Welcome, thank you for registering your little one in our program!
We truly appreciate and are grateful for the trust you have put in our team to care for and educate your child.
Please review each section of this registration package carefully as there is a lot of important information being covered.
Review our parent handbook by clicking through each section:
Please ensure your child has the following:
- Family Photo
- Pair of indoor shoes (labelled with your child’s name) which will be kept in the
classroom (velcro or slip-on)
- Backpack (large enough to fit a book-sized 8.5X11 inches
- Change of clothes in the backpack
- Water Bottle (can be water or juice but in a bottle)
- Snack (snack recommendations below)
- Face mask (optional)
Make sure your child is wearing comfortable, washable play clothes. The children take part in daily activities that may involve paint, dirt, sand, glue, crayons, felts etc. While we use non-toxic, water-based arts and craft supplies, we cannot guarantee that everything that ends up on your child’s clothes will come out in the wash. If you don’t want a certain outfit to get dirty and possibly not come clean, do not send your child to class in that outfit.
Please keep a complete change of clothing for your child in their Back Packs (underpants, socks, T-shirt, and pants). Accidents happen!
Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the outside weather as we may go outside weather permitting.
Bring a pair of indoor runners for your child which will be kept in the classroom. Children wear these shoes in school. No laces please. Velcro or zippers are preferred.
Leave all toys and other games at home (except for items we have asked to bring from home for instances such as show and share which must be labeled clearly with the child’s name), as these often get misplaced by the child and may be difficult to find after the fact. JumpStart Learning Centre cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items.
Please label all clothing and belongings so that we can make sure things get back into the proper backpacks.
Encourage your child to walk into school. Avoid carrying your child. This will help give them a sense of independence and confidence. Have them carry their own lunch or backpack, which will help foster a sense of ownership and responsibility which children cherish. We strongly recommend a quick drop-off. This can be difficult at times. However, we find the longer a parent lingers, the harder the separation becomes. Lingering can create anxiety for both children and adults alike, and this is never a good start to a day. Instead, children need reassurance that you have confidence in them and their day. That said, make sure you do say good-bye to them and let them know you are going. Sneaking away while they are busy or their attention is elsewhere may seem like an easy way to avoid tears, but it may cause them to mistrust you and become more apprehensive in the long run. A quick, positive and happy good-bye is always best.
Children benefit from consistency and routine. Try to ensure they have a good sleep the night before school. If there is going to be a change in their day, inform your child, or send us a note so that we can do the same. The more we can do to help prepare them for what to expect, the more secure they will feel.
Arriving on time. It is extremely important to arrive on time for a number of reasons. Tardiness is very disruptive to the teacher and to the class, as well as to the child’s routine. A child who is late often will miss a great deal. Children greet each other as they transition from leaving their parents to begin their school day. This transition is easier when they can prepare themselves with others.
Parents are responsible for the transportation of their children to the classroom each day unless arrangements have been made regarding transportation. Please be on time as late arrivals disrupt the class. If you are late and the door is closed, please lightly knock on the door or ring the doorbell and wait until a JumpStart staff member opens the door.
Classroom doors will open 15 minutes prior to the start of class (5 minutes at our Callaghan location). However, during this time the teacher will be busy preparing for the class so it is not the time to talk about your child. Please set an appointment to discuss your child’s progress.
Children must be picked up promptly at the end of class. Children will only be released to an adult who is listed on the Authorized Pick-up List. Advance notice in writing must be given if someone other than those listed will be picking up your child up. Photo ID will be required for those who are not familiar faces to the Teachers.
A late charge will be charged for late pick-ups as outlined in the Fee Schedule. If there is an emergency and you are going to be late, we ask that you message us through our classroom app to notify us. Frequent late pick-ups may result in increased late fees and may lead to termination from the program.
We believe that communication between home and school is an important element for a positive school experience. Monthly newsletters will be sent home explaining the activities completed that month, as well as notice of upcoming important dates. Our Classroom App will be used for daily updates and pictures as well as messaging directly with the staff. Please be sure to sign up and setup your account upon registration. You will be able to schedule one-on-one consultations (virtual or in-person) with teachers from the Parent Portal.
We will also send home 4 progress reports throughout the school year which will highlight your child’s progress. This will keep parents informed on how their child is progressing throughout the year. If at anytime during the year the teacher or parent/guardian has concerns regarding the child’s progress, a formal meeting can be arranged.
JumpStart staff will use child guidance strategies that encourage self‐control, self‐respect and respect for others. Our goal is to help children develop the behaviour necessary for successful living via teaching and setting limits in a caring environment. Please note that JumpStart Learning Centre holds a zero-tolerance policy with respect to behaviour that we deem violent or disruptive. For example: Kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, etc. is not allowed, and may result in immediate removal from the group or activity. Continued violent behaviour will result in termination from JumpStart Learning Centre, after discussion with the child’s parents. We will work with Parents to develop a plan and try different strategies if possible prior to removal from the program.
Please inform the teacher of any changes or upsets in your child’s life. Factors such as lack of sleep, a new baby in the house, or parents being away are reasons to consider as potential causes of negative behaviour. Should a change in classroom behaviour be observed by the teacher, it will be brought to the parent’s attention.
While we appreciate that you want to spend time interacting with your child in the classroom environment, too many adults in a room can often be distressing for children. This is especially true at the beginning of the school year when children are trying to adapt to the new environment. We suggest that you take 5-10 minutes and settle your child into an activity, say good-bye and then leave. If you would like to volunteer in the classroom, please speak to a JumpStart staff member as this would have to be scheduled. We also have events throughout the year which parents are encouraged to participate by volunteering.
Although we require children to be toilet trained prior to starting with us, we understand there may be an accident from time to time, particularly for our 3 year olds. Our staff will assist your child with toilet time if needed, especially during the first month or so as they transition into the classroom environment. After this initial time period, most children are independent (you would be surprised how independent children become without their parents around). If a child is just not quite ready for independent toileting, we would recommend a pull-up to avoid accidents all together. We ask that you ensure your child wears clothing that is easy for them to get in and out of. A few minutes at home practicing with buttons, zippers and snaps is helpful.
There are different levels of readiness, but it all starts with the child being able to communicate when they must go to the washroom (Educators will be constantly reminding students as well).
If a child has an accident while class is in session, the parent will be notified and be required to come themselves or send someone on their behalf to the classroom as soon as possible to help the child and take them home or change them. Repeated accidents may result in fees and/or a family being asked to temporarily withdraw their child until toilet training is completed.
We will set aside 10-15 minutes at the beginning of centre time for your child to eat their snack. If you do not want your child to participate, simply do not provide a snack. Students not participating in snack time will be participating in extra centre time and will be kept away from students eating snacks.
- Snacks must be nut free / stay away from liquid foods that can spill like juice boxes or yogurt tubes/pouches
- Students can access snacks independently without assistance
- Please unpackage foods and put them in a Tupperware that your child can open without assistance. This guideline is in place to eliminate the risk of staff members potentially transmitting anything by touching the food and/or packaging of multiple children especially after they have already had a bite of something.
- Snack must be small so they can finish it in less than 10 minutes
Dairy: Yogurt in container, Cottage Cheese, Cheese Strings, Yogurt Tubes, Cream Cheese on Crackers, Cheese Sandwiches, Babybel Cheese
Baked Goods: Cookies, Bagels, Squares, Muffins, Granola Bars, Cheese Buns, Popcorn, Rice Cakes, Pretzels, Nut Free, Banana Bread
Vegetables: Carrot Sticks, Cucumber Slices, Cherry Tomatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Peppers, Avocado
Fruits: Apple Slices, Bananas, Grapes, Mandarin Oranges, Pineapple, Kiwi, Strawberries, Fruit Cocktail, Applesauce, Dried Fruit, Watermelon
Birthdays are an important part of a child’s life. If you choose to bring in a snack, we find cut up fruit, small cookies, Dixie Cup ice cream, Jell-O Jigglers and/or Rice Krispies squares a perfect birthday treat. We encourage you to read all labels to ensure the snack does not include nuts. We do ask that if you need to hand out birthday invitations at school, that you do so discreetly to avoid hurt feelings.
Allergies and Medical
Allergies can be very severe. If a child has a serious allergy we require an EPIPEN to be kept on site. We will have you sign a medical form allowing us to administer medication. In case of a medical emergency the teacher will contact 911 and then the parents. Parents shall be responsible for any cost incurred.
Parents are responsible for informing the Teacher of any health problems, chronic or otherwise. A child who cannot play outside or exhibits any of the following symptoms is too sick to attend school:
- Persistent cough, sneezing or runny nose
- Fever of 38 C or higher
- Inflamed or infected eyes
- Infected nasal discharge (thick or coloured)
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Communicable condition or disease (e.g.,
- Untreated lice or scabies; chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough, etc.)
- Fatigue / significant low energy
- Open Sores/Blisters
Parents/caregivers who bring a child to school exhibiting any of the above will be required to take their child home and/or make alternate arrangements. The teacher has the final say over whether a child is healthy enough to attend school. Please keep your child at home for 24 hours after symptoms end. If your child has been in contact with someone with a communicable disease, please inform the teacher. If your child has been diagnosed by your physician for anything more than a cold e.g. strep throat, Covid, etc, then please let the teacher know. Where there are 2 or more children diagnosed with a similar “unusual” communicable health condition, JumpStart is responsible for informing Alberta Health Services. Failure to comply with the above may result in an official warning and/or, where the problem is chronic, review of the child’s registration in the program. If a child becomes sick while at school, but does not require medical treatment, the child will be isolated from the other children until the parent(s) arrives.
In a medical emergency:
If an accident or medical emergency occurs at school that requires a child to be rushed to the hospital. The parents will be contacted immediately. If unable to contact parents, the emergency contact will be notified. Parents will be responsible for bearing the cost associated with transporting their child by ambulance in an emergency situation where the teacher deems ambulance transportation to be appropriate.
- There is always a staff member with up-to-date Child Care First Aid & CPR Certificate.
- A fully equipped first aid kit is kept in the classroom
Please be aware that our facilities are equipped with security cameras capable of sound and video. The video and sound feed are not constantly monitored but are referenced for training purposes and/or in case of any incidents that may require investigation. By registering in the program, you are giving us your consent for your child to be under video surveillance at our facility. Video history may be stored for up to 90 days using a 3rd party service provider
JumpStart follows the “Edmonton PUBLIC SCHOOL” holiday schedule, including the
Professional Development days. However, we may continue with classes on Edmonton
Public School PD Days, if scheduling allows for it.
We will notify parents, via the monthly newsletter and email notification, of any upcoming
holidays and/or Professional Development Days.
In the event of a sudden and harsh winter storm, it may be necessary to cancel class.
In addition, classes may be cancelled if the temperature is -35°C or below with windchill as per
Environment Canada weather reports. In the event of a cancellation due to circumstances
outside of our control, Tuition will not be reimbursed, and classes will not be made up.
In the event of extreme weather where classes are not cancelled, it is up to you to decide
whether or not to send your child to school. Requirements would be to have your child
dressed appropriately to withstand the weather in case an event occurs which forces staff and
students to be outside.
If we are providing transportation for your child, this service also may be cancelled or denied if
it is deemed the child is not equipped with the appropriate gear to withstand the weather.
Unplanned closures will be communicated to parents via email and/or message on the
classroom app either the night before or the morning of.
Other missed classes including sickness or isolation/quarantine requirements outside our control
will not eligible for refund. However, if your child will be home, we are more than happy to
provide a lesson plan to keep the child learning and engaged at home. Available upon request.
Please be advised that if you are taking a vacation/holiday, monthly tuition must be paid in
order to hold your spot. Please try to plan vacations during our winter and spring breaks and
other holidays that occur during the year.
Keep in mind that the fees essentially reserve that spot in the class whether the child attends any specific day or not. If your child does miss class due to illness and/or vacation we usually send activities/worksheets that can be completed while away from class. We also spend extra time with the child when he/she returns to class to catch them up. While away, parents still have access to the teachers via our classroom app.
Date: All Dates in the registered school year
Duration: 30 Min to 1 Hour
Ratio: Minimum 1 Adult to every 6-7 Students
Staff attending have their current first aid and will have a first aid kit with them at all times. There will also be parent volunteers on this trip (contact your child’s teacher via Brightwheel). The minimum adult to student ratio we will be maintaining will be 1 Adult for every 6 students. If this ratio cannot be maintained, the trip will be cancelled.
During the school year, our classes will be walking off School grounds for curriculum related activities such as seasonal nature walks, neighbouring businesses, or visits to other public venues and nearby activities.
Learning objectives from science, social studies, art, physical education, health, math and option classes may be addressed by leaving the school grounds to observe, inquire, and experience at different locations within walking distance. The specific learning objectives are different for different activities and will be communicated to students and parents prior to the activity.
The procedures we use to ensure appropriateness and safety on all field trips are applied when a teacher plans to take a class off the school grounds.
Parents will be notified by the classroom teacher of the exact date and time of each walking field trip before the trip takes place.
Parents will complete consent forms prior to any field trips which require motorized transportation off site
Parent Portal App
2. Add the Jumpstart Parent Portal to the Home Screen of your mobile device
Closer to the start date, you will receive an email invitation to join our classroom app, Brightwheel, used for daily pictures, videos, and messaging directly with your child’s teacher.
You will receive an invite email from us after you have completed the full detailed registration form for your child. If you have already used the platform with an existing child, you will not receive an invite email as we will just update your existing profile.
Items for School
Ensure list of items for the first day of class are ready to go prior to the first day:
- Family Photo – 4X6 (please bring to class on Orientation day)
- Pair of indoor shoes (velcro or slip-on, labeled with your child’s name — will be left in
classroom for weekday classes)
- Backpack (large enough to fit a book-sized 8.5X11 inches)
- Change of clothes in the backpack
- Water Bottle (can be water or juice but in a bottle)
- Face mask (optional)
- Snack (refer ‘snack’ section in our Parent Handbook)
Your child's transition to school
Assist us with your child’s transition to school by speaking to them about school and showing them the classroom with the online virtual tour prior to starting class @
(click on the location you are attending to view the tour)
If this is your child’s first time attending our classroom, we encourage you to go through our online virtual tour with your child to get them familiar with the space. This helps with the anxiety of the ‘unknown’ for your child’s first day of school. The more they feel comfortable and know what to expect, the easier the transition will be and the more confident they will feel.
Here is a checklist or recommended things to do to manage your child’s transition:
- Attend the Orientation Evening the week before the first day with your child
- Have your child attend the first week of school during staggered entry week and stay in the class for the first 15-20 minutes
- Before leaving your child in the classroom, look them in the eye and let them know to have fun and you will be back to get them after class
- Talk to your child about school and what to expect, show videos and the virtual tour of the classroom
- Share any important information about your child with your child’s teacher at the orientation or first week of school
- Create a routine around things you do before and after class
- Develop a consistent and predictable farewell routine
Review additional resources to prepare your child for the transition to school:
First Week of School for 2022/2023
|Day/Schedule||Scholars V||Scholars III||Scholars/Prep II||Scholars I||Discovery|
|Orientation Day||Tuesday, August 30th||Tuesday, August 30th||Tuesday, August 30th||During first day of class||During first day of class|
|Initial Assessment Day||August 31st or September 1st||August 31st or September 1st||August 31st or September 1st||During regular class time||No Initial Assessment|
|Staggered Entry Day||September 6th or September 7th||September 7th or September 9th||September 6th or September 8th||No Staggered entry||No Staggered entry|
|Regular Schedule||Thursday, September 8th||Monday, September 12th||Tuesday, September 13th||Saturday, September 10th||Sunday, September 11th|
Attendance is limited to the registered child and only ONE parent (we are minimizing the number of people in the space). New and returning families are advised to attend. An appointment confirmation will be sent to you for a start time between 1-4pm. It is highly recommended that you and your child attend the orientation as it goes a long way to successfully transition your child into the classroom.
Please note that for Scholars I families, orientation is scheduled during the first 30 minutes of the first class. This means that parents will stay with their child for the first part of the first class.
Orientation will include:
- Meet and greet with your child’s teacher
- Meet and greet with your child’s classmates and other parents
- Teachers will be taking a picture of each student and leading them to create a craft in preparation for the first week of school
- Parent Handbook Review with Q&A
- Quick tutorial about our Classroom App where you can message the teachers directly, receive daily pictures and/or videos of your child’s day in the classroom, and receive important announcements/reminders
- Teachers will be going over important information about classroom procedures like the check-in process
- Acquaint your child with the teacher and the classroom before the first day of school
- The main purpose of this event is to ease your child’s transition into the new Classroom and get to know classmates and teachers before the first day of school
- Please arrive on time and plan to stay up to 30-45 minutes
If you are unable to attend your scheduled Orientation, unfortunately, we are not able to reschedule as the orientations are scheduled with your child’s class.
- Parents will sign up for a 20 minute time slot per child for only one of the Initial Assessment day’s using a a scheduling link that will be included in the ‘First Week of School’ email that will be sent out in Mid-August
- Teachers will be spending some one-on-one time with your child to get to know them better before the first day of class, as well as begin their initial assessment.
- Please note that this is a casual interaction between your child and his/her teacher and is meant to be a positive experience. It is not a formal assessment and there is nothing to prepare for. In addition to getting to know each child, teachers will create a baseline so they can tailor the program with an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) for each child. During this time, we request parents to leave the room so that your child can spend some time getting to know the teachers without relying on you for support.
- Scholars I assessments will be completed during regular class time
The first day of school will be the week starting after Labour Day Monday.
- During the first week of school, half the class will attend one day, and the other half the other day. After the two staggered entry days, classes will resume as per normal schedule on the third day of class.
- Staggered entry helps with transitioning your child to the classroom environment with a smaller class size and gives Teachers more time to get to know your child on the first day. Feel free to stay a little longer this first week to help your child transition if required.
- Your assigned day will be confirmed via email in mid-August
- Regular monthly tuition payments will begin the month of your child’s start date
- Monthly Tuition Calculation
- Please note tuition is calculated as an annual amount and divided into 10 equal payments for your convenience. Therefore, the monthly amount does not change according to number of instructional days in any given month
- Payments are due on the 1st of every month via pre-authorized bank debits, EMT, or credit card (details below)
- At the time of registration, we collect a Registration/Supply Fee and a Tuition Deposit to secure your spot
|Discovery (Parented Class)||Sat. or Sun. AM/PM||2 yr. old by start date||$125/mo.|
|Prep II||Tues/Thurs. AM/PM||3 yr. old by Dec. 31st||$190/mo. ($65 after subsidy)|
|Scholars I||Sat. AM/PM||4 yr. old by Dec. 31st||$110/mo. ($0 after subsidy)|
|Scholars II||Tues/Thurs. or Wed/Fri. PM Only||4 yr. old by Dec. 31st||$190/mo. ($65 after subsidy)|
|Scholars III||Mon/Wed/Fri. AM/PM||4 yr. old by Dec. 31st||$290/mo. ($165 after subsidy)|
|Scholars V||Mon–Fri. AM/PM||4 yr. old by Dec. 31st||$520/mo. ($395 after subsidy)|
|Summer Program||Mon–Fri. Weekly Sessions (see schedule here)||Must be 3–6 years old||See Summer Program page|
- At the time of registration request, a Registration/Supply Fee was collected. This fee will be adjusted up or down based on the frequency of days your child is registered for, refer to fee guide above.
- Please note that the Registration/Supply Fee is non-refundable once a spot has been secured.
- If we are not able to secure a spot, you will be added to the Standby list for the requested schedules.
- You can remove yourself from the Standby waiting list at anytime and your registration fee will be refunded minus a 5% processing fee.
- If we offer a spot to you and it is not accepted, the Registration Fee becomes non refundable.
- A Tuition Deposit in the amount of one (1) month of tuition will be charged (before subsidies and grants) to secure your child’s spot in the program
- The Tuition Deposit will be held by The Program and returned to you at the end of the school year
- The Tuition Deposit is fully refundable, minus a 5% processing fee, if you cancel your registration for any reason in accordance with our our withdrawal policy
- If the withdrawal request is not received in accordance with the withdrawal policy, the Tuition Deposit is forfeited and becomes non-refundable
- If you are re-enrolling a currently registered child for another year at JumpStart, we will roll over the current school year deposit to the following school year, so no new deposit is owing.
- Other Fees that may be charged:
- NSF or Late Payment ($50)
- Late Pick-up ($1/minute for the 1st incident, $3/minute for the 2nd incident, $5/minute thereafter)
- Field Trip Transportation (Varies by school year, budget about $20-$30 per school year)
JumpStart Junior Kindergarten is a 10-month program from September-June. We request a commitment from parents for the entire 10- month term as our program works just like the public-school system and not like a daycare or playschool where kids are just cycled in and out year round, but we do understand that some circumstances may require you to withdraw early.
If you wish to withdraw from the program, at least one FULL month’s notice using the Withdrawal Request Form in the Parent Portal is required. *see exception below
Withdrawal Policy Exception: Please make special note: if withdrawal request received on or after January 15th, you automatically forfeit your Tuition Deposit whether or not the required notice is given
How to Pay
– Please complete the AutoPay setup for automatic collection of monthly fees @ https://www.jumpstartlearning.ca/pay
– If you are a returning family and banking information is the same, no action is required
– If you prefer to pay with EMT or Credit Card per invoice, please note that payments more than 3 days past the due date will automatically incur a $30 Late fee. Payment instructions here
Grant, Subsidy, & Tax Deduction Info
- A $75 grant will automatically be applied to each monthly invoice beginning the month you are starting and is reflected in the fee guide above
- An additional $125 subsidy is available to eligible families with household income of less than $180K. at eligible locations, but will not be applied to your account until up to 45-60 days after your start date.*
*How the $125 subsidy works:
- Apply online up to 30 days before your start date (You do not need to send us confirmation of subsidy approval)
- At the beginning of every month, we submit student enrollment data for the previous month to the Children’s Services office
- The Children’s Services office then sends us subsidy payments for the previous month within 14-20 business days for eligible students
- We receive and apply the subsidy payments to your account
- Please note that based on this process, your first two invoices after the start date will not include the subsidy payments since we will not receive the funds for the month attended until 45-60 Days after your start date.
- As the subsidy payments are received, they will be applied to your account and the amount of future invoices will be reduced.
- After your final month, we will send subsidy credits back to you in the form of a refund.
Income Tax Deduction
Parent portion of child care fees may be used as an income tax deduction on your annual tax return with the CRA. Annual statements will be sent out during the month of February.
Consult your accountant and/or review CRA website here
Yes. Currently, subsidy is available only at our Commercial Locations. Please check the Government of Alberta site to see if you are eligible:
Yes, all our child care centres qualify for a tax deduction if you are eligible:
Our results speak louder than words! Click here to view Parent Reviews.
Program Eligibility is based on your child's age:
|1||Not eligible for the Jumpstart Program|
|2||Jumpstart Parented Class*|
|3||Jumpstart Prep Program* (Preschool)|
|4/5||Jumpstart Scholars Program* (Junior K)|
|5/6||Jumpstart Kinder Program and/or Public Kindergarten* (public Kindergarten is optional in Alberta)|
|6+||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
If your child is 2 and is not eligible for the unparented Prep Program.
If your child turns 3 by December 31st of the Program Year
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Please call or email us and we can discuss the best approach for your child in more detail.