Pre-primary FAQ: Inclusion

Can my child attend for only a short period of the day in the beginning?

The transition into the Pre-primary Program can be adjusted to meet you child’s needs.  

Please work with the Regional Centre for Education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial Pre-primary Program Lead, ECEs and team to develop a plan that suits your family and child.

Can my child continue to receive developmental intervention?

Yes, all community based supports for preschool aged children are welcomed in the Pre-primary Program.

How does the Pre-primary Program manage behavior guidance challenges an inclusion?

EECD has introduced the Pyramid Model which is an approach for supporting the social and emotional development of our children in early learning environments.

The goal of the Pyramid Model is to create an environment where every child feels good about coming to school.

Learning environments using the Pyramid Model promote engagement in learning and building positive relationships among children, families and staff. ECEs work together to ensure all children understand behavior expectations and receive support to develop social skills.

How will children be supported as they transition into grade primary?

The Pre-primary Program Lead in your Regional Centre for Education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will begin this process by contacting the elementary school and support team.

There will be meetings with the Pre-primary Program team including community supports and the school team.

Families are at the centre of all discussions relating to their children and will be invited to all meetings and be encouraged to lead the process as much as they wish.

How will ECEs support my child with special needs?

ECEs will meet with you and any team members who support your child to learn about your child.

They will want to know about what your child likes to do, what motivates them, and what your goals are for the child. They will use this information combined with their knowledge of the routine and the group of pre-primary children to develop a plan that outlines how your child will be supported during the day.

The Pre-primary Program is child-led and play-based. The day is planned around the interests of your child and the group’s. Small group activities will be planned in a way to ensure your child is successful.

There may be times when your child needs some extra support, for instance getting dressed to go outside to play. In this situation an ECE would be with your child supporting them to get dressed, helping them when needed and teaching them new skills to learn independence. Peer’s may also want to help. Children are often motivated when their friends are engaged with them.

How will I know how my child is progressing?

Regular communication between family and ECE is critical in the Pre-primary Program.  In addition, there will be team meetings focussing on the child’s strengths, needs and goals.  

Meetings will happen throughout the year and provide an opportunity for the family and team to discuss how the child is developing and adjust goals based on current strengths, needs, and family wishes. Your child will also have a portfolio of things they have created while they attend the program that they can show you.

You are encouraged to speak to your child’s ECEs at anytime throughout the year should you have any questions, concerns or wish to discuss their progress in general.

My child does not understand boundaries or safety rules? How will you keep them safe?

All children’s safety is the priority always.  ECEs will plan activities that ensure all children are safe. 

ECEs will be teaching safety and supporting children to learn boundaries throughout all activities.  ECEs will perform daily safety checks on their environments (inside and outside) to look for any potential safety concerns as well as teaching children how to be safe.

My child has a life-threatening allergy. Will my child be safe in the Pre-primary Program?

If your child has a life-threatening allergy, it’s important to contact the Pre-primary Program Lead in your Regional Centre for Education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial before their first day.

The Pre-primary Program Lead will provide you with the necessary forms to be completed and help develop a plan to support your child.

If necessary, ECE’s will be trained in the use of an epi-pen. The Pre-primary Program is subject to the health and safety policies and regulations of the Regional Centre for Education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.

My child has a special need. How will you support my child to take part in the Pre-primary Program?

The Pre-primary Program is an inclusive program.

Children with special needs will continue to have access to the same services and supports they would receive at home or from a community-based program when they are in the Pre-primary Program.

Please contact the Pre-primary Program Lead in your Regional Centre for Education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial to discuss your child’s needs before they start to plan for a successful pre-primary experience. 

Pre-primary Program Leads can be contacted as follows:

My child has special needs and would benefit from an extra year of Pre-primary Program. Can my child attend Pre-primary for a second year?

The intention of Pre-primary is that children attend for one year only and then move with their peers to Grade Primary.

If there is a request for a second year, it will be discussed on a case by case basis.

My child is receiving EIBI can they attend the Pre-primary Program?
Yes, all community based supports for preschool aged children are welcomed in the Pre-primary Program.
Who provides support in Pre-primary Program?

The community based supports available to preschool aged children will continue to support children in the Pre-primary Program. 

This includes Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Intervention Services, Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres, Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI), among others.

Will you provide an Educational Assistant for children?

The Pre-primary Program does not have Educational Assistants.

ECEs provide programming that considers the whole group ensure all experiences are offered in a manner that allows for anyone to interact regardless of ability.

ECEs are available provide support and guidance to children who may be experiencing challenges in all or part of the learning environment.

Additional staffing needs to ensure a quality, inclusive early learning experience for all children, are determined by the team and through discussions with parents.