interesting and engaging fine motor work. Once all children are finished snack, we will either head outside for outdoor play or engage in music/movement. Dismissal time follows.
What happens if someone else needs to pick up my child?
We need clear and explicit instructions as to who is picking up your child, preferably in writing. That person will need to provide picture ID upon pickup unless you introduce them to us personally. If something happens and you will be late picking up your child, please call us as soon as possible and let us know. If you will be on holidays and someone else will be dropping off and picking up, please let us know that as well and if possible, bring them with you to introduce them to us, and to the drop off/pick up routine.
What supplies will my child need for preschool?
We require $5/child to cover to the cost of various supplies, such as Kleenex, table cleaner, scrapbooks, etc. Your child will need a backpack, a snack bag/lunch kit, and a water bottle. They need non-marking indoor shoes (no laces). A large Ziploc bag complete with a full change of clothes (pants, shirt, socks, undies), this will stay at the preschool. If your child is returning, please feel free to bring back their scrapbook so that we can fill it up.
PLEASE LABEL ALL OF YOUR CHILD'S BELONGINGS: JACKET, SHOES, WATER BOTTLES, SNACK CONTAINERS..... EVERYTHING!
What sort of snack should I send?
Our bodies are fuelled by what we eat, so we ask that you do not send your child with candy, high sugar cereals, marshmallows, caramels, pop, chips, gum etc. We find that 2 snack items that your child can consume within 10 minutes is plenty. Items such as a cut up fruit (grapes should be cut lengthwise as required by licensing), vegetables, yogurt, muffin, cookie, crackers, cheese, sausage/meat, granola bar, applesauce etc are wonderful. We ask parents to send a filled water bottle, labelled with their child's name. Please do not send juice.
What about bringing birthday snacks?
Small items are preferred, such as mini cupcakes or Tim-bits. With the number of allergies we may encounter, something purchased from a store makes it easiest to check with parents of allergic children. If you choose to bake something, please bring in mix packaging or a list of ingredients so that we can use that to confirm with parents of allergic children.
How long is the preschool school year?
The preschool year mostly follows the Black Gold school calendar. It runs from mid September to mid June and follows the same PD days and holidays that Black Gold does.
What are your monthly fees and when do I need to pay them by?
The class list is finalized in the late spring before your child starts. Registration fee and postdated cheques are due at this time. As cost of living increases, our fees go up slightly every couple years, so the exact amount has changed on occasion. In 2019 school year the 2 day fees were $125/mo and the 3 day fees were $160/mo. Please contact the school for the current year's fees.
If I stay to volunteer at the preschool can I have my younger children with me?
No, unfortunately for insurance purposes we cannot allow younger siblings to attend with you for volunteer days. However, unlike most preschools we have no required parent volunteer days, so this is rarely an issue. There are special occasions when siblings are welcomed and encouraged to join.
What is your policy for children who are ill?
We feel that young children recover more quickly if they are kept at home during an illness, so we ask that if your child is ill with something that can be shared amongst the class, s/he should stay home. If they are running a fever, have a nasty cough or runny nose, have thrown up or had diarrhea within 24 hours, or have been on antibiotics for less than 48 hours, please keep them home. Please let us know if your child has a communicable disease such as Strep Throat, Pink Eye, Chicken Pox, Fifth’s Disease or an unidentified rash, and follow your doctor’s instructions on when to return to school.
What is your policy for children who are hurt?
All our teachers are trained in first aid and can handle any minor injury. Should a more serious injury occur, parents, and if required 911, would be called.
What are the qualifications for the teacher and teachers' assistant?
Our lead teacher is a level 3 child care supervisor with a Bachelors of Education degree, with a focus on early childhood education. Our teacher assistant/co-owner has her level 2 child care certification and our classroom assistant has a level 1 child care certification. Our teachers are all experienced mothers, two were day-home providers, all are certified in first aid and child CPR, and all 3 have criminal record and vulnerable sector checks done every 3 years as required for licensing.
What happens when the teacher or teachers' assistant have to be away from school?
We require at least 2 adults on site to meet our ratio requirements, 3 in some situations. We are lucky enough to have a qualified assistant that is familiar with our program, students and routines, therefore if one of our teachers is ill or needs to be away from the school, we have qualified backup to call.