Information for Guardians of Kindergarten Students 2021-2022

Coming to Kindergarten

The Journey Begins

Starting Kindergarten is a big adventure for you and your child. All the new services and routines can be confusing.

This site is designed to give you an idea of what’s ahead. We invite you to use this guide to begin your child’s journey to school.


If you have not done so already, the first step to starting school is registration.

Kindergarten registration began the first week of January and is online only. You’ll need one of the following – your child’s Birth Certificate, Passport, Immigration Canada document, Certificate of Citizenship or Permanent Resident Card and two different documents that provide proof of residency.

Register at

If you have questions please email

Gradual Entry

In most schools, a gradual entry system is scheduled to try to ensure that new Kindergarten students feel comfortable and confident in their new classroom.  Gradual entry begins with an opportunity to meet and talk with the Kindergarten teacher(s), followed by gradual periods of time that are built upon over the first days of Kindergarten.

Children also begin coming to school in smaller groups. This allows them to become familiar with their new school environment, classroom, school staff, and new friends. Children come in small groups for partial days, gradually increasing the length of time each day in the classroom. The first full day of Kindergarten is typically the Wednesday of the second week of school.

Where needed, the entry routine for your child may be adjusted depending on the needs of individual children.

A Typical Day in Kindergarten

happy boy drawing
  • Morning routines: changing shoes, hanging up their coat, beginning morning circle or soft start activities such as a ‘morning table’.
  • Play-based literacy and math activities.
  • Whole group songs, stories, poems, and dances.
  • Choice Time/ Centres.
  • Outdoor play and learning experiences.
  • Snack and Lunch.
  • Whole class inquiries for science and social studies activities.
  • Quiet time activities in the afternoon.
  • Going to the library to borrow books.
  • Going to music and gym.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The kindergarten class will have a washroom in the classroom or close to the classroom. Children are expected to be independent with personal toileting- close the door, use the toilet, flush, and wash their hands. The routine for individual classrooms will be reviewed by the classroom teacher as we begin school.

    *Some children may not be independent with toileting for various reasons- medical condition, readiness issues etc. If your child is not yet independent with their toileting abilities please be sure to inform the school prior to school entry so that we can develop a plan together.

  • Twice a day your child will go outside for recess. This may include the playground and the field.
  • There is supervision for all students during recess. Supervisors wear a safety vest so they are easily identified.
  • There is also outdoor supervision for 15 minutes before and after the school day as all children arrive and leave each day.
  • Please send a pair of non skid velcro runners or good fitting slip on shoes to be worn in the classroom and gym.
  • Choose a backpack that is the right size for your child; too large makes it hard to carry, too small makes it difficult for them to pack up and manage their belongings. Possible items that go back and forth between school and home are: a lunch kit, a library book, and a Back and Forth folder.
  • Select lunch kits and containers that your child can easily open and close. Practice using them and putting them back into the kit.
  • Provide a change of clothes labeled with your child’s name in a bag.
  • Dress for play. In Kindergarten we are active and often get messy with paint, playdough, markers, mud and more.
  • If your child lives more than 4.0km from your catchment school, your child will be able to take the bus to and from school.
  • You can read more and register your child for a bus pass by visiting the information for parents page here 

The School Act states that parents/guardians must enroll their child in an educational program, provided by a Board of Education, on the first school day of a school year if, on or before December 31st of that school year, their child will have reached the age of 5 years.

The School Act also states that parents/guardians, of a child this age, may defer the enrolment of their child until the first school day of the next school year, when you may choose to register your child in either Kindergarten or Grade One.

If you are wishing to delay school enrollment for your five-year-old child, we request that you meet with your child’s catchment area school principal.

We encourage you to take this opportunity for a meaningful consultation regarding the programming we provide in Kindergarten, future placement and educational considerations, and also the program you would be providing at home, if you elect for that choice. This conversation would include, but not be limited to:

  • Understanding a Play Based Learning Environment;
  • Social emotional learning strategies;
  • Personalization of learning strategies and individual education planning;
  • Supports available if at school;
  • Placement considerations when returning to school; and,
  • Educational considerations resulting from a one-year delayed entry.

According to the Ministry of Education, children are 15% less likely to graduate on time if they are held back before grade 5.  The table below summarizes some of the research with respect to delayed entry to kindergarten:

Potential benefits of a delayed start:

  • Delaying school start may benefit children with significant developmental delays who will receive intensive early intervention in the preschool setting.
  • Students with significant challenges with self regulation may show lower levels of inattention and hyperactivity after a delayed entry to school. 
  • Students born between the beginning of October and the end of the December may have lagging motor skills, social skills and self regulation skills than their peers. Some of these students may struggle to meet the demands of kindergarten.

Potential outcomes of a delayed start:

  • Delaying entry to school also delays early intervention and supports that can be provided through the school team. Delayed entry is of less benefit for students who have lagging social skills, but do not have specific medical or developmental diagnosis.
  • Often, students with lagging social skills are bright academically, and thrive when given opportunities to explore the learning opportunities provided in school. As children develop at different rates, the gap with peers often narrows as they mature over time. There is little evidence that it makes a long-term difference in terms of academic learning or social development after grade 5.
  • As children develop at different rates, the gap with peers often narrows as they mature over time. There is little evidence that it makes a long-term difference in terms of academic learning or social development after grade 5.

 The continuum of learning in the primary years is deliberately broad, as young learners all reach the developmental milestones in their own time and pace.  Many students who seem behind at school entry catch up with peers given time and the opportunity to practice new skills with others. 

We appreciate you taking the time to meet with us for this important discussion, so you can make the most informed decision for your child.

Please keep in mind that, upon returning your child to school following a delayed entry year, it will be presumed that your child will be placed in grade 1 with their age group peers. Should you wish, at this point, to have a Kindergarten entry considered for your child, it is required that you meet with your child’s catchment area school principal.


You’re Not Alone

School staff highly value the information that you give us about your child. 

Please reach out to the school team to share information that may help your child transition smoothly.

This could include any involvement with outside services, what language is spoken at home, or unique family dynamics.  All this information helps a school team best plan for your child.  You are the parent; you know your child best.

If your child has some diverse abilities and/or you would like to know more about resources in the school system, please click the button below.

You are the guardian; you know your child .

Countdown to Kindergarten

Days Until Kindergarten

January to June

February / March

  • Attend Ready, Set, Learn events at your school
  • Healthy Start to Learning Fair Wednesday Feb 3 6:30-7:30 pm and Saturday, March 6 11:00am- noon. Held virtually with Zoom register at
  • Wednesday, March 10, 6:00 -7:30 p.m. Information Night virtually with  the Nanaimo Child Development Centre (NCDC)

April / May

  • Attend Ready, Set, Learn events at your school
  • Healthy Start to Learning Fair Wednesday, April 7 12:30-1:30 pm. Held virtually with Zoom register at


  • Attend Welcome to Kindergarten events as invited
  • Healthy Start to Learning Fair Thursday May 13  |  10:00 – 11:00 am. Held virtually with Zoom register at
  • Healthy Start to Learning Fair Wednesday, June 9,  |  3:30 – 4:30 pm. Held virtually with Zoom register at 
    (Ready, Set, Learn with focus on Play and Play based learning)

July/ August

  • Family time—rest and relaxation
  • Talk about starting Kindergarten—highlight the positives
  • Find everyday moments to practice routines such as putting on indoor shoes, using lunch kits, and toileting.


  • Kindergarten begins–gradual entry at most schools
  • Kindergarten students will be attending full time by Wednesday, September 15th


  • Teachers/support staff get to know your child
  • Formative Assessment (Parent-Teacher) conferences