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Parent Handbook (Gracepoint Location)


At Ellerslie Road Preschool, it is our goal to provide a program where children are able to grow and develop in their own unique ways to become a part of our local and global community. We recognize and follow the Alberta Curriculum "Flight" framework, and we are Reggio inspired. We strive to meet the needs of the whole child, including their physical and emotional well being. 

We believe that children learn best through play experiences, and so we plan fun, engaging and open-ended activities which support the development of each child, in a flexible environment. 

We strive to instill in each child a sense of self confidence, kindness, and security in our preschool environment. 

As an important part of Edmonton's southwest community, we see the importance of strong relationships with our families, and other community members. 

As a licensed preschool center, we follow the Alberta Childcare licensing handbook, the Early Learning and Childcare Act, as well as all Alberta Health Care regulations. 

Program Days and Hours 


Tuesday / Thursday am or pm 


Monday / Wednesday / Friday am or pm 

Children must be at least 3 years of age (as of Dec 31) and potty trained to attend our program. 

School Hours 

Morning classes 8:45 am - 10:45 am or 9:00 am – 11:00 am Afternoon classes 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm or 12:45 pm – 2:45 pm 

Pre-School Year 

Our Preschool year runs September through until the end of May. We typically follow the Edmonton School Board calendar (except for PD days). We are closed for Stat. holidays, 2 weeks at Christmas and a week at Spring Break. We are closed for 2 days of Teachers convention. We will be adding 1-2 non-instructional days. Our Website has the year at a glance calendar with important dates noted. 

Drop Off & Pick Up 

Prior to class, teachers are busy getting the classroom ready. We ask that you arrive no more that 5 minutes before the start of class. Please park in the designated parking lot and use the preschool doors only. The doors will be unlocked 5 minutes before class time and will lock 10 minutes after class begins. (Please see Security). Having your child stop for a bathroom break before school is recommended. 

*Your child is your responsibility until class begins, please do not allow your child to run in the building, or climb on furnishings. We want to be respectful of the building, and those working there.* 

Registration Process 

For children already attending and who will be returning the following year, there is a pre-registration time in January Parents/Guardians will be notified of the date in the monthly newsletter, usually December's. After that allotted time, registration will be opened to the public. 

Tuition and Fees 

Our tuition is noted on our website. We also have government grants and subsidies available. We do charge a fee of $25 for both a third party letter or reprinted tax receipt 

Late Fees: 

We expect parents to be on time; if parents are late picking-up their child, there will be a charge of $25 after 10 minutes and $25 for every 15 minutes thereafter will be applied. If parents are continuously late, a discussion will be held with the Director, as to how to remedy the situation. 


We ask for at least one calendar month’s notice should you need to withdraw your child. 


Play clothes are essential to preschool. Please dress your child in comfortable clothes that you are ok with getting dirty or messy. While we encourage the use of paint and water shirts, sometimes children do get dirty! Please send an extra set of clothing as spills happen. All articles must be labelled with your child's name. We do ask that shoes be clean when worn inside. 

We encourage you and your preschooler to practice getting ready for outdoor winter play. We suggest the order: snow pants, boots, coat, hat mittens. It’s never too late to start practicing and fostering independence. Toileting 

Your child must be toilet trained to attend our program. You will be contacted if your child has an accident. Because independent use of the bathroom is encouraged, including wiping, we ask that you ensure your child wears clothing that is easy for them to get in and out of. A few minutes at home practicing with buttons, zippers and snaps is helpful. 


In our 2 hour program we do not offer snack time as we prefer to use our time in fun activities. Once a month we celebrate all birthdays within that month. We will provide a small snack such as a fruit and a cookie. This will be posted on our white board or communicated via newsletter 

Teacher Communication 

The teachers will communicate through monthly newsletters and updates on the daily white board outside each classroom. Email is the best and most efficient way to communicate with the teachers if you have questions or concerns. A quick check in after class is welcomed, but we do ask that you are respectful of our staff’s time. 


If your child is sick they must stay home. If your child has a communicable disease, you must observe quarantine regulations, as set by AHS: 24 hours since the last symptom. The following are signs that indicate a communicable disease: earache, vomiting, fever, cough, unusual drowsiness, loss of appetite, sore throat, red or runny eyes, headache, irritability, rash, runny nose of yellow or green, and diarrhea. If a child displays any of these symptoms, we will call you to come and pick them up. 

If a child in our care displays symptoms of, or we have been made aware of, head lice, chicken pox, impetigo and pink eye, your child's teacher will send home a letter (as per AHS requirement). 

Please ensure that you are regularly checking your child’s hair for evidence of head lice, or nits. If you discover lice or nits, please let us know. Your child will be able to return to school after the hair has been treated and the nits removed. We understand that this is a difficult topic, but happens in many childcare and school environments. 

*All matters regarding your child will be handled in confidence* Preparing for Pre-school 

Some children do experience separation anxiety. We understand it can be hard for both parent and child to say good bye. It is our experience that a quick good bye at the door, leaving the trained staff to handle the situation, is best. Books such as: The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Moe Willems; The Invisible String by Patrice Karst or Llama Llama misses Mama by Anna Dewdney can help. Consistent attendance, being on time for both drop off and pick up, being fully engaged at drop off and pick up and a positive attitude, can only help to ease anxiety. 

Our Philosophy 

We recognize that routine is important to young children. Being able to predict their day helps relieve anxiety, and allows the child to anticipate the activities yet to come. Each class has a daily visual schedule that children can see and participate in. Our routine allows for different activities to take place, all designed to support the development of the whole child. Activities are carefully planned to help prepare children for their school experience. 

A typical preschool class includes the following schedule: 

Arrival - the staff greet each child at the door, and checks them in on our attendance list. 

Self directed free play - a number of centers are available for the child to choose from, and move around in, at their own pace. 

Each class includes a variety of activities which might include floor activities such as building blocks and animals, doll houses, trains, floor puzzles, tabletop manipulatives / puzzles, art activities, sand and water activities, and Dramatic play. 

Children are encouraged to try different activities, but it is of their own choosing. Staff are available to help facilitate play, as well as assist in problem solving. 

Story and Circle time - This time includes singing, stories, calendar activities, puppetry, games and the opportunity for children to share ideas and develop their language skills. We might include show and tell, as well as assign our class leader for the day. 

Gym or Outdoor time - Both locations have a large gym where we learn basic skills such as dropping and catching a ball, as well as enjoying the opportunity to play with various equipment. 

We also see the value in outdoor play. Fresh air and exercise is essential to the healthy growth of us all. While we take equipment outside to play with, we also give the children the opportunity to explore and appreciate nature while walking on the paths nearby. 

Our Philosophy 

Self directed free play - Most days will allow for a second free play opportunity. Some of the activities might be the same, but we will provide a second art experience, have playdough out, and provide different activities to support the learning experience. 

Good by Circle - As each class nears the end, we will sing a good by song, and hand out any "mail" (art) that is going home. Children will stay in the group until the teacher sees the child's caregiver and dismisses them, checking them out in the attendance book. (this is especially important on outside dismissals) 

Mental Development 

Children need ample opportunities to develop intellectually by giving them the opportunity to explore, experiment, and share ideas in a non-judgmental and supportive environment. 

Each class provides continual opportunities to develop language skills, both with the staff and their peers. We appreciate the many different social, familial, and cultural backgrounds, and encourage each child to embrace their heritage as a part of our community. 

Children are supported to develop self regulations skills, and to adapt their behaviour, attention and emotions to respond to what is happening around them. For example, learning to sit at circle time, line up to go to the gym, and follow simple instructions. We assist with language development and problem solving skills through using phrases such as "I'm not finished with this yet" or "When I'm finished would you like to have a turn", as well as focusing on turn taking and cooperative play 

Emotional development 

Every family should feel that their child is safe and secure at our preschool. When children feel safe, they trust that our staff will take care of them. Children will then develop a healthy self-esteem, and sense of self confidence. In this positive environment, children will move through more complex levels of moving, thinking, feeling and creativity. 

Children will be given the freedom to express their emotions in a non judgmental way. At the same time, staff will assist children in promoting self 

regulation, by explaining and modelling positive strategies. 8

Our Philosophy 

Spiritual Development 

Each child is celebrated in their uniqueness and their differences. Attributes such as kindness, compassion, empathy and an awareness of others are shown to be desirable qualities in us all. 

Staff demonstrate a welcoming and safe environment, showing interest in both asking questions, and active listening. Children will be encouraged to freely express their opinions and beliefs, as they discover their own special place in their community and as global citizens. 

Physical Development 

We recognize the importance of providing varied opportunities to help develop fine motor, and gross motor skills. Each classroom has many opportunities for fine motor development. (pencil grip, scissors, putting together puzzles, manipulatives, picking small objects up with tongs/tweezers, etc.) Hand/eye coordination is perfected as children develop their perceptual skills. 

Gym time offers opportunities to develop our gross motor skills. Each class includes songs, games, skill development and the opportunity to use the equipment on their own, and with their peers. 

Children learn to follow instructions and work together as a team, while enjoying fun activities. 

Balance and co-ordination are skills that we develop through a variety of choices. Outdoor play is also an important part of our program. We enjoy different activities outside as we enjoy the changing seasons. 

Children learn independence as they practice dressing themselves for our fall, winter, and spring outside play. Outdoor activities might include raking and jumping in leaves, going on nature walks, playing games, enjoying sidewalk chalk and bubbles, playing with outdoor toys, just to name a few ideas. 

Children have space to freely move and explore while taking calculated risks to test and develop their mind, and body in a safe environment. They are encouraged to explore, play and enjoy our natural surroundings. 

Our Philosophy 

Supporting Inclusion and Diversity 

We recognize that each child has a unique personality and special skills. We focus on each child's strengths and abilities and we work with each family to ensure that their child's needs are being met. 

We work with a number of supportive organizations which partner with us to help children achieve their goals. (Children's Autism Services Edmonton, Community Options, GRIT, and the Seden Center). 

Our staff will make referrals if they feel that a child would benefit from extra support. 

We support and recognize each child's familial, Indigenous and cultural heritage, and strive to ensure that it is central to each child's safety, well being and development. 

We recognize and value the different backgrounds of each family at our preschool, including children that are vulnerable. It is important that each child in our program will see themselves represented through books, pictures and our play activities. 

All Children are enabled to grow their awareness of diversity and social responsibility to themselves and their peers. 

Staff are supported and encouraged to learn about, and recognize the many different cultural backgrounds represented at our preschool. 

We recognize that our preschool is on Treaty 6 land, and we value the heritage of Indigenous families. 

Our Philosophy 

Community Engagement 

At Ellerslie Road Preschool we see the importance of community partnerships. Families and staff are encouraged to access Provincial Family Resource Networks, as well the public library. We are fortunate to have a positive working relationship with both churches where our community preschools are located. If asked, we are able to recommend supports along with family friendly programming. Every year we support programs such as Operation Christmas Child and The Edmonton Food Bank. Operation Christmas Child is a great tool to bring global awareness, kindness and learn the spirit of giving. The Edmonton Food Bank is a way to bring awareness, help and support to our local families and community. 

Family Connections 

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills with our preschoolers, through visits (explaining their jobs or reading stories to the class). As an important part of the community, we value these partnerships as they enhance our program. 

We desire and see the value in partnering with our parents and other caregivers to create a sense of community in our preschool program. Parents know their child best, and we value communication with parents which will help us meet the unique and individual needs of their child. Staff will seek out other professional supports for children and families, if we feel that this will be helpful to encourage the development of each child. 

Throughout the year, we look forward to family participation in our program. Some of the events include our Christmas concert, Celebration of Learning, and our wind-up picnic. 

Our Philosophy 


The first connection to our preschool is often through either the Preschool Director or Registrar. Both of these people will make every effort to reply quickly to parent questions or inquiries, in a professional and caring manner. 

The Preschool Director is available throughout the year to answer specific questions or concerns, and other program staff are available at drop off/pick up to do the same. Our Registrar is available to help with registration/tuition questions. 

We are continually evaluating our program, and look for feedback from our families. We recognize and desire that we are held to a high standard of child care, and we are accountable to our families and community. 

We have open communication with all our families and are continually looking for feedback on our program through conversations with Ellerslie Road Preschool Staff, the Director and through our year end surveys/evaluations. 

All inspections and reports (licensing, AHS, Fire inspections) are posted on our bulletin boards for parents to read. Parents will be notified of any changes to policies and procedures including Program Plan and Hand Book. 


Each staff member and/or each volunteer who has unsupervised access to children will have a current criminal record check which is dated no earlier than 6 months prior to the date of commencement with the program and updated every 3 years, before it expires. 

A copy of each CRC is on file at the preschool, showing the satisfactory results of the CRC, and that there is no criminal history that could impact the well-being of a child. All staff and volunteers have had their background checked to assess their suitability to care for children. 

All new staff and volunteers will provide at least three satisfactory references from non-relatives, that corroborates the provider's suitability for working with children. All new staff will have an in-person (or telephone) 

interview with the program Director. 

Our Philosophy 

Child Guidance Policy 

At Ellerslie Road Preschool we help guide children to make positive choices rather than using discipline in any manner. 

We are the creators of the child's environment, and we recognize that many challenging behaviours can be addressed by a positive learning environment. Each classroom is designed to be appealing, age appropriate, engaging, and to allow for each child to make positive choices. 

Each center is designed for a small group of children (3-4 at a table), however there is flexibility. Every class has a variety of activities and choices, as we strive to meet the needs of the different children. Each environment is set up for success. 

As children learn the routine and can predict their day, they will learn to trust and have confidence in what to expect. 

Staff are continually working with children as they learn problem solving skills. Much of this is through positive language, which our staff will model (ie "Are you finished with that truck?", "I'm waiting for a turn", I’m not finished yet", or even "I don't like that"). In the event that a dispute happens, we will encourage both children to talk to each other, offering words such as "are you ok", or even an apology, if those are the words that a child chooses. We encourage "turn taking", rather than always expecting children to share. 

We recognize that challenging behaviour can be a result of frustration. We provide encouragement for the efforts that a child makes, but also validate their emotions if things don't work out. (frustration, anger). We build on the self confidence and positive self-esteem that children receive, rather than rewards or too much "praise" 

While we believe that many challenges can be resolved proactively, we recognize that sometimes more severe behaviours are present. In these cases, we implement the following steps: 

Staff speak to the child/children at eye level, using active listening skills to determine the problem and look for a solution. 

Our Philosophy 

Child Guidance Policy 

Redirection might be necessary ("I see you are having trouble playing here, let's find somewhere else") 

Staff will document repeat behaviors, and parents will be brought into the conversation, either at the door during drop off/pick up, or through email or a phone call. Often parents have insight as to why behaviours are occurring (ie changes at home), or they have successful strategies they can share with us. 

Staff might notice behaviours which are the results of speech delay, ASD or others. Referrals are made to the appropriate agency. 

As children learn positive language skills, we recognize that they sometimes use their hands to express frustration. (slap, hit). However, if aggressive behaviour occurs (biting, scratching which leaves a mark, hard hitting), an incident report is written, the staff speak to both families, and both families sign the report. 

Parents might be asked to attend one or more classes, to assist in the classroom, in supporting their child. 

In the event that ongoing aggressive behaviour is occurring, a child might be asked to leave the program. 

We do not allow corporal punishment, or the isolation of children. All children are safe and protected at our preschool. 

If a child is in the bathroom, the staff member remains outside in the hallway. We will assist with zippers / buttons, but staff are always visible to others. 

Off Site Activities 

We do not offer field trips 

The preschool uses the green spaces outside both locations. On our registration form parents sign they they understand that we will use these outside spaces. Teachers will sometimes take their classes for walks on the paths, primarily around the building or community. Parents are advised of any outdoor activities through a notice on our daily "white board" 

We communicate any planned outdoor activities through our white board, newsletter, and/or emails. 

Our Philosophy 

Off Site Activities 

We recognize that effective supervision helps prevent injuries, accidents, and reduces potential harm to children. It also promotes a safe, positive, and intentional learning environment for children and staff. 

Roll call and counting takes place before leaving the building to go outside, and again when arriving at the destination. (ie greenspace). One staff member is at the beginning of the line, and the other staff member is at the end, so that they can always see each other and the children in between. 

The group will always stay closely together. Staff will always create a boundary for the children (ie staff are not standing together), and are continuously counting children. The use of pylons or other visuals helps to create a physical boundary. 

Medication & Health Care 

Medication is only administered to a child when written consent has been provided by the parent. 

Parental consent for the administration of medication is stored with the medication (typically our backpack that is known to all staff and is portable to bring on all indoor and outdoor activities. 

Most medication at our preschool is emergency medication (EPI-Pen, Ventolin, Benadryl). It is kept in our class backpack, out of the reach of children. The medication is clearly marked for easy access. If parents wish to bring the medication each day, they bring their child's backpack into the classroom, out of reach of the rest of the children. All medication is in the original labelled container, and is administered according to the labelled directions. 

If medication is administered, the name of the medication, the time of administration, and the amount administered, and who administered the medication is recorded on a medication administration form. The parents/guardians are advised that medication was administered. 

Any medication received that is not emergency medication will be stored in a 

locked box in the classroom. 


Our Philosophy 

Medication & Health Care 

In the event of the administration of an EpiPen for an anaphylactic allergy, 911 would be called as well as the child’s parent/guardian 

Medication is always kept out of reach of children and is typically kept in the backpack. Parents complete a medication consent form, which is kept with the medication. If a child has a more complex medical, need the parents, teaching staff and preschool Director will have a consultation and all medical plans documented. 

In case of an accident, or a serious illness involving a child, the parent must be notified immediately. If the parent cannot be reached, the emergency, contact person will be notified immediately. Children will receive the medical attention deemed necessary. 

In the case of an accident or serious illness involving a child, first aid procedures are followed by a staff member with approved first aid certification, which is acceptable to the statutory Director. If required, 911 will be contacted immediately. Staff will immediately contact the child’s parent or the emergency contact 


When children are checked in, the time is noted in the attendance binder. The reverse occurs at dismissal. All staff are always aware of the number of children in our care, and we continually count children throughout the class. 

The number of children is recorded on a small white board by the classroom door. If a staff member takes a child to the bathroom, that number is changed to indicate the actual number of children in the classroom. Staff are always actively involved in the children's activities, while being attentive and alert to anyone coming in and out of the classroom. 

Staff position themselves in the classroom to have a clear sight line of the children and the door. When moving from one activity to another (ie from the classroom to the gym), the teacher is at the beginning of the line, and the Teaching Assistant is at the end of the line, with all of the children in between. Children are counted before leaving the room and counted at the 

arrival the destination (gym or bathroom) 

Our Philosophy 


Everyone walks together, so that both staff are able to see all of the children. A count is taken again when reaching the gym. While in the gym, staff always position themselves near possible exits. 

Staff always carry a backpack (when leaving the classroom) which includes our Emergency Files (containing contact information for all children), attendance binder, emergency medication for those requiring it, and a small first aid kit. 

When outdoors, children are counted leaving the classroom, and again when arriving outside. Staff and children form a short line when crossing the parking lot. Staff always spread out, forming a "boundary" for the children when playing outdoors. Supervision is adjusted to the child care environment and the differing needs of each child. In the event of concerns for the safety of a particular child, parents might be asked to come outside with us. 

At staff orientation, the Program Director will ensure that all staff understand the need for adequate supervision in all areas (classroom, gym, bathrooms, hallway, outdoors). 

Records and Emergency Procedures 

Parents complete a registration form on-line. These forms are printed so there is both a digital version and a hard copy of each registration form. The hard copies are kept in a cupboard in each classroom, and are easily accessible, should the need arise. We also keep a hard copy of the emergency file records in each classroom's backpack, so that this information is also easily accessible. This backpack travels with the teachers whenever they leave the classroom for any reason. Teachers carry cell phones at all times 

All emergency procedures are planned and directly correspond with guidance from the local fire department and other EMS. 

Fire drills will be carried out 6 times yearly. 

Parents will be notified in advance when we are conducting a fire drill. We typically use a smoke detector to initiate the fire drill. The date and times are 



Our Philosophy 

Records and Emergency Procedures 

Two of the six fire drills include practicing evacuating to the appointed Muster Points. 

In the event of an evacuation, we will take the children to their designated Muster Point. 

Grace Point muster point is west of the building (by the hill) Ellerslie Baptist muster point is east of the building (on the grass) 

Teachers always carry a cell phone for emergencies and are able to access complete registration records. Hard copies of portable records and attendance are always taken with staff in a backpack when leaving the classroom. If it is deemed a true emergency, parents will be contacted and it will be communicated where to pick their children up from. 

In the event of an intruder on the preschool premises, staff will make every effort to move children into a lockable room. Staff would be in close contact with EMS through use of their cell phones. 

***Preschool outside doors are unlocked approximately 5 minutes before class begins. They are locked 10 minutes after class has started. This is to ensure the safety of everyone in our program. 

If the preschool has to close for any reason, parents will be contacted via email, phone call or a note on the door. 

Code of Conduct Policy 

Staff and parents shall: 

  1. a) at all times be professional and responsible for their own behaviour b) treat all others (children, staff, church staff and other families) with respect 

If these can not be met the supervisor or director may implement any of: a) verbal reprimand 

  1. b) written reprimand 
  2. c) suspension or expulsion from the premises 

If you’ve made it this far, wow! We love both your enthusiasm for preschool life and literacy . Give yourself a pat on the back.