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Pre-Kindergarten builds children's strengths and skills in a playful, language-rich environment. This program is for three and four year olds who may benefit from extra support before starting Kindergarten.

Each class has a team of professionals who help children get an excellent start to learning by working on speech, mobility and everyday tasks like communicating and exploring their senses.

Watch this video to get a sneak peek inside these fun and busy classrooms where children learn by playing with their peers. Learn more about Pre-Kindergarten.

What makes this class unique?

  • This half-day class is available four days per week for children who are at least 2 1/2 years old as of September 1st.  This class serves children who are learning English, are First Nations, Métis or Inuit, or who have special needs.
  • Registration is through a screening process.  To register for a screening session, please call a school that is offering the pre-kindergarten program.
  • Each location provides a small class taught by a teacher and supported by an educational assistant.
  • Specialized supports such as speech and language services, physical therapy, occupational therapy and school family liason services are available for children with special needs.
  • The inclusive and welcoming setting encourages children and their families from all backgrounds and cultures to interact and learn from each other.

What is the learning environment like?

  • Early Learning provides a play-based approach to learning through a variety of enriching activities based on group and individual needs and interests.
  • Play centres featuring sand, water, art, books, dramatic play and blocks allow children to explore, discover and make friends.
  • The daily classroom routine includes a variety of fun activities designed to build oral language skills, and introduce pre-literacy and numeracy concepts.

What skills do children acquire?

  • Programming focuses on building communication and co-operative learning skills.  This helps children strengthen their ability to speak, learn and work together.
  • Children begin to understand different ways of expressing their thoughts, feelings and ideas.
  • Children learn how to problem solve and explore their creativity.

What is the cost of this class?

Early Learning classes are provided at no cost.  Schools may collect additional fees for activities such as field trips.

Is transportation available?

Transportation services are available to children with special needs who are attending Early Learning classes.

How do I register for Early Learning

Contact a school offering Early Learning to reserve a space in the screening process or call 780-429-8030.



Full-Day Kindergarten


We offer full day kindergarten at John A. McDougall.  Kindergarten is an exciting time of growth and wonder.  Children are discovering their own potential and interests, while learing about sharing, co-operation, responsibility, problem-solving, self-expression and decision making.

At Edmonton Public Schools, we understand that no two children are alike and all come with varying levels of knowledge and skills.  Every child, regardless of their background or abilities, is welcome to Kindergarten where learning through play is based on their individual strengths and needs.

Children who are four years of age on or before March 1 may register in Kindergarten for the upcoming school year.

The Kindergarten curriculum is based on Alberta Education's seven learning areas:

  1. Early literacy
  2. Early numeracy
  3. Citizenship and identity
  4. Environment and community awareness
  5. Personal and social responsibility
  6. Physical skills and well-being
  7. Creative expression

First Day of School

While some children can't wait to start school, the prospect of leaving the comforts of home, learning new rules and adjusting to a new routine can leave others feeling anxious or worried.

For a smooth transition to Kindergarten, here are a few tips to put your child at ease before the big day.

  • Encourage your child to share their feelings.  Talk about all the new things they will get to do in Kindergarten and how exciting that will be.
  • Practice riding the bus.  Register for Edmonton Public Schools' annual First Riders event in August so you and your child can become familiar with the bus riding experience and yellow bus safety.
  • Take a school tour.  Visit a school open house or make an appointment to meet your child's teacher.
  • Establish a school routine.  Help your child adapt to their school schedule by going to bed at an appropriate time at least two weeks before the first day of school.
  • Read books about school.  The library will have many titles to choose from.
  • Encourage friendships.  Teach your child ways to make friends and try to introduce them to a classmate before the first day of school.

Learn Through Play

Children are naturally curious and eager to learn about the world around them.  Through play, they have the opportunity to discover, explore and be cretive.

To help your child be successful in school, provide them with plenty of play time.  Playing develops important skills and behaviours in early childhood.


Listed below are just a few fun activities that you and your child can do together.

  • Read to your child every day - even if that means reading the same book more than 100 times.  It takes more than 5,000 "reads" to become a reader.
  • Ask you child about the books you read together, using questions like "Why did you like this story?", "Which story is your favourite?" and "What do you think is going to happen next?'
  • Play board games, puzzles and card games like Go Fish.
  • Get hands-on using Play-Doh, finger paints, bead and blocks, or bake together to keep your child busy and engaged.
  • Visit the playground frequently so your child can meet other children and stay physically active.
  • Provide arts materials like crayons, paints, Play-Doh, scissors and paper to encourage their creative expression.
  • Praise your child's drawings, paintings and writings, and put them up on the fridge or around the house to show you value their work.