Prekindergarten uses a wide range of best educational practices to support young children’s total development. Prekindergarten increases future school success and life-long learning. It provides a program which is designed for three-year-olds and four-year-olds and is responsive to the needs of individual children in a learning environment that is nurturing and caring. The focus is on the healthy development of the whole child – physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.
Family members and caregivers are encouraged to be actively involved in both the program and in the development of their children. They are provided with opportunities to further develop their parenting skills. There are also opportunities for social and health supports.
The program is funded by the Ministry of Education through the Sun West School Division. Currently there are three prekindergarten classrooms in the school division located in Biggar, Kindersley and Rosetown. A number of local agencies within these communities as well as Heartland Health Region and the Ministry of Social Services share with the Sun West School Division in the development and support for the prekindergarten program.
1Adapted from Saskatchewan Learning (1997). Better Beginnings, Better Futures: Best Practices, Policy and Guidelines for Prekindergarten in Saskatchewan Community Schools.
Increased School and Life Success for Vulnerable Children:
Vulnerable children are able to achieve their full potential and to succeed in school and in life due to appropriate developmental opportunities and supports provided for them at an early age.
High Quality Prekindergarten Programming:
Prekindergarten early childhood programming is of the highest quality. It is holistic, responsive, developmentally appropriate, and culturally affirming. It is delivered in a safe, caring, nurturing environment. Prekindergarten provides young children with the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual supports they require.
Increased Parenting Effectiveness and Shared Responsibility:
Through their active involvement in the prekindergarten program, parents enhance their parenting skills and share responsibility for the well-being and education of their children.
PREKINDERGARTEN AT A GLANCE
What Prekindergarten Is:
- Family involvement central: Home Visits and Family Days are regularly scheduled
- Active parent/community council, community partnerships, and shared ownership
- Integrated health, social, and educational supports provided
- Developmentally-appropriate education:
- comprehensive integrated program within a prepared environment
- child-centered, self-directed choice
- active, experiential learning through play
- focused on development of the whole child; physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual
- Honoring of all cultures
- Mixed age groupings
- A minimum of 12 hours per week
- Staff with teaching degree
- Access to disciplines, such as an early childhood psychologist and a speech-language pathologist
A child meeting one of the following will be considered for entrance:
- Family has low socio-economic status
- Mother has less than a high school education
- Home language other than English
- Mother is young and unmarried
- Lone parent
- Child abuse or neglect
- Family crisis
- Child/Family isolation
- Child experiencing challenges in areas such as social-emotional and language development
- Identified special needs
- A traumatic experience within or impacting the family/child
- Parent experiencing behavioral difficulties with the child
- Family coping with cross cultural barriers
- Heartland Health Region (Public Health Nurse, Family Support Worker, Early Childhood Therapist)
- Ministry of Social Services
- Parent Support Programs
- Licensed daycares and play school
Principles of Selection
- To serve children with the greatest need
- To achieve balance in age, gender and needs
A committee comprised of representatives of the referring agencies will meet to select children to be included in the class.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are all children eligible for prekindergarten?
No. Prekindergarten is a needs-based program with specific criteria for entry.
Who may refer children to the program?
Any agency, with the consent of the family or the parent(s). Parents may also refer their children to the program.
Where can referral forms be obtained?
Biggar Central School 2000, Westberry School, Elizabeth School, Walter Aseltine School, St. Gabriel School, the Biggar Family Support Centre, Public Health offices, and the School Division Office. If a child is already attending a licensed daycare or playschool, the referral is done most effectively in consultation with that provider.
Is transportation to the prekindergarten program provided?
Transportation may be provided within the communities of Kindersley, Biggar and Rosetown. Funding from the Ministry is not currently provided for transportation outside of the town limits.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Sun West School Division
Biggar Central School 2000
Walter Aseltine School