Needham Preschool offers three distinct, quality programs. We offer two 'Preschool Programs' that are developed according to the developmental capabilities of three to five year old children. We offer a 'Morning Preschool Program' that creates part time flexible care for families only requiring part day care. Our second 'Preschool Program' offers full day care on a full time and part time basis, but all seats are full day care. Once children become of school age we offer a more challenging program known as the 'School Age Program'. The maximum age of a 'School Age' child is twelve years of age. All of our programs are reviewed by the Director and the Department of Community Services on a regular basis. We always appreciate having parental feedback on our programs.
Full Day Preschool Program: 3 to 5 Years
Teacher to Child Ratio: 1 Teacher to 8 Children
The preschool program revolves around the children's interests throughout the year. Through teacher observations of children's play and conversations, notes are made on possibilities of what should be explored during shared group time, that is 'Circle'. Our programming has a balance between teacher directed and child directed activities. The children are encouraged to choose between activities on a daily basis, as well as participate in 'Circle' time. We have weekly/monthly themes that are distributed in calendar format. The calendar is sent home prior to the next month, to encourage verbal interaction between child and parent/guardian about what is discussed, investigated and shared at preschool. We believe in making meaningful connections for every child in attendance at Needham Preschool. In order to make these connections we need the assistance of you, the parents/guardian. So, please post the calendar on your fridge and discuss with your children what happened in preschool that day, and what will happen in preschool the next day.
Outside of programming within the children's interests, we focus on 'School Readiness'. The majority of the children that attend the preschool program are either attending 'Big School' in the current year or the next. It is the goal of the staff to facilitate the alphabet, numbers from 1 through to 20, the days of the week, the months in a year, printing of first and last names, verbal awareness of home phone numbers and addresses. By the time your children attend their first day of 'Big School', it is our hope that your children will have grasped the above concepts, or be well on the way to grasping such concepts.
Additionally, through the association with Needham Recreation Centre, we are able to offer a variety of gross motor activities which include: swimming, an on-site gymnasium, dance studio and an outdoor enclosed playground. Weekly outings are also part of the program so that the children learn more about our community as well as our environment.
The Full Day Preschool Program runs from 7:30 a.m. through to 5:30 p.m. We offer full time child care, which is Mondays through to Fridays, and part time child care, that is at least two full days per week. Part time seats are limited and consist of two combinations: Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday and Thursday. The fees for part time care differ from that of full time care, please refer to fee section.
School Age Program Affiliated with Saint Joseph A. MacKay:
5 to 12 Years Teacher to Child
Ratio: 1 Teacher to 15 Children
The School Age Program varies according to the time of year. During the regular school year, September through to June, the program is based on a quality driven philosophy. The programming is age appropriate while surrounding the interests of the children. During the school year there is not an abundance of programming for this program as the children are in school for 80% of their day. Once the children return to the preschool in the afternoon the activities are child directed, where the choice is the child's to either create art, explore science concepts, manipulate materials, read and produce story boards, play outside on our playground, participate in gymnasium or dance studio activities. We give children the CHOICE to complete homework from school. Consequently, if the child chooses to participate in the planned activity for that afternoon homework will not be completed. The school age program swims on Thursdays and Fridays, and has Creative Art or Science Mondays, Gym Time or Free Play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If children are unable to participate in swim they MUST be picked up early prior to the activity beginning.
The School Age Program runs from 7:30 a.m. through to 5:30 p.m. All school age children will attend the centre full time, which is Monday through to Friday. Part time care is not available. However, to better meet the varying needs of our school age families you have a few options for school age child care. The options are as follows:
- Your family has the option for Full Day Service: where early drop off is available, lunch pick up and after school care is provided. Please refer to fee section for cost.
- If an early drop off is not necessary, you have the option of Part Day Service: lunch pick up and after school care is provided. Please refer to fee section for cost.
The daily schedule for school age care begins with an early drop off, drop off begins at 7:30 a.m.. The children will have free choice to engage in activities until 8:30 a.m. where the school age educator walks the children directly to Saint Joseph A. MacKay school. Our educator will wait on the school playgrounds until all children have entered the school building.
For lunch, our staff returns to the school with hot lunch. We have a designated classroom that we use during lunch time for the whole group. Depending on the weather, after lunch has been served the children will either play on the play ground or the teachers will have activities on hand, for those rainy or very cold days. After school, your children will be picked up by the staff once again and walked back to the centre. The group will arrive back to the centre between 3:50 p.m. and 4:00 p.m..
The preschool offers guaranteed care for school closures. Specifically, professional development days, parent teacher interviews that the school closes for part days, emergency school evacuations, and storm days providing the preschool does not close. Additionally, Christmas Break, March Break and Summer Care is available. The School Age Summer Program and Inservice Day Programs have one goal in mind: Have FUN while Learning! For at least three days of the week, the Summer Program is full with educational and fun outings, as well as swims. Monthly Calendars will be distributed for your reference and discussion with your children. As mentioned above, the programming is age appropriate while surrounding the interests of the children.
Morning Preschool Readiness Program
Needham Preschool offers a preschool morning program for those families that would like their children to be introduced to a group play setting with children in the same developmental range. We offer a morning program Monday through to Friday mornings with all key areas of learning in mind for the developing preschool child. Your child will have access to sand and water play, paint, craft materials, playdough, puzzles, games ,a dramatic play area with puppets and dress up clothes. A block area, as well as a library filled with language art materials. In addition to our stimulating classroom your child will experience gross motor in our gymnasium, swimming in the on-site pool, dancing and music in our dance studio as well as healthy baking choices in our on-site kitchen. Our primary goal is to provide quality child care while assisting families, and their children, for integration into group settings, like elementary school. Additionally, to have FUN!
What is Our Daily Schedule for the Morning Preschool Program?
Arrival Time: 8:45 a.m. Welcome & Freeplay in Classroom
Morning Snack: 09:00 a.m. - 09:30 a.m. Snack - 3 Food Groups (YUMMY)
Open Creative Activity: 09:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Gross Motor Activities: 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (this includes swim on Tuesdays, gym and playground)
Large Group time begins about 11:45 am and consists of games, songs, finger plays. During this time the children have the opportunity to practice working together, in a group, turn taking, and sharing thoughts and ideas.
Lunch is served between 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm
Open Creative Activity: 12:30 pm- 1:00pm
When is our Morning Preschool Program?
Our Preschool Morning Program will be from 08:45 a.m. through to 1:00 p.m. every day of the week, that is Monday through to Friday.
Where will the Morning Program be?
The morning program will be housed in our School Age classroom while the school age children are in school. Due to the program being in a shared space the Preschool Morning Program will follow the exact same school year calendar that Saint Joseph's A. MacKay Elementary School and St. Stephen's Elementary School follows.. Families, of the preschool morning program, will NOT be billed for any days that our school age children are on-site for Professional Development Days/Inservice Days, Christmas Break, March Break and summer holidays.
What will Happen on Days that Elementary Schools Are Closed but Needham Preschool is Open?
In the event that the Halifax Regional School Board closes all Metro schools due to inclement weather, the Morning Preschool Program will be cancelled as well. Any days missed by children, due to school board closure, will be added onto the end of the calendar school year as a 'make-up' day.
In the event that Needham Preschool and Day Care closes due to inclement weather, parents are still required to pay the daily fee for the morning preschool program.