No. The Pre-primary Program is free to Nova Scotians.
Pre-primary FAQ: Program Details
The Pre-primary Program is a child-centered, play based program for children the year before they start school. This opportunity will help them transition into the school system and provide experiences that give children the best start to succeed in school and life.
The Pre-primary Program is a free program for four-year-olds in the province. The program is offered in the school setting which helps children to transition into Primary the following year.
Based on the experience of other jurisdictions, participation in school-based early learning programs is typically high, reaching children and families who might not otherwise be able to access other early learning and child care programs.
The maximum number of children in a class will be 24, supported by three staff.
Families are responsible to arrange transportation for their children.
Arranging before and after school care, and any related costs, will be the responsibility of the family.
The Pre-primary Program is available during the school year.
The program will start and end the same as the school day. There may be some exceptions. School boards will communicate those exceptions directly to parents upon confirmation of their registration.
The Pre-primary Program will also be closed during all school in-service days, professional development days, storm days, holidays and over the summer months.
If the school isn’t open, the Pre-primary Program will not open.
The program is voluntary. Families choose whether to enroll their child in the program. Pre-primary is NOT required to enter Grade Primary.
This is a voluntary program and a family’s decision whether they want to enroll their child. We know that children who have a quality early learning experience prior to starting school have an easier transition into the school system and have positive developmental outcomes.
Regular attendance is recommended; however, how often a child attends the program is a family’s decision.
It is always helpful for educators to know if your child will not be attending. Regular communication with the Early Childhood Educators will be encouraged and supported.
No. Each pre-primary class will receive supplies, materials and resources as part of the program.
The program provides children with a morning snack when they arrive and an afternoon snack. Snacks follow approved standards for food and nutrition that emphasize foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein sources.
Families are required to send a lunch with their child.
ECEs are well trained to understand the outdoor environment and look for exciting and stimulating play areas around the school. Children may go on walks, explore local parks, find nearby wooded areas or other surroundings in their community.
Families will be asked to sign a consent form at the beginning of the year which outlines the locations in the general school community which the ECEs may go with the children.
ECEs will consider the schedule of the school and when other children are outside as they plan their day. In the beginning ECEs will take the Pre-primary Program children outside when other children are not there.
If the school has a policy for excluded foods due to allergies and/or food sensitivities, the Pre-primary Program will follow the same policy. Please check with the school for these food exclusions.
It is a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes (pants, shirt, underwear, socks) for your child, as bathroom accidents and other messy spills are common at this age. Also clothing for outdoors will be needed as outdoor play experiences are an important part of your child’s day.
Toys and other resources will be provided by the program. If children want to bring toys from home, we would encourage a discussion with the Early Childhood Educator.
Homework is not part of the Early Learning Curriculum. There will be opportunities for educators and families to share what activities and learning children are engaged in, and how their interests can be supported in the program and at home.
Your child will not receive a report card at the end of the year. There will be opportunities for you to meet with the Early Childhood Educator to discuss your child’s development throughout the year.
The Early Years Centres will remain in place.The Early Learning Program component of the Early Years Centres has transitioned to a Pre-primary Program.
Over the next four years, we will open more than 250 Pre-primary Programs across the province. Once complete, the Pre-primary Program will be available province wide.Government will not be covering the cost of child care for children who are not attending the Pre-primary Program.
Natural outdoor place space is an extension of the indoor classroom and encourages a child’s interaction with the natural environment. Early Childhood Educators will ensure that the outdoor play space is safe and developmentally appropriate for children in the Pre-primary Program.
The Pre-primary Program is a provincial program which will be available to all four-year-olds in Nova scotia by 2020. There will be no impact to the Pre-primary Program.
Each Regional Centre for Education or Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will determine how they will orient and welcome new children and families to the program. Some may have orientation days in the spring and others may have open houses in September.
The transition into the Pre-primary Program can be adjusted to meet you child’s needs. Please work with your PP Board Lead, ECE and team to develop a plan that suits your family and child.