Jumpstart Kinder Program and/or Public Kindergarten* (public Kindergarten is optional in Alberta)
Jumpstart Afterschool Learning Program
Your child can start in September and will be placed in the appropriate program based on age, see below.
The Regular Program Year is from September - June (we do allow students to join later in the program year based on availability)
The Summer Program is from July-August
Parented Program If your child is 2 and is not eligible for the unparented Prep Program.
Prep Program If your child turns 3 by December 31st of the Program Year
Scholars/Kinder Program If your child turns 4 by December 31st of the Program Year
Afterschool Learning Program If your child is in Grades 1-3, they would be eligible for our Afterschool Learning Program that enhances Math and Literacy Skills.
Let us know if you have any questions.
Do you offer a Full Day option?
We are experts in providing your child with an age-appropriate structured early learning education.
Our staffing includes teachers who have a different set of skills and training than your typical daycare staff.
Also, our programming would not be sustainable in a full-day format for students in this age group. Full-day programs that are more play-focused like in daycares would be more suitable in a full-day format.
However, we do work with daycares and dayhomes in the area to provide transportation to and from our centre. This way, you do not have to worry about getting your child to and from our centre.
View our Locations page for information about nearby facilities that offer full-time care. Transportation to and from our facility can be arranged from these facilities.
We also offer a Saturday program. This option is very popular with parents who are not able to arrange to pick up and drop off during the week.
What happens if my child has to isolate at home?
In the case of just your child isolating at home and not the rest of the class, we will do our best to supply you with a home package along with lesson plans and activities for your child to complete at home.
You will also have direct access to the teacher through our classroom app.
If the entire class is mandated to isolate, we will switch to teacher-led virtual classes online to keep the students engaged and the learning going.
Our teacher-led virtual classes have been a huge hit with students and parents. Each Family receives a physical package that is to be used during the online classes. Classes are interactive and keep the students engaged.
Is JumpStart Montessori based?
Yes and No.
Parents beware, there is no Montessori 'standard' to follow. A program labelled as Montessori can mean your children just play with toys all day, but meet the vague criteria listed below. It is up to parents to ensure that the program aligns with their goals for their children as well as their child's needs.
To answer this question more specifically, it helps first to know who or what Montessori is:
Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori in 1897 based on her extensive research with "phrenasthenic" children and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. Although a range of practices exist under the name "Montessori", the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential:
Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children ages 2½ or 3 to 6 years old are by far the most common
Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours
A "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
Freedom of movement within the classroom
A trained Montessori teacher
The JumpStart Program contains elements of Montessori but excludes others. The Montessori approach is 120 years old and there have been many advancements in research and methodology in regards to early childhood education. The public education curriculum has also evolved over time. Our goal is to prepare your child for their formal education, giving them the skills and abilities needed for success.
Our program includes best practices of many other approaches coming from the latest and most up to date research from universities and private researchers around the world. A major difference is that our classes are structured and sizes are kept small with children of similar age and development. A class of 30 students with varying ages definitely does not produce the desired goal of our program.
There are many other researchers that have either built upon or developed other approaches that work just as well or even better than the Montessori approach. We strive to constantly update our program to include the best approaches that work.
Our program combines all this research and incorporates the actual Alberta Education Curriculum into a comprehensive, high quality educational experience. We don't restrict ourselves to any one of way of providing Early Childhood Education.
Is my child ready for the JumpStart Program?
We require children to be 3 years old by December 31st for our Prep Program.
We require children to be 4 years old by December 31st for our Scholars Program.
We require children to be at least 3 years old at the time of attending our Summer Program.
When should I begin the Program?
Starting our program the year your child turns 3 will deliver the best results. This means starting off in either in our Prep Program followed by our Scholars Program.
Some may believe that a 3-year-old child is too young to learn, but this is actually an ideal time to start. What your child learns, depends greatly on how the material is presented to them. Your child's mind is like a sponge at this age and can soak up information at a very high rate. Our highly qualified and experienced staff use research-based approaches to deliver highly effective programming. As long as the content is being delivered in a fun and structured way, your child will learn a great deal. Children act much differently in a classroom setting than at home. They begin Kindergarten with confidence and skills which allow them to excel and stay ahead of the curve.
What are the benefits of a Junior Kindergarten Class?
When children begin Kindergarten, they are often overwhelmed by their surroundings, the number of children in the classroom, school expectations and being away from their parents. By providing children with an opportunity to experience classroom like surroundings and expectations before they enter school, they are better able to adjust and are more confident in their learning abilities. They also learn how to socialize with their same-age peers making a much easier and more successful adjustment to Kindergarten or the 1st Grade.
Why choose JumpStart?
We have a specific Junior Kindergarten curriculum which teaches children the main concepts taught in Kindergarten, therefore better preparing them for their first year of schooling. Our curriculum and assessments are structured, but the activities are always creative, fun, and hands-on. With small class sizes children will receive one-on-one instructional time and individualized programming to best meet their needs. Many preschools do not have a coherent and sequenced curriculum, but rather a set of beliefs on how children learn.
Will JumpStart prepare my child for the Cogito Program?
The Cogito Program is the fastest growing program in the Edmonton Public School system. It requires your child to pass an entrance exam before they are accepted into the program. Everything on the Kindergarten exam is part of the JumpStart curriculum. 100% of our students who applied for the program have been accepted.
Cogito is just another approach to learning, it may or may not be best suited for your child's individual learning style. We do not promote one program over another. Contact us to set up a consultation and we can provide you with more in-depth information.
How old does my child need to be?
Children need to be 3 years old and fully potty trained before beginning our program. If your child turns 3 during the school year (September-June), he/she may begin our program at that time provided a spot is available.
What are your class sizes and ratios?
Our class sizes vary by location but are no more than 12 children per class. This is a very important factor to look for when searching for a program for your child. Due to children at this age having a very short attention span, they are very easily distracted. Quality One-on-One time with ALL children, and not just those that are struggling, means that every child can reach their potential. For example, having a classroom with 12 children with 1 teacher is much more effective than a classroom with 24 children and 2 teachers as there are fewer distractions in the classroom. This is one of our core philosophies.
Our standard is 2 staff for a class of 12 students but at some locations we have a class as small as 6 children with 2 staff
How much are the fees?
Our Tuition Fees vary by location and class frequency.
Tuition Fees range from $175-$575/month. There is also a one-time registration fee that covers all your supplies.
We recommend that you come in to meet with our teacher(s) to get a better sense of our program. We have a very unique program created by Sharon Minhas. She has earned her Masters in Education from the University of Alberta and has been with the Edmonton Public School District for over 10 years. She's excelled in many roles including as a Kindergarten Teacher, Grade 1 Teacher and now as an English Language Learning Consultant.
Sharon is one of those teachers where parents in the community wanted to place their children in her class. Her colleagues in the next grade level always knew which students came from her class. She has taken her unique teaching approach and combined it with the best research-based practices. Our Jr. Kindergarten program is the only Preschool program with a curriculum that aligns with the Alberta Curriculum and allows your child to stay ahead of the curve during those critical first years of formal schooling.
Are parents required to volunteer?
Parents are NOT required to volunteer. Other preschools require parents to volunteer in order achieve there teacher/child ratios. We have sufficient staff and do not require parents to fill this need.
We do offer opportunites for parents to volunteer if they choose to do so. These opportunites occur throughout the year and will be outlined in the monthy newsletters.
How will my child's progress be reported to me?
Bi-monthly progress reports will be sent home to parents indicating which skills have been mastered and which skills we continue to work on. The progress report is based on the current Kindergarten Curriculum. This allows parents to be updated on their child’s progress regularly as well as providing parents with suggestions on what to work on at home to help their child succeed. Portfolios will also be kept to document learning through photos, artwork, and examples of student work. These portfolios are yours to keep when your child graduates!
How much time do parents need to commit to the program?
Parents are NOT required to sign up for volunteer hours or fundraising events. Many other preschools and early education programs do require this.
However, we do provide volunteering opportunities!
What are the differences between the Scholars I, II, III, and V?
The difference in the Scholars program is just the frequency of days you attend. The more days the better, so Scholars V would be the most effective but the most popular is Scholars 3.
We like to give the analogy of going to the gym, the more frequently you go, the better the results, however, going 1-2 times per week is still very effective.
Our standard program is the Scholars III option and then we add or remove lesson plans/activities designed to reinforce concepts in the other formats.
It all depends on your schedule and financial commitment.
Please call or email us and we can discuss the best approach for your child in more detail.
Do you provide snacks?
No, we do not provide snacks. We ask that Parents supply a snack. We allocate 10-15 min per day for snacks. For snack guidelines, see our Parent Handbook here:
We do not offer outdoor playtime. Students do go outside for curriculum related purchases like a nature walk or science experiment. Our program is only part-time and we concentrate on our core competencies. The students have the rest of the day to develop their gross motor skills in other activities!
We speak a language other than English at home. How will this Program support my child to learn English?
This program is perfect for these types of students and is very highly recommended.
Research has found that when children are first exposed to an English speaking classroom, they go through a silent phase where they just observe. This phase can last anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on their level of comfort. By enrolling your child in JumpStart, he/she will be exposed to a small intimate English-speaking classroom environment. This exposure will provide him/her with the opportunity to feel comfortable in a shorter amount of time. This will aid your child to learn key English words at a quicker pace, providing a smoother transition into the Kindergarten classroom and school environment. Please note that continuing to speak the native language at home is highly recommend as your child learns English at school. Research suggests maintaining your native language in the home as children have the ability to learn many languages fluently in the early years of their education.