The 5th Week
The Placement of Preschool and School Age Children
1. How to find a child care centre
In Canada, there are many opportunities for the child care of preschool and early school age children. They are referred to as nursery schools, kindergartens and day care centres. Nursery school is a half time program for children from age 2½ to 5 years; day care is a fulltime educational program for children from age 1 to 5 years and kindergarten is a program at school for children 4-5 years old. To book a place in a child care centre, you must act immediately after your arrival in Canada because many of them have waiting lists and sometimes there are no vacancies in the centres located close to your house. Many of the day care centres or nursery schools specialize in children of a certain age: Infant: 0-18 months, Toddler: 18 months to 2.5 years, Preschool: 2.5 to 5 years, School age: 6 to 10 years. To find a place for a child less than 18 months isn’t easy.
A very convenient way to search for a kindergarten or nursery school is the Toronto Child Care Locator at www.toronto.ca/children/gcmapx.htm.
2. What is the cost of preschool education
In a good kindergarten, the teacher has three children under the age of 1.5 years, or five children at the age of 2.5 years, or eight children under the age of 3.5 years. In day care facilities, the main language is English; however, children can easily learn a new language and speak freely their native language at home. You can, of course, enroll the child in a native speaking day care where the children will be more comfortable but the adaptation of the children in Canada will be longer and more complicated. Addresses of child care centres where staff speak your native language can be found in your ethnic newspapers. The fee of the child care centre depends on the age, number of children in the group and the services provided. It is in the range of 800 to 1,500 dollars a month per child.
3. The Canadian babysitter
In Canada, the services of nannies that come to your home at certain times or where you bring your child to their houses are also widely common. Nannies are paid hourly; their rate is about ten dollars per hour and up, depending on the number and ages of children. In addition to child care, babysitting nannies may help around the house (the duties must be agreed upon immediately upon hiring). Make the necessary calculations; it is possible that price of a babysitter will be lower than the fees for day care.
4. How to find a school in your area
Under Canadian law, children between six and sixteen years of age must attend school. To find a school in Toronto, you can look over the site, www.tdsb.on.ca, using the command Find Your School. How do you make it easier for children to adapt in the school? If you have a choice to send the child to first grade or to a preschool group, it is best to do the latter. There the child will gradually get the necessary language skills, although parents need to teach children initially the most important phrases: how to say in English that the child wants to use the bathroom or the child has a pain, or someone is bullying him/her, or he/she does not understand what the teacher says and so on.
5. The main principle of education in Canadian schools
The main principle of education in Canadian schools is that each student gets the average Canadian standard of education. If your child wants to know more, he/she always will get such an opportunity in school. If he/she does not want to know more, then nobody will force him/her. In high school, students can take several subjects of their choice.
The first school day is a very important event for your child. The new situation, new friends, new rules of communication do not immediately become in common place. During this period, parents should be especially attentive to children.
You can find useful information about education in Canada on the site:
6. When Canadian school students choose an occupation
If you have a high school student in the family, the time has come to think about the future.
In Canada, the choice of a future occupation is not done after the prom but much earlier starting with Grade 9. High school students have the opportunity to select training programs in grades 11 and 12, where the choice of subjects is completely dependant on the student’s chosen occupation. Secondary schools offer university level courses for those who decide to go to university after school. This program is composed of theoretical disciplines, preparing students for university. In addition, the secondary school provides college level courses for those who want to go to college and, finally, workplace level courses for those who decide after graduation to go to work immediately. To help high school students with career planning in schools, there are Teacher-Advisers and Guidance Counselors. The school textbook, "Career Studies 10”, may be useful when students are choosing an occupation.
Make a note. Approximately 50% graduates of Canadian schools immediately begin to work. In the fields of trades and services, there are a lot of work places where students can work after graduating from high school.