Preschool – turning 2.5 years of age by the September they are enrolled.
Junior Kindergarten – turning 4 years of age by December of the year they are enrolled.
Senior Kindergarten – turning 5 years of age by December of the year they are enrolled.
Grade One – turning 6 years of age by December of the year they are enrolled.
Grade Two – turning 7 years of age by December of the year they are enrolled.
Grade Three – turning 8 years of age by December of the year they are enrolled.
A decision had to be made early in the summer not to offer preschool programming in order for preschool families to have the time needed to make other arrangements. At that time, childcare licensing requirements were for childcares to maintain strict cohorts of 10 (8 children and two teachers). Not knowing when or how requirements would change, we made the extremely hard decision to only provide programming for older students in kindergarten, grades 1 & 2. Moving to a private school license format allowed us to provide cohorts that are closer to our regular ratios while still maintaining an extremely safe environment for each child and staff member.
Due to the high demand for remote learning, we now offer Buds – our new virtual learning program for preschoolers.
In keeping with guidelines from Public Health, we have three different cohorts of students with no more than 16 children in each cohort.
- Each cohort has its own separate entrance/exit door. No staggered start times required.
- Both online and in-person screening is done daily.
- Each cohort has its own designated bathrooms and washbasins.
- Actual class sizes are a maximum of 8 kindergarten students and 10 grades 1 & 2 students.
- Regular sanitizing and cleaning of materials, equipment, etc is done throughout the day.
- The children are required to wear masks at all times, other than when the children are eating snacks or lunch behind their plexiglass barrier.
- A break from mask time will only occur outside when there is at least six feet distance between each child and staff member.
- Each staff member wears a 3ply face mask at all times and a face shield when six feet distance cannot be maintained.
- Classrooms have been reconfigured to allow for more space for designated play areas for the children to maintain social distancing as much as possible.
- Daily outdoor time
- Air purification units in each classroom and gym area.
- Window fans installed in all areas of the school to increase fresh ventilation.
We continue to monitor information from public health and requirements for schools and will adjust the above information as required. Our first commitment is to the well-being of every child and staff member. A safe environment is critical for everyone concerned.
YES! Due to our low ratios, there is no need to rotate any classes between in-class learning and remote learning. Your child can attend school every day and enjoy a typical day with his/her classmates without any such disruptions.
We use ClassDojo as our connective platform during in-school and remote learning time periods. Through ClassDojo we can upload your child’s work, photos, videos from your child’s day at school. Given that parents are not allowed in the building, this is an excellent way for us to ‘bring you inside remotely’. Should we have to revert to remote learning, you will already be familiar with how ClassDojo works.
We provide daily Zoom class meetings, once at the beginning of the day and then at the end of the day. In between, we provide lots of opportunities for individual and small group Zoom teacher/student meetings. Connection during a shut down is critical in ensuring that we are not only supporting your child, but we are supporting you too!
We agree that remote learning cannot take the place of your child being in a classroom with their peers, therefore our focus is on relationships and not screen time. It is about connecting and trying to fill a void that being away from school brings.
No, we are an independent operation. We previously had a second location on Eglinton Avenue, but that location has operated under separate management since 2004.
Following the Ministry of Education requirements, all of our classroom teachers are registered members of the College of Early Childhood Educators or Ontario Certified teachers. Our specialty teachers are qualified in their area of expertise.
While some schools may have their specialty teachers as part of their ratio for example; a classroom teacher may also teach French to other classes. Here at Children’s Garden, when the children are in their specialty classes, their classroom teachers have valuable prep time which in turn allows the classroom teacher to be fully prepared and 100% involved with their children during class time.
If we have availability in any of our classes it may be an option. We tend not to have new students start with us after the March Break as it is not fair to the class that has been established for most of the school year.
The half-day children bring their own snack. The full-day students are required to bring a bagged lunch plus a morning and afternoon snack.
Due to COVID-19 and all of the safety protocols necessary to reduce the risk of transmission, we are asking that all children be fully potty trained prior to the start of school.
Most young children are used to being the centre of attention at home and rightly so!
Outside of the security of their home environment, there are many skills to be learned that cannot always be taught at home. Being part of a school environment from an early age allows a child to develop not only social skills but also helps them to build a solid foundation from an academic standpoint. For a child to be able to walk independently into a classroom at the age of two and a half is an amazing achievement! The skills to be taught at this age are endless … how to line up with their peers to walk from the classroom to the gym, how to handle the prospect of not being first in line or having to wait to play with a toy, sitting in a circle with good ‘listening ears’ etc. can take a lot of self-control for a little person.
We begin our Handwriting Without Tears program in our preschool programs so that the children are already being introduced to the concept of letters at their level of understanding. Knowing how to hold a pencil correctly, using scissors proficiently, writing their own name are just some examples of basic skills we concentrate on. Our preschool children are well prepared for kindergarten; the high success rate of our students applying and gaining acceptance into larger private schools is an excellent indicator.
Each child develops at their own rate and within the kindergarten time period the range may be varied without necessary concerns. The child’s ability to click into reading or writing independently can happen at any time between the ages of 4 and 6. In our experience it is like a light bulb being switched on and then they are off to the races! We have excellent teachers who can provide the children with an enriched learning environment where both collectively and individually the children can build on their skills. Some children move forward faster than others in certain areas of the program and that’s okay. This is not a race but a time where the scaffolding needs to be carefully built in conjunction with each child’s needs.
Our kindergarten children have two years to prepare for grade one and during this time we ensure that they are exposed to a fun, well balanced, and engaging curriculum so that they are independent readers moving forward.
If your child does not have any English vocabulary, his success or readiness for school will depend on his/her emotional maturity and type of personality. A new school can be overwhelming for children who have a good understanding of English so you can imagine for a child who is not familiar with English and how they must feel. We are able to quickly assess if your child will meet with success regardless of their ability to communicate in English based on emotional maturity and level of confidence. For children who are younger, being in English speaking programs with their parents who can help communicate to them in their mother tongue may be the best start so that the children gain experience and more understanding of basic vocabulary before being left in an independent program.
First of all, discipline is such a harsh word, especially when we are dealing with young children who are experiencing many situations for the very first time. We are here to teach and that includes helping the children make the right choices with their behaviour and how they conduct themselves in a group setting. Our expectations for a preschooler and that of a kindergarten student are very different as maturity plays a huge role in the outcome of any given situation.
We do not believe in ‘time outs’ unless a child needs some time to themselves to calm down or just have a break from the rest of the class. Our teachers have the ability to anticipate situations and therefore are able to redirect a child if they can see he/she is not ready to make the right decision with their behaviour. We also tend to look at our programming and set up of the classroom if a child is having issues. Many times if there are concerns with behaviour in a classroom, it may be due to children being bored or frustrations due to activities being too advanced for their skill level. Therefore, it is vital that we are creating an environment that will help them to succeed in all areas of the curriculum.
We all make mistakes and being able to ‘try again’ is a wonderful way to practice making the right decision and empowering a child to become a better member of the classroom and society as a whole.
Here at Children’s Garden Nursery School, we are very fortunate not to have children exhibit major behavioural problems due to small class sizes, consistent expectations and experienced teachers who can make a difference in helping children gain the tools needed to be a positive member of a group.
We have an enclosed Outdoor Learning Garden here at Children’s Garden that consists of a canopied seating area, and a large artificial grass surface. This area is used on a daily basis for recess and as an extended classroom space. The children may have snacks outside, storytime, a music class etc. Once we get into snowsuit season, we take into consideration the extra time and effort it may take for preschool children to have to put on extensive outdoor clothing etc. when we can be using that valuable time to expand upon our regular programming. The children enjoy their daily specialties in our large gym and therefore get to use their gross motor skills on a daily basis.
Please note: All full-day kindergarten and grade 1, 2 & 3 students have daily gym and outside time.
Due to our low student to teacher ratio, the need for extra help in the form of parent volunteers is not required. Most families selecting Children’s Garden for their child are making the decision based on their wish for their child to be completely independent during their time with us.
Most children tend not to veer very far from their loved ones when in a new environment and it can ultimately affect their involvement in the program. If you are looking for a school where you can share your child’s time at school then a co-op based philosophy may be a more suitable environment for you and your child.
DURING THE PANDEMIC NO PARENTS OR CAREGIVERS ARE ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING.
Our tuition schedule requires a large percentage of installments to be paid in full prior to the first day of school. Should a child start school and it is agreed upon by both the school and the parents that the child is not quite ready for an independent program then a full refund will be given,
However, if the school feels confident that based on regular attendance the child will succeed with the transition and the parent is not willing to give it time then there are no refunds of any processed installments.
A sure sign that your child is ready for preschool is that you can envision them enjoying all of the activities a school has to offer. At this time you are the only one who knows your child the best and taking the time to view as many schools as possible is an excellent way to ensure that your child’s needs will be met.
The main area of concern for parents, and especially for teachers, is whether or not a child is ready for a morning or full-day program at school. A child who displays signs of being constantly upset, of not being able to redirect and in constant need of adult support is a child who may not be ready for a preschool or kindergarten program. In order to determine what is best for the child, the following steps will be taken:
- The teacher will communicate his/her initial observations/cause for concern to the child’s parent verbally. A follow-up email will be sent to the parents by the teacher, within 1 to 3 working days, after the conversation detailing what was discussed and possible strategies going forward.
- The child will be observed for at least two full weeks of programming by the teacher and the principal. The teacher will observe and record behaviours in his/her logbook on a daily basis. Also, the principal may take videos of the child in order to show the parents what is specifically occurring in the classroom.
- Once all strategies have been exhausted, the principal will call a confidential meeting with the teacher and parents. A final time period of observation will be decided upon in order to make sure that the ultimate goal of ensuring the child is ready and has the emotional maturity to continue in the program can be reached. In the event that the child proves to not be ready for the program, the principal will give a full refund of tuition and the child will be given priority placement for the following school year.