Parents may register children turning four before December 31, 2012 in the first year of the two-year Kindergarten program. Application forms are available at schools or on the Halton District School Board website. Completed applications and appropriate documentation are submitted to the home school usually in January of the year in which the child will be starting. For your home school, please refer to the Schools page and enter your address in the Find a School search box.
The purpose of the program is to establish a strong foundation for learning in the early years, and to do so in a safe and caring play-based environment that promotes the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of all children. (Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program, Ministry of Education, 2010, p.1)
- In the Full Day Every Day model, children attend school full-day, five days a week.The Board is in the midst of the Ministry’s roll out of full-day every day Kindergarten and before and after school care. Families should check with their home school regarding the kind of Kindergarten model offered at the school and whether extended care will be available.
- In the Full Day Alternate Day model, children attend full-day, every other day.
In anticipation of the new school year, a “Year at a Glance” Kindergarten calendar is provided for parents in June. The calendar indicates the pattern of attendance for the new school year. Children attend Mondays/Wednesdays and alternate Fridays (A days) or Tuesdays/Thursdays and alternate Fridays (B days). A and B days are clearly marked. Each school determines which classes follow the A or B day schedule depending on a variety of factors, including the number of students and staff. Schools try to take family needs into account however, many variables affect final decisions.
Parents look forward to the following as they anticipate their children’s entry into Kindergarten in September:
• Completing registration at the family’s home school
• Checking the Halton Distict School Board’s website for further information
• Attending Ready, Set, Go! parenting sessions in January and February.
• Completing a Nipissing screening form for the child (found in the calendar)
• Applying to the four week summer program if the child has not had any previous pre-school experience
• Attending a Kindergarten Even Start evening at the school in May or June
• Receiving notification about the first school visit and entry in September
• Looking for the Halton Board’s Kindergarten “Year at a Glance” calendar in June
• Arranging a spring visit to the school for a child who is particularly anxious about starting school
Being ready for school means more than having certain academic skills (e.g., counting, ABCs, letter printing…) when starting Kindergarten. It refers to:
- Being in good health; developing independence in daily living skills (e.g., washroom independence)
- Being curious about the world and trying new experiences; interacting cooperatively with other children and responding appropriately to adults
- Coping with small challenges (e.g., spending time away from mom or dad for short periods of time)
- Communicating own needs; speaking clearly about experiences
- Enjoying favourite books, songs, riddles, games.
- Participating in early learning experences (e.g., public library, play dates, etc.)
In Kindergarten, the intent is to join families in continuing the process of readying children for learning by supporting their physical, social, emotional development and their communication, language and thinking skills. Appropriate development in these areas has been shown to be important to future achievement in school. (Halton’s Vision for Children, Phase 2 Report, January 2004).
Click here for a question and answer guide for parents provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Information from Halton Region about getting ready for Kindergarten is available here.
Parents/guardians registering children in the Board’s Kindergartens receive notification from their schools of spring orientation evenings. These school-based evenings are intended for meeting other families and staff, for providing information about school and Kindergarten classroom routines and for describing a “typical” day in that classroom. A winter meeting is held for Halton parents of Kindergarten-aged children with special needs. The date, time and location are noted in on the Board website.
Entry to Kindergarten in September is a gradual process. The process varies depending on whether the school has Full-Day Every Day or Full-Day Alternate Day Kindergarten. Schools provide information about the gradual entry process.
Children and teachers go outside in all kinds of weather – dressing for the weather is important. Unless there is a medical reason, for the safety of children and educators, independence in toileting is required in Kindergarten. This means the child is free of diapers and pull ups, determines his/her own needs and completes toileting independently. Check the Halton Region website regarding common parenting challenges including toileting.