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Early Learning

Early Learning Program

The Child Development Centre is proud to provide the community of Fort St. John with a fully integrated preschool program that specializes in serving children ages 3-5 with both typical and special needs.

Click here to view our ELP Family Handbook. 

The Child Development Centre is proud to provide the community of Fort St. John with an Inclusive play-based program where all children (3- 5-year-old) and their families are welcomed, supported, and valued. The Centre staff work together to support children of all abilities as they engage in opportunities to learn through play.

We believe that children are unique, capable individuals who have a right to quality care and education. We believe in working in partnership with families to provide quality care and safe experiences for the development of the whole child. We believe that healthy relationships with educators and peers are the foundation of learning.
We support exploration of nature and believe that outdoor play is a cornerstone for children’s development. We believe in fostering a learning environment where children of all abilities can grow and develop in a fully integrated and inclusive classroom.

What Our Program Looks Like

An Engaging Envrionment: We believe that an engaging environment is an important piece of children’s learning. Our environments consider children’s abilities and interests and are set up to encourage creative play and exploration.

• Free Play/Choice Time: We give the children plenty of time to explore and play in their environment. As a play-based program, we believe that the time dedicated to play is time dedicated to learning!

Group Time: We gather as large and small groups to do activities such as songs, games, stories, books, rhymes, and finger plays. This time is also used to discuss upcoming events, introduce new topics, and go over other classroom happenings.

Gross Motor Play: We have daily activities and opportunities in our classroom for gross motor play, as well as time outside and/or in the gym.

• Risky Play:
We encourage children to challenge themselves and take risks in a safe environment Physically, by climbing a little higher, running a little faster, or jumping a little further, and engaging in messy activities; Emotionally, by feeling out of control or overcoming fear; Mentally, by learning how to get out of trouble, and by learning their own boundaries and that of the environment around them.

• Nature Based Experiences:
We bring in natural materials for the children to interact with and investigate and engage in projects throughout the year to show children our relationship with the natural world around us.

• Invitations to Play: We set up play experiences designed to invite children to investigate and interact with different materials and resources. These invitations include sensory play, new tools/materials, and loose parts.

• Classroom Jobs:
Because the classroom belongs to everyone, taking care of it is a shared responsibility. All children participate in daily tasks such as cleaning up and putting away personal belongings. Each classroom also has specific jobs that children will get a chance to do throughout the year.

• Open-Ended Arts and Crafts: We provide and set up art materials for children to have access to as they choose. We invite children to create art without setting specific, prescribed outcomes. We will occasionally use printed patterns; we will not use coloring sheets.

• Social/Emotional Skill Development:
Throughout the year we will implement a few programs and lessons dedicated to helping children develop their social and emotional skills. We will share with children several strategies and tools to use, as well as help them understand their own emotions.

• Diversity and Cultural Awareness: Our classroom, program, and Centre are a diverse community of unique and special people with differing abilities and from different backgrounds. We accept, respect, and appreciate everyone’s cultures and beliefs and encourage them to share their families’ experiences and stories.

• Cooking and Baking: We regularly cook and bake with the children, inviting them to be a part of the whole process while teaching them about health and safety.

• Field Trips and Community Visitors:
We have at least two field trips a year (one of which is to the Cultural Centre for our talent show rehearsal). We might also go on outings/walks into the community. During the year we have a few visitors come into our Centre from the community to share their unique expertise with the children.

• Documentation of Learning:
Learning is documented and shared in a variety of ways which could include photos, learning stories, journaling, or portfolios. We work to incorporate pedagogical narration into our programming.

 If you would like more information please feel free to contact us at:

Child Development Centre
10417106th Ave
Fort St. John, BC V1J 2M8
PH: 250.785-3200
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Confidentiality Notice

All information and documentation shared with the Child Development is kept completely confidential, including applications and referrals.