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Tips for choosing a Kindergarten

Sending your child off to kindergarten is a big step! And with so many different schools in the Edmonton area, it is hard to know what type of program or school would be best for your child and family.


Our biggest piece of advice is to attend open houses or visit the school to get the feel of it. Attend more than one so you can make an informed decision about what type of program you are looking for.


 As you are at the open house, here are some things to ask or consider:


  • Bussing: Is the school near where you live? If not, does the school offer bussing?

  • Type of program: Is it a full day or a half day? What works best for your child and family?

  • Does the school offer any specialization, such as target programs (such as art, nature, science or sports), language opportunities or religious or cultural teachings?

  • Does the school offer a breakfast or lunch program?

  • What level of parent involvement is expected or allowed?

  • If you require childcare, does the school offer before and after school care? If not, is there childcare nearby that could transport your child to and from school?

  • What is the school's vision and mission, and do they align with your family’s?

  • What are the class sizes? How many adults in the classroom?

 

Some important skills for your child to be developing prior to kindergarten include:


  • Social Emotional skills. Can they navigate being in a group setting? Can they problem solve with peers? Can they follow the routines and expectations of the classroom? Can they ask an adult for help when needed?

  • Resiliency! Can your child bounce back from a stressful situation? How do they cope when faced with disappointment?

  • Self Help skills. Can your child attempt to dress themselves? Can they follow a toileting routine independently?

Other tips or things to consider!


  • Ask your neighbors with children about the school their child(ren) attends

  • Some schools operate on a lottery system. See the public or Catholic school websites for more information (see below!)

  • You will need documentation when registering for school! Be sure to bring your child’s birth certificate or proof of citizenship (Permanent Resident card, visa, etc.)

 

 Check out these websites to see the options:



 

 Remember YOU are your child’s first and most important teacher! You know what type of program would fit best for them and your family! Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions or advocate for your child as they begin this new stage of their learning journey!

 

You’ve got this!


 

At Norwood Centre our team of qualified Early Childhood Development Subject Matter Experts work to provide tools that caregivers can use to support early childhood development. We hear you! If you have a question or concern, please ask us. We have a variety of Child Development Activities available on our website, including the topics of Social Development, Physical Development, Language Development, Intellectual Development, Creative Development and Emotional Development. Find them at norwoodcentre.com/child-development-activities. For short-term one-on-one coaching, please call us at 780-471-3737.


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