Where are you located?
Our classroom is located on the second floor of the West Hillhurst Community Centre at 1940 6th Ave NW.
Is the preschool licensed?
Yes, the Preschool is fully licensed under the Alberta Government’s Early Childhood Services Division. We are also regularly inspected by Alberta Health Services to ensure compliance with all health and safety regulations.
What is the classroom ratio/cohort size?
For the 2021-2022 school year we will have a maximum class size of 15 students, with one Teacher and one Teaching Assistant in each classroom.
What is the school’s approach/philosophy?
We strongly believe that social development is the greatest need of the preschooler. That entails learning to be comfortable and independent apart from parents, making friends, learning interpersonal skills and manners, and learning to speak for one self.
Theme-based learning allows us to alternate learning materials between classes/cohorts. Play based learning incorporates circle time, play time that is free and directed to incorporate vocabulary, letters, numbers, etc.
We value community, believing that our programs are enhanced by parent involvement in and outside the classroom.
What are the class times and school fees?
We offer four classes: MWF AM, T/Th AM, MWF PM (Spanish Bilingual), and T/Th PM
The morning (AM) classes follow this schedule:
- Class time: 9:00 - 11:00 am
- Drop off 8:45am-9:00am
- Pick up 11:00am-11:15am
The afternoon (PM) classes follow this schedule:
- Class time 12:45 - 2:45 pm
- Drop off 12:30pm-12:45pm
- Pick up 2:45pm-3:00pm
Tuition for 2021-2022
2 Day Programs: $165/month
3 Day Programs: $210/month
A registration fee of $50 will be charged on July 1, 2021. These costs are updated yearly.
Each family is also required to hold a current WHCA membership throughout the duration of the preschool program. Your WHCA membership will be renewed at the time of registration if necessary (renewal fees apply).
A $30 school supply kit fee will be charged Sept 1. Your child will be able to take this kit home with them at the end of the school year. Once the program begins this cost is non-refundable.
What does drop off and pick-up look like?
Our preschool has a new drop off / pickup location this year to help keep pedestrian traffic at a minimum. Parents/caregivers and children come to the set of doors located on the north side of the building (near the tennis courts; see image below). Please do not enter via the main/front doors of the building. Parents are not allowed to come into the building with their child until further notice. The teachers will facilitate the hanging up of coats and putting on of indoor shoes. When you come to pick up your child, please wait outside until we open the door and bring your child to you. Should you be late/miss the scheduled drop off window and the door is closed, you must go around the building to the main doors. Someone from the front office will let you in and allow you to walk upstairs to the preschool for drop off and exit out the preschool doors near tennis court. You must wear a mask while inside the WHCA.
Are masks required?
Preschools fall under the category of Child Care and follow the Alberta governments guidelines regarding masks. This means that masks are not required for either children or teaching staff. That said, staff wear their masks when they are participating in a close-contact activity, including at the tables doing activities or helping with snow clothes.
What does a typical day look like?
Each session starts with a whole class circle time which includes reading a story, practicing our counting, learning the letters of the alphabet, talking about the weather and the days of the week. After this, the children take part in free play activities. These are activities the children can chose to do, based on the topic we are learning in class. For example, this could be playdough, building, painting, sensory bins or water and sand. During free play the teachers support and question the children, developing their individual skills. Every session there is an adult led activity that has been planned by the teacher to teach the children a skill or practice something that they need some extra support and guidance with. For example, cutting skills, dice rolling and counting or teaching an art skill. After snack we have a second circle time which involves a music or movement activity. This could be listening to the music and dancing with ribbons or using rhythm stick with a piece of music to learn about beat. During every session (weather permitting) the children get the opportunities to play outside in our secret garden. During this time the children build and imagine, using natural resources to play with their friends. This could be making a fire, cooking their own soup or building obstacle courses.
Do you accept children who are not potty-trained?
No. Children attending the program must be able to toilet independently.
Do you accept children under the age of 3 years old?
No. A child entering the three-year-old program or the multi-age program must turn three before the start of school, on or before September 7th or 8th, 2021. A child entering the four-year-old program must turn four before December 31 of the school year.
Do you provide a snack for the children?
No. Children are to bring a healthy, nut-free snack and water bottles with them each time they come to school. These snacks will be stored with the child’s belongings. For health snack ideas, please refer to Alberta Health's guidelines.
Which calendar do you follow?
Classes typically commence the week after the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) starts. Holidays generally follow the CBE holiday schedule. The last week of Preschool is typically the week prior to the last week of the CBE school year. In the case of inclement weather, the Preschool follows the lead of the CBE.
Do you have use of an outdoor space?
Yes. We have use of the West Hillhurst Community Centre's Secret Garden space (just off of 19th street by the Go-Getter's parking lot) as well as the outdoor field.
Are you nut-free?
We do not allow children to bring snacks containing nuts into our school.
When and how can I register?
Open registration begins on March 8, 2021.
Families can register online, by phone (403-283-0464 x7), or in person (by appointment only). We encourage families to register online and choose the monthly payment play. If you have a credit card that will expire before the end of June 2022, you will need to call to complete your registration.
What are the staff qualifications?
All of our staff must have all completed at least the minimum requirements mandated by the Alberta Government in order to work in our centres. Many of our early educators have received additional training and are certified by an educational institution such as a University or College. All educators and employees are required to have a clear and current criminal reference check and hold certifications in CPR and First Aid Training.
Are parents required to volunteer regularly/what is the volunteer commitment?
As a parent run organization, volunteering is critical to our preschool’s operations. While we are unable to host parent volunteers inside the classroom, at this moment, volunteering outside of the classroom is mandatory. There are many volunteer opportunities that help our school run smoothly and allow parents to engage with the classroom. These include roles on the Executive Committee, the Special Events teams, to making playdough. Open volunteer positions are filled annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in June for the upcoming school year. Please see a description of all outside-school volunteer opportunities here.
Is there fundraising required from families for the preschool?
The Preschool is funded through monthly tuition fees and annual fundraising initiatives. Fundraising initiatives are completely voluntary, but help support supplemental expenses such as sessional instruction, field trips, and parties (holiday and graduation).