We offer four stimulating and engaging programs:
- Toddler mornings (18 months to 30 months)
- Pre-school mornings; school readiness programs (2 ½ years to 5 years)
- Beginner French pre-school afternoons; school readiness programs (2 ½ years to 5 years)
- Full day programs (Monday-Thursday 9-3:00 or 9:30-3:30 and Friday 9-11:30 etc)
The following information is relevant to all our programs.
School Year and Closures
The year starts in September after Labour Day and continues until the 3rd week of June. The school follows the Ottawa-Carleton District Board of Education calendar of closures, plus two additional closure dates as follows: Thanksgiving, the third Thursday afternoon and Friday in November (annual Church bazaar), Christmas break, Family Day and March break, Good Friday, Easter Monday and Victoria Day. The school may also closed for one floating Professional Development Day for the staff. The school may also be closed due to severe weather condition or natural disasters.
This may be your child’s first experience in a group setting on their own. Children react differently to separation from their parent and/or caregiver. Our goal is to make your child’s entry into the program as comfortable and positive as possible.
The children are gradually integrated into their program during the month of September. Each child will be invited to visit the school accompanied by a parent/caregiver for a short orientation session held during their program’s regular school hours. This visit allows the child to explore the environment and become familiar with the teachers and the surroundings while parents are likewise introduced to the staff and tour the facility.
Plan to spend some time integrating your child into the program, slowly if necessary. Some children will be fine if you leave after the first visit, others will need more time. The following suggestions may help the transition into the program for both you and your child.
- Explore the environment together. Allow your child to hold your hand and walk around the rooms looking at the activities. As your child becomes more comfortable, begin to move away. If you station yourself in one area, your child will know where you are and will begin to explore from the secure base that you provide.
- If your child would like to participate in an activity, join in if your company is requested.
- Some children prefer to watch other children at play. In this case, sit down with your child and talk quietly about what you are seeing. Please do not pressure your child to join in. Participation will come when your child feels comfortable.
- When your child appears happy and comfortable feel free to leave. Please say goodbye to your child and inform a teacher that you are leaving.
- Sometimes a child will cry for a few minutes after a parent leaves the room. If you are concerned about this, please wait in a nearby area where we can call you if necessary. The teachers are aware of and are sympathetic to separation anxiety and are willing to help guide you and your child.
As a convenience to parents with children registered in one of our preschool programs, we offer a lunch time program Monday through Thursday from 11:30 am to 12:30pm. The fee is $15/day or $100/month for 2 days/week option. Parents are responsible for providing a nut-free, nutritious lunch for their child with ice packs to keep children’s food at a safe temperature.
The children have apple juice, cheese and Christie/Dare (i.e., nut-free) brand crackers for their snack. The toddlers also have eaten apple slices and rice crackers. Parents are responsible for donating these items to the school according to a schedule provided in September. Water is available to the children at any time during school hours. Parents are invited to provide special snacks at any time during the school year, to help celebrate their child’s birthday or any other special event. However, all food brought to the school must be store-bought and labelled nut-free.
St. Thomas the Apostle Nursery School will make every effort to accept and accommodate children with special needs into the program. We work in collaboration with Children’s Integration Support Services (upon approval of funding) in order to create a positive and supportive environment that meets the child’s specific needs.