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.
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 for caregivers and children to meet and talk with the Kindergarten teacher(s), followed by gradual periods of time for the children to attend that are built upon over the first days of Kindergarten.
In most schools, 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 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
- 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.
Delaying Kindergarten Enrollment
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 best
Countdown to Kindergarten
January to June
January to May
- Attend Ready, Set, Learn events in Nanaimo this spring. These are free events for families with 3–5-year-olds.
- Attend a Ready, Set, Learn event in Ladysmith February 15, 2023. This is a free event for families with 3-year olds.
- Attend a Ready, Set, Learn event in Ladysmith May 15. More information to follow.
- Attend Welcome to Kindergarten events as invited
- 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
- Teachers/support staff get to know your child
- Formative Assessment (Parent-Teacher) conferences