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 rent space in the basement, and we value and appreciate our relationship with the pastor and vestry.
What is the difference between the 2 day program and 3 day program?
Our 2 day program is primarily focused on learning to become part of a classroom community. Our 2 day students have never been in school before. Learning to follow routines, working on the management of their emotions, and engaging in deep, meaningful play are the highlights of the 2 day program. It includes a story-time where children engage in author studies, songs, rhymes and community discussions. Students begin to form friendships and learn what it means to be a good friend. We often see children move from parallel play to social play during this school year. Our 2 day students will have the opportunity to do crafts as well as engage with art materials such as tempera and watercolour paint. This class is intended for children who will be finishing 2 years of preschool before continuing on to Kindergarten.
Our 3 day program is primarily play-based. Our 3 day students are very social and they lead their play. Students work together to develop fun, imaginative and interesting games. Our staff observes their play and adds materials to the classroom environment to support their play. Towards the end of their playtime, our lead teacher sings a clean up song, and all students help to clean up the classroom materials. She then calls the students to the carpet for story-time. Author studies, rhymes, songs, movement activities and community discussions are the elements of this special time together. Early literacy plays a very important role in our programming. We appreciate good quality children's literature and we enjoy sharing wonderful stories with our students. Our 3 day students will also learn how to print uppercase letters, how to cut with scissors, and how to use a glue stick. We offer students the opportunity to do crafts and beautiful art projects as part of our program. Our 3 day students are very ready for Kindergarten by the time they complete our 3 day program.
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. Students will then engage in play within our classroom environment. Our students are very independent in their play. They lead the way. 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 playtime, as we pull small groups of children to work with at one time. Once their playtime is over, students will clean up the classroom and then move to the carpet for story-time. Stories, songs, rhymes, counting practice, author studies and community discussions are part of our carpet time together . Students will then wash their hands, and independently get their lunch kits for snack time. After snack our students 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.
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 lunch kit, and a labelled 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), which 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 fueled 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 cut up fruit (grapes should be cut lengthwise as required by licensing), vegetables, yogurt, muffin, 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 in 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 Division school calendar. It runs from mid September to mid June and follows the same PD days and holidays scheduled on the Black Gold School Division yearly calendar.
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. The registration fee and post-dated cheques are due on May 1st. In our current 20/21 school year the 2 day fees are $125/month and the 3 day fees are $160/month. Our registration fee is $75.00. These fees are subject to change. As the cost of living increases, our fees will increase accordingly.
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. Please note that we have no mandatory parent volunteer duties. Parents will sometimes volunteer during field trips or during class party days, however.
What is your policy for children who are ill?
It is imperative that children be kept at home during an illness. If your child is running a fever, has a bad cough or runny nose, has thrown up or had diarrhea within 24 hours, or has been on antibiotics for less than 48 hours, please keep your child home. Please inform us 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 your child can 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/co-owner has her level 3 child care supervisor certification as well as a Bachelors of Education degree, with a focus in early childhood education. Our teacher assistant/co-owner has her level 2 child care certification and our educational assistant has her level 3 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 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.