"Stepping Stones" preschool
In the heart of The Mission, Kelowna BC
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is  there a difference between 3 and 4 Year Old programs ?

A:
Yes.  Children are at different developmental stages and we tailor our 3 and 4 year old programs accordingly.

Q: What can we expect from a 3 year old program ?

A: For many of these children it will be their first ever experience of being separated from their parents.  Our initial goal is to build trusting
relationships.  Many will never have been in an environment with so many children and we help them to develop problem solving skills.  As the
children begin to gain confidence and trust we increase our expectations.  By the end of their first year our goal is to have them fully prepared
socially, settled into routines and schedules, and ready to begin their 4 Year old program.

Q: What can we expect from a 4 year old program ?

A:
 Having gone through the 3 year old program, children are now  more focused and ready to being learning.  Our goal is to prepare them for
kindergarten.   Through our planned themes, circle times and free play areas our goal is to have them prepared socially, emotionally, intellectually,
creatively and physically to enter kindergarten and the school system.

Q: Do you put more emphasis on a cognitive learning ?

A:
No.  In our opinion, children’s learning is hampered when they are not fully socially developed. This can cause them to have poor focus as they
are distracted by their surroundings and other things that may be going on, therefore we provide a program that will meet all their developmental
needs.

Q: How can you develop a child socially ?

A:
By exposing them to other children as much as possible during group activities such as circle time and snack; participating in group projects and
group games; developing their confidence by allowing them to problem solve by themselves.
By modelling simple things like saying "No, stop, I do not like it when you…….." and so on, helps them to learn that they are in control themselves.

Q: Is there a difference between Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten ?

A:
 No. Whatever program children are in at age 3 and 4 is prior to entering the school system.  What we name it is incidental.

Q: Do you have any formal learning programs ?

A:
Yes we have a program called Itchy;s Alphabet which is a primary phonics program designed to assist  and teach children letter sounds and
formations.
More information can be found on their website at
www.itchysalphabet.com

Q: Why did you chose this program ?

A:
Children are both visual and auditory learners and this program has both. Also it is multi level which allows us to progress as much or as little as
we feel each child needs.  It is very child friendly and we always have a line up at our writing table when Itchy comes out !

Q:  What is a set Preschool Curriculum ?

A:
One that delivers educational content through daily activities, tuition and furthers a child's physical, cognitive and social development.

Q: What does 'play based' mean.  Does this mean the children play freely ?

A:
 We have teacher led play and children led play at Preschool.

Q: What is 'teacher led' play ?

A:
Teacher led is when we have circle time, calendar, show and tell, story time, music and movement. Children sit and are encouraged to participate
in group activities. The teacher is in charge.

Q: What is 'child led' play ?

A:
Child led is what we call “free play” the children get to choose what stations they want to visit.  Although it is the choice of the child, each station
is set up carefully with a developmental goal in mind.  For example:-

Housekeeping / Dress up Station.....The main developmental goal of this area is social. Children learn to interact with other children,
whilst exploring the world around them. This area could be set up as a post office, a camp site, a hospital, a grocery store etc. This area is modified
to reflect our theme for the month.

Water Table Station.....The developmental goal of this area is to provide the children with an opportunity for sensory social play.
Once again, the area is modified each time our monthly theme changes....the children may play with snow and ice during a winter theme;
or with frogs and lilypads during the spring; or with dirt and flowers during a summertime theme, and so on.

Playdough Station....Rolling pins, moulding tools, knives etc allow the children to develop creativity through sensory social play.

Arts and Crafts.....Whether teacher led, with pre-prepared activities focusing on specific goals, or child led allowing free creativity, our arts and
crafts allow the children to develop artistically.

Building Blocks....  Children learn to be creative and social at this station, while learning about construction, they learn to develop problem solving
techniques and skills.  

Blackboard....Children develop their small motor skills whilst being creative.

Outdoor Play .... Whether children led or teacher led, children are developing their gross motor skills both physically and socially.  

Q:  Do you have any special events throughout the year ?

A:   
Yes.  We always arrange a few field trips each year.  A favourite is our annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch at Halloween for both our three and
four year old classes.  The four year olds also get to enjoy a visit to the Eco Centre and have a visit from the Fire Department.  Of course, our
Christmas concert is a big highlight of the year, along with our 4 Year Old Graduation Party.

Q:  Do you allow parent participation ?

A:  
Yes.  We have an open door policy for parents who wish to volunteer their time, and to come along and see the children in their preschool
environment. On two occasions this term, we have had parents come into the school and share different aspects of their cultures....The children
learned all about Hanukkah from a Jewish family and also celebrated Chinese New Year and learned the importance of the event in the Chinese
calendar.  Both of these visits were a big success.