Our preschool programs reflect the importance of play in a child’s healthy development. Through intentional teaching practices, our play-based recreation programs offer children opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge in a fun and safe environment.
Virtual programs - register today!
Get active in your home with our preschool virtual programs offered through Microsoft Teams. These are live classes lead by a qualified instructor. Find the full class schedule and register with Recreation Online.
- Preschool Sportball
- Multi-Sport (16M to 2Y)
- Multi-Sport (2Y to 3.5Y)
- Multi-Sport (3.5Y to 5Y)
- Multi-Sport (5Y to 7Y)
Outdoor preschool pop-up classes - register today!
Explore the outdoors and embrace winter as we take our preschool program outside. Preschoolers will enjoy activities lead by our qualified and engaging instructors. Outdoor pop-up preschool is an outdoor, in-person program that has been created to meet all provincial health restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Outdoor Pop-up Preschool for ages 3.5 to 5 years old
- Tuesday, February 2 to Tuesday, February 23 (4 classes)
- Runs Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Wes Hosford Elementary School Field A
- Outdoor Pop-up Preschool for ages 3 to 7 years old
- Saturday, February 6 to Saturday, February 27 (4 classes)
- Runs Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the green space near Emerald Hills Sports Pavilion
Outdoor Pop-up Preschool Guidelines
- Stay home if you are sick, experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been directed to self-isolate.
- Participants will keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance from people outside of their household.
- A pre-screen of participants will take place upon arrival at each program.
- Participants will be asked to wash or sanitize their hands prior to arriving at our programs; hand sanitizer will be available at each program site.
- All program supplies and equipment will be sanitized between uses. If equipment is not able to be properly sanitized, it will be a one-time use and disposed of or sent home with the participant.
- Maximum group size of 10.
- When the temperature, including the wind chill factor, is -20 C or colder classes will be rescheduled.
- To enjoy this program to its fullest, we ask all participants (including grown-ups) dress for the weather. Layers are important for outdoor winter play. If you dress your child in layers, their body heat will keep them warm.
- Mittens are better for keeping children’s hands warm, as fingers generate more heat when they are not separated. It’s important to choose a hat that covers the whole head, including the ears.
- Snow pants are warm and waterproof. Please send your child with snow pants that they can easily move in.
Registered programs update - January 8
All indoor, in person, registered programs continue to be on hold due to the provincial restrictions currently in place. All affected registered participants will be contacted directly and receive an automatic pro-rated refund.
Programs that are still running include:
- Virtual programs – register today!
- Cross country skiing lessons at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre
- Outdoor pop-up preschool programs – register today!
In person programs are currently on hold due to the provincial health restrictions in place. Check back for updates.
The safety of our participants and staff is our top priority. All programs have been created to meet Alberta Health Services guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Kindergarten Readiness (Pre-K) – Offers foundational learning opportunities in language and literacy, pre-math, movement and social development.
Guidelines and procedures
We’re excited to welcome you back to preschool. We appreciate your participation in helping keep our staff and other participants safe. If planning to register in a preschool program, consider your child's preschool class a cohort group and limit interaction with or participation in additional cohort groups.
- Preschool staff will follow all Alberta Health Services and Strathcona County guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and have been trained in new protocols around cleaning and guest safety.
- Classes are being offered at reduced sizes of 12 participants.
- Parents will be asked to complete a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire for their child each day.
- There is a one-way flow for traffic entering and exiting our facilities. Specific details will be emailed prior to the first class.
- Hand sanitizer is available – participants are asked to use it when entering and leaving the program space.
- Individuals 3 years of age and older are required to wear a mask in all Strathcona County indoor facilities, this includes during class time.
- Please leave non-essential items at home (toys, blankets, etc.) and only bring a backpack with extra clothes, a small snack for 3-hour programs and a lunch for all day programs.
- Drop-off/Pick-up routine – some locations have outdoor meeting points for drop-off and pick-up. Specific details will be emailed prior to the first class.
- If you need to speak to your child's teacher, please do so while maintaining a physical distance of 2 meters (6 feet), if inside the facility a mask is required.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols are in place – tables, chairs, toys and equipment will be sanitized after each class. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned throughout the program time. Hard to clean items and plush toys have been removed from the program.
We are constantly learning and adapting to changes and new best practices. If you have questions or concerns about your child's experience – please connect with us.
Know before you go
Children registered in unparented programs should be toilet trained. Please note: parents/guardians will be contacted by phone to attend to any changing needs.
Kindergarten Readiness (Pre-K)
What to bring to class:
- Please leave all non-essential items at home (toys, blankets, etc.), and ensure that all items outlined below are clearly labelled with your child’s name.
A backpack with extra clothes in case of an accident.
Half day - A water bottle and a small, nut-free snack.
Full day - A water bottle, a small, nut-free snack and lunch.
Snack/lunch items that your child can easily open and close on their own.
Indoor shoes and play clothes.
Appropriate clothing for outdoor fun.
Whether it’s your child’s first time in a preschool program or it’s time to start getting ready for kindergarten, your child is sure to have a fun-filled and educational experience in our preschool program. Programs take place both indoors and outdoors, and are filled with investigation and exploration. Through intentional teaching practices, purposefully-designed learning environments and enriched activities, instructors will help ensure your child’s learning experience is fulfilling and enjoyable.
Our Philosophy - Our preschool programs reflect the understanding of the importance of play in a child’s healthy development. Through intentional teaching, our play-based recreation programs offer children opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge in a fun and safe environment.
We use an intentional-learning approach to planning our programs. Otherwise known as an emergent curriculum, learning plans are based on the children's interests. These interests are extended through the interactions and activities planned by the instructors. Engaging in children's interests provides opportunities to focus on 'topics' which are important to the children.
We offer several different types of programs for multiple ages. Drop-in programs, parented or un-parented, run from September to June. Registered programs, parented and unparented or kindergarten readiness, run for 8 to 11 weeks during fall, winter and spring sessions. Registration for kindergarten readiness is available for 11 weeks or all 33 weeks September through June. We also offer week-long summer camps, half and full day options available for children ages 3 to 9 years old.
To find the full schedule and details of all of our preschool and pre-k programs, check out the latest version of the Recreation Guide.
Preschool Playtime - Drop-in - 6 months to 6 years old (Kinsmen Leisure Centre) or 6 months to 8 years old (Ardrossan) – Drop in and play with your little one in our fantastic play spaces. Climb aboard our pirate ship and build a blue block house in the Preschool Playground at the Kinsmen Leisure Centre, or try the amazing airways and shop at the market in the Love to Play room at the Ardrossan Recreation Complex. Both spaces are located on the second floor of each facility.
Preschool Playtime - Drop-off - 2 to 6 years old – is offered in the Arts and Crafts/Mini Gym room at the Sherwood Park Arena. Run errands, workout, or just have some ‘me’ time while your child enjoys participating in activities led by our friendly preschool instructors. The arena’s main floor access makes for easy and convenient drop-off.
Full schedules and admission fees can be found in the preschool section of the Recreation Guide in the drop-in schedule or online drop-in recreation calendar. Drop-in activities can also be found year-round at all of our Indoor Playgrounds.
Parented -1 month to 3 years old - For parents or caregivers that want to spend time with their child in a registered program that is led by an instructor.
Un-Parented - 2.5 to 3.5 or 3 to 5 years old - Your child will discover and learn in our interest-based play curriculum programs. Our focus is to facilitate the children’s play and provide learning opportunities while getting comfortable with being away from home. Our preschool rooms are equipped with exciting play centres for your child to experience. Choose from three different locations, once or twice a week options available, 2 or 3 hour classes. Registered programs have access to facility amenities such as the Preschool Playground, Edutainment Centre, Love to Play room or mini-gym spaces. Children will also have outdoor playtime.
Kindergarten Readiness (Pre-K) - 4 to 5 years old - This program is a preschool program for children who are four years old and will be attending kindergarten the following year. We offer half-day, twice a week (morning or afternoon) or full day programs. There are two urban (Sherwood Park) and two rural locations to choose from. Kindergarten readiness focuses on social skills and building confidence while away from home. We provide foundational learning opportunities in language and literacy, pre-math, physical movement skills, and social and emotional development. Our preschool spaces are equipped with engaging play centres to ensure that your child is exposed to unique learning activities. Kindergarten Readiness, or Pre-K programs, have access to facility amenities such as the Preschool Playground, Edutainment Centre, Love to Play room or mini-gym spaces. Children will also have outdoor playtime.
To find the full schedule and details of all of our preschool and pre-k programs, check out the latest version of the Recreation Guide.
Program Locations and Amenities
Preschool is based out of two rural and three Sherwood Park locations, each with unique features. Preschool rooms are equipped with numerous learning centres: art, blocks, dramatic play, sand and water, nature and science, math and manipulatives, and literacy which are vital to the hands-on experiences you can find in our preschool programs. All our locations have indoor gyms and outdoor spaces for your active preschooler.
For facility locations see the Strathcona County recreation facilities map.
Preschool programs FAQ
1. Why choose Strathcona County preschool programs?Permanent link to Why choose Strathcona County preschool programs?
Our interest-based play curriculum will help guide your preschoolers’ experiences in our programs. A rich learning environment is developed in the classroom as children and teachers engage in meaningful conversations, stories, singing, creative activities and play that engage the whole child. Each day is specifically balanced to provide teacher and child-centred experiences which lead to group and individual hands on exploration. Children will find success as they develop physically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally.
2. What qualifications do Strathcona County preschool instructors have?Permanent link to What qualifications do Strathcona County preschool instructors have?
Preschool instructors have either a four year degree in Elementary Education or an Early Childhood Level 2/3 Accreditation. Instructors are certified in CPR, Standard First Aid, (NCCP) National Coaching Certification Program-Fundamental Movement Skills and High Five Principles of Healthy Child Development.
3. Which Strathcona County facilities offer preschool programs?Permanent link to Which Strathcona County facilities offer preschool programs?
Preschool classes are offered at Kinsmen Leisure Centre and the Ardrossan Recreation Complex. Sportball will be offered at Kinsmen Leisure Centre and Millennium Place.
4. Does my child need to be potty trained?Permanent link to Does my child need to be potty trained?
For your child’s best experience we suggest they are fully toilet trained before starting unparented programs. For extra reassurance, parents can send their little one wearing pull-ups. Please note, parents will be contacted by telephone to promptly attend to any changing needs.
5. Do I need to bring a snack for my child?Permanent link to Do I need to bring a snack for my child?
Please send children with a small, nut free snack and water bottle for half day programs. For all day programs, children need a small, nut free snack, water bottle and lunch.
Do parents have to volunteer?
Parents are not required to volunteer. Due to restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors are not permitted in the program spaces at this time.
7. What should my child wear to their preschool program?Permanent link to What should my child wear to their preschool program?
Comfortable clothing that is washable and shoes for running in. Please remember when choosing clothes for your child to wear that they will be painting, gluing, and participating in gym time or outdoor play. Your instructor will advise you prior to outdoor activities taking place.
Remember to include a change of clothing in case of a spill or accident.
8. What happens on the first day of programs?Permanent link to What happens on the first day of programs?
On the first day, instructors will greet you and your child in the designated drop-off area. Our instructors will walk you through the check-in process and answer any questions you may have. From there, the instructor will take your child to the program space where activities will be set up, inviting them to play.
On the first day of your program parents will be asked to fill out an information form for their child, this can also be done ahead of time:
Participant Information Form and Severe Allergy Form. Leave the completed form(s) with your child’s instructor.
9. Who can I contact if I have further questions?Permanent link to Who can I contact if I have further questions?
Strathcona County preschool programs are proud to partner with the University of Alberta in an innovative preschool research program funded by a Canadian Institute of Health Research grant. Learn about the research results in the Love to Play Community Report.
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