Early Learners Outdoor Playschool

In response to COVID-19 our Early Learners Playschool has transitioned to Early Learners Outdoor Playschool and will run almost exclusively outdoors. This play-orientated, learning program for three-and-four year olds promotes outdoor learning in a friendly, positive and fun-filled atmosphere. This program is available at two different recreation facilities in the City, The Recreation Complex and Glenayre Centre. 

Registration for the 2020-2021 Early Learner programs started on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 8am. 

Early Learners Outdoor Playschool
Early Learners Playschool Outside
Early Learners Outdoor Playschool

About our Playschool

What is Outdoor Playschool?
  • Outdoor Playschool is a type of preschool education for children between the ages of three and five that is held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest or park environment. 
  • Outdoor Playschool is a preschool "without a ceiling or walls". Our staff and children spend their time outdoors, typically in a forest or park. A distinctive feature of Outdoor Playschool is the emphasis on play with objects that can be found in nature, rather than commercial toys. Despite these differences, Outdoor Playschool is meant to fulfill the same basic purpose as other preschools, namely, to care for, stimulate, and educate young children.

Benefits of Outdoor, Play-based Learning

  • Improved confidence, social skills, communication, motivation and concentration
  • Improved physical stamina, fine and gross motor skills
  • Positive identity formation for individuals and communities
  • Increased knowledge of environment, increased frequency of visiting nature within families 
  • Healthy and safe risk taking 
  • Improved creativity and resilience 
  • Improved academic achievement and self-regulation
  • Reduced stress and increased patience, self-discipline, capacity for attention and recovery from mental fatigue
  • Improved higher level cognitive skills

Source: Forest and Nature School in Canada, June 2014

A typical Early Learners Outdoor Playschool Day

Your little one will arrive in their muddy buddy on a rainy, warm October day. The leaves have started to change colour and drop to the ground.

The teacher shares a handful of leaves in a variation of colours with the students and asks if anyone can help identify the type of leaf it may be and highlight some of its identifying features. The children collect, sort and identify their own leaves and look into the treetops to see which tree they fell from and why it fell in the first place.

After sorting and building the fallen leaves into size, shape, colour and discuss how some fit in all categories and some fit in only one or none, children will hear a story about trees, birds, and butterflies who live in and around the trees.

Sitting in a circle under the shelter of the trees to wash their hands and get out their snacks, the children begin to share and listen to one another’s stories about their discoveries. After snack, they make "stick butterflies" with the found leaves and sticks and fly them around an open field next to the trees. 

The children discover that the field features a mud puddle they can play in. One child jumps into the middle, getting her boot stuck—a fact that she announces with relish. She’s a little frustrated when it won’t come out, so the teacher asks everyone how they would get their boots unstuck. The other children join in, standing around the edges of the puddle or splashing into the middle. There’s a stump of a tree beside the field, and one of the children decides that he’ll paint it with mud. Soon, many of the children are placing mud on the stump.

All the while, our teachers are observing the student’s interactions, creations and participation in the days activities.

At the end of the day children and teachers will regroup and sit down to reflect on the day’s events. Teachers will listen and document the interests and carry the theme or idea into the next lesson. Students will be dismissed with a question and the passion to share their new knowledge with their family.

What to Bring to Outdoor Playschool

Daily Supply List:

  • Small backpack to carry with chest strap
  • Refillable easy flip top lid water bottle, half-filled for easier carrying
  • Nut-free snack
  • Whistle
  • A complete change of clothes, including socks and underwear (in a large Ziploc)
  • Small cloth for hand drying

In colder weather, every child must bring daily:

  • Waterproof boots, coat, pants or muddy buddy
  • Warm layers such as fleece or wool, no cotton
  • Gloves/mittens and well fitted toque

Warm Weather Essentials:

  • Brimmed hat
  • Sunscreen either already applied or in the backpack
  • Close toed shoes (no sandals please)
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Extra sweater
  • Raincoat tied to their backpack if necessary
 2020-2021 Playschool Calendar

Early Learners Outdoor Playschool Program follows the School District closure calendar including provincial and district-wide professional days, as well as spring and winter breaks. We are closed on statutory holidays.

 

Date Event
Tuesday, September 8 Playschool Open for the school year
Friday, September 25 Playschool CLOSED for a Professional Development Day
Monday, October 12 Playschool CLOSED for Thanksgiving Day
Friday, October 23 Playschool CLOSED for a Professional Development Day
Wednesday, November 11 Playschool CLOSED for Remembrance Day

Monday, December 21 - Friday, January 1

Playschool CLOSED for Winter Break
Monday, January 4 Playschool OPEN after Winter Break
Monday, February 15 Playschool CLOSED for Family Day
Friday, February 26 Playschool CLOSED for a Professional Development Day

Monday, March 22 - Monday, April 5

Playschool CLOSED for Spring Break and Easter 
Tuesday, April 6 Playschool OPEN after Spring Break and Easter 
Friday, April 23 Playschool CLOSED for a Professional Development Day
Monday, May 24 Playschool CLOSED for Victoria Day
Tuesday, June 29 Last day of school for all students

**Please note: Two additional school-based non-instructional days will be selected by each school. Playschool is in session on school-based non-instructional day

COVID-19 Measures

Special measures will be in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including, physical distancing when possible and frequent hand washing. Please note that physical distancing will be strongly encouraged but not enforced, as some physical contact during games and activities is unavoidable. 

City staff responsible for planning and teaching Early Learners Outdoor Playschool will adhere to all provincial health and safety guidelines such as those outlined in the Recreation and Parks Sector Guideline for Restarting Operations published by the BC Recreation and Parks Association as well as B.C.'s Back to School Plan published by The Government of British Columbia.  If you have any questions about the health and safety measures that will be in place for Early Learners Outdoor Playschool, please call 604-469-4715.

Contact Details

Program Email: earlylearners@portmoody.ca

Main office Phone: (604)469-4715

Playschool Supervisor: Deanna Haddon dhaddon@portmoody.ca or 604-469-4611

Playschool Programmer: Angela Blackall ablackall@portmoody.ca or 604-469-4715

Fees and schedule

The preschool term is September through June and follows the School District 43 closure calendar including provincial and district-wide professional days as well as spring and winter breaks. Preschools are closed on statutory holidays. 

 Recreation Complex

If your child is three years old, the playschool program costs $100.65 each month and is offered on Tuesday and Thursday from:

  • 9:15am to 11:15am or
  • 12:30pm to 2:30pm

Child must be three years old prior to December 31, 2020 – no exceptions.

If your child is four years old, the playschool program costs $153.50 each month and is offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from:

  • 9:15am to 11:30am or
  • 12:15pm to 2:30pm

Child must be four years old prior to December 31, 2020 – no exceptions.

 Glenayre Centre

If your child is three years old, the playschool program costs $100.65 each month and is offered on Tuesday and Thursday from:

  • 9:15am to 11:15am

Child must be three years old prior to December 31, 2020 – no exceptions.

If your child is four years old, the playschool program costs $153.50 each month and is offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from:

  • 9:15am to 11:30am

Child must be four years old prior to December 31, 2020 – no exceptions.

Registration, Payment and Withdrawal

 Registration

Registration for the 2020-2021 Early Learner programs starts on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 8am. 

Students must be three or four years old prior to December 31. The first months payment is non-refundable and due at the time of registration.

Children who are registered and complete the 3-year-old program are guaranteed a spot at the same location and time for the 4-year-old program. Registration is still required for the reserved space.

Once registration has been completed, you will have seven working days to provide us with:

  • digitally signed payment plan paperwork
  • a Birth Certificate or BC Services Card for age verification
 Payment

Fees can be paid in full or a monthly payment plan is available. Monthly payment plan can be made by credit card or Debit Mastercard and VISA Debit.

Fees are divided into ten equal payments; therefore fees are the same each month and not prorated regardless of the number of holidays/professional days observed or date of registration.

Your pre-authorized payment will be deducted on the first of each month.

If the fee has not been authorized by the third working day of the month, this may cause your child's participation to be suspended until full payment is received.

Additional nominal fees may be required for fieldtrips throughout the year.

 Withdrawal

We require a 30-day, at first of the month, withdrawal notice. There is no refund for partial months due to vacation or illness.

Withdrawal requests must be made directly to earlylearners@portmoody.ca

September payment is non-refundable.