The Discovery Preschools are private centres that offer families exceptional educational child care for children ages 6 months up to 6 years.
Beckenridge Discovery Preschool
4813 14th Avenue, Markham, ON. L3S 3K7
Heritage Discovery Preschool
5960 16th Avenue, Markham ON L3P 7R1
Discovery Preschool on 7
6605 Highway 7 Markham, ON L3P 3B4
Book revised: Jan 6, 2012
2002 - Study Tour in Reggio Emilia before school opening. Opening of Beckenridge Discovery
2003 - Opening of Heritage Discovery
2005 - Support 100 Languages of Children Exhibit, Italy
2006 - Support formation of the Ontario Reggio Assoc.
2007 - Celebration of 5th anniversary of teachers
2008 - Celebration of 5th anniversary of 3 teachers. Opening of Extraordinary Beginnings. Schools nominated for Apprentice Training Award
2009 - Study Tour to St. Louis. Implementation of Ink and Paper technique. Declaration to collaborate in community events & shared marketing strategies
2010 - Introduce French Immersion. Launch Passport to Italy Campaign
2011 - Delegation to Reggio Emilia, Italy. Celebration of 5th anniversary of 2 teachers. Co-host One Urban Mama Show. Opening of Discovery Preschool on 7
2012 -. Celebration of 10th Anniversary of 7 teachers. Celebration of 10th anniversary of Beckenridge Discovery Preschool. Lella Gandini visits The Discovery Preschool. 5 teachers visit Boulder Journey School for a study tour in Boulder, CO.
The Discovery Preschools support a challenging environment that intrigues a child's natural intuitive curiosity. It is a unique child care experience that families will be proud to be involved with.
We acknowledge the incredible work of the children, parents and teachers in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Their approach to child care has inspired many educators from around the world to visit these schools and welcome many aspects of this approach into our North American schools.
The schools provide the following programs:
- Infants: Ages 6 months to 18 months
- Toddlers : Ages 18 months to 2 1/2 years
- Junior Preschool: Ages 2 1/2 to 3.8 years
- Kindergarten Enrichment: Ages 3.8 - 6 years
- Nursery School: Ages 2 1/2 to 6 years (if available)
To provide high quality early education programs for families in the community. Our focus creates supportive environments that:
- encourages children to take part in their own learning
- challenges curiosity with educational tools
- reflects the people who use the schools
The Discovery Preschools are beautiful, esthetically designed spaces. Each interior is designed to accommodate wheel chair accessibility, and to promote the self help skills of young children. The classrooms are filled with natural light, promoting the opportunity of transparency to the surrounding community. The hallway of the school connects each classroom to provide an active learning space that children can use to socialize with children of other classrooms. The buildings are equipped with a security system to ensure that all the children are safe.
Our reflections of the reggio emilia philosophy focus on:
Our school reflects a strong image of the child and we encourage them to be constructors of their own meaningful experience within the school. Children are acknowledged for being resourceful and competent with great potential. We value their curiosity and engage them to be co-participants in the daily life of the school. Our teachers are ready to participate in constructive strategies, to scaffold learning and pose new questions to sustain the energy of an idea. These values contribute to the formation of creativity, intelligence and awareness in children.
An emergent curriculum engages children and teachers in observations, to hypothesize and predict, to develop a dialogue of thought provoking questions, to document events, and to celebrate the joys of learning. The child's voice and ideas are to be encouraged as it is the basis of the curriculum. Our teacher's co construct the children's concepts and careful choices are made to select projects for research and study. Children enjoy a curriculum that connects cognitive processes with imagination and is meaningful to immediate experiences. The process of the groups work is of extreme importance and much of the learning comes from making connections and retracing steps than from the final product itself.
The process of documentation makes the learning visible. It is an invaluable contribution by the children and teachers that depicts the emotional and intellectual value of the curriculum. Through these processes one can revisit the construction and reconstruction of the event, ideas and theories. Informal journals and panels show the children’s competence and connection to immediate and abstract ideas. It has the potential to involve the viewer into this dialogue to create a community of learners: the child, teacher and parent. The work documented does not enhance teaching. Rather, it transforms it into a valuable history that frames the school.
The curriculum depends on the continuity of time and the flexibility to avoid unnecessary transitions that may interrupt work and discovery. Certain appointments in the day that must be kept are snack, Meeting time, lunch, and rest. Washroom breaks will be guided by the children's natural flow of time and as needed. Indoor and outdoor curriculum learning will be based on the flow of the day. The teachers respect that individual learning takes time, practice and support.
The environment plays a very important part of a person's day and sends non-verbal messages of how to react in that space. Our environment creates the concept of a third teacher and our classrooms speak to children. We strive to send the message of being welcome and a feeling of pleasure to be in this space and to work here. The importance of their work, respect for all people, self-accomplishment and pride, and the promotion of teamwork are planned for in the workspaces designed. Children find joy in using space that is organized and respected. The work tools are useful and sustain the cognitive processes for constructing and research. Many materials will be made available to the children to encourage new skills and refinement of skills previously acquired. Therefore, the school strives to provide an ongoing challenge of experiences and activities.
Mutual respect and admiration builds strong relationships and fosters co-participation between peers, teachers and parents. A small group working together encourages familiarity and support based on interactions and discussion. The dynamics of negotiation and cognitive coordination enrich children's ideas and concepts of the world around them. This relationship context is what children and families desire in order for connections of the school experience to be stronger and continuous.
The school holds a membership with the Ontario Reggio Association and various professional organizations to support ongoing training and development of our teachers.
The schools offer care between the hours of 7:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday and operates 51 weeks of the year, excluding statutory holidays. The schools will observe a 1-week holiday between Christmas and New Year (parents will be notified in writing of the closure). Parents are allotted this time as an unpaid holiday schedule that cannot be transferred to any other time in the year.
The following Statutory & holidays will be observed by the school: Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, and Thanksgiving.
In order for your child to be registered, please submit the following information:
- Application Form (completed entirely)
- A Copy of your child’s Immunization Schedule
- Parental Consent Form
- Allergy Screening Form (if applicable)
- Registration Fee
- Security deposit (please refer to fee outline)
- A Registration Fee is required at the time of registration.
- Fees are required in advance and postdated cheques for the 1st of each month are collected semi-annually. The fees have been amortized over 51 weeks and divided by 12 months to ‘equal billing’ payments. Parents will be responsible for full payment of absent days, sick leave, statutory holidays and family vacations other than stipulated above.
- Cheques returned from the bank are subject to a processing fee of $20.00. Please note that cheques will be deposited on the 1st of each Month, or on the following Monday.
- A receipt of full payment will be issued at the end of December for income tax purposes. Your cancelled cheques will serve as interim receipts.
Late Fee Policy
The schools close at 6:00 p.m. A late fee of $1.00 per minute will be charged directly to the parent and is payable immediately to the staff member on duty. The lateness will be recorded in a logbook and repeated occurrences may be cause for your family to be withdrawn from the program. Please respect the closing times of the school and remember that staff are on their own time after 6:00pm. If we have not received notification from the parent(s) of their lateness after the official closing time of the centre, the following procedures will be taken:
- The teacher will attempt to contact parent(s) and all other emergency contacts as given by the parent(s) upon registration between 6:15pm and 6:30pm.
- Children's Aid will be notified after 6:30pm (1-800-7183850) and the child will be released into their care.
Signed, written notice is required for permanent withdrawal one month in advance. If notice is not received, full program fees will be charged. A permanent space cannot be guaranteed if you wish to temporarily withdrawal your child. Therefore, your child's name will be placed on a waiting list. The Discovery Preschool may terminate services if policies are not followed or fees not paid.
Should the Director determine that a child cannot adjust to the program, or the parent has not upheld the contract, the family will be withdrawn and the contract will be terminated.
Notes About Nutrition
A hot nutritional lunch will be provided each day as well as a morning and afternoon snack. All meals are prepared at Beckenridge Discovery Preschool to maintain high quality and delicious selections. The menu is based on a 3 week rotation and is developed using the Canada’s Food Guide. The cultural diversity of the community will be reflected in the meals and alternative selections will be provided to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions within our resources.
Our nut safe policy restricts food being brought to the school. Please see the office when bringing food to the school for means of a birthday celebration or holiday.
The Discovery Preschools embrace a strong sense of Behaviour Management and believes that it is an integral part of the school. The following expectations are intended to maintain an atmosphere of comfort, and promote a safe learning place.
The staff, child and parent shall be:
- Use acceptable language
- Conduct themselves in a manner that enables one to feel safe from any types of abuse
- Respect the building and equipment, as well as the personal property of all people
Failure to meet the above expectations will result in any of the following:
- Informal meeting
- Contact with parents
- Formal meeting
- Removal from program
The safety of all children is our primary concern. The provision of our service is conditional on both you and your child's compliance with our Code of Behaviour and your treatment of the school and its staff. Behaviour that poses a safety hazard will not be accepted and could result in immediate withdrawal.
The school shall not permit:
- Corporal punishment of a child by any employee or by another child or group of children
- Deliberate, harsh or degrading measures to be used on a child that would humiliate a child or undermine self respect
- Deprivation of a child of basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing or bedding
- Locking of a child in a room for the purpose of confining
- Labeling a child as "bad"
Discipline techniques must be:
- Related to the nature of the behaviour
- Appropriate to the developmental level of the child
- Used in a positive and consistent manner
- Designed to assist the child to learn appropriate behaviour
- Implemented as soon as possible after the behaviour
- Discussed with the parent if a difficult situation arises with a child
In order for children to participate in the program they must be healthy. The following Health policies are maintained:
- Parents are required to submit a Medical Information Form prior to the time of the child's admission that includes immunization and pertinent medical conditions such as allergies and any other medical information.
- Your child's immunization must be up to date.
- For the benefit of all, if your child is ill, s/he cannot be admitted in to the centre if they have any communicable illness, or showing signs of fever, persistent diarrhea, vomiting, or respiratory conditions.
- When your child is sent home from the centre after experiencing such an illness, the child is required to be excluded from school until they are free from symptoms for no less than 24 hours.
- Weather permitting, children play outdoors each day. If a child is well enough to come to school, they are well enough to play outdoors.
- If your child is absent from school for whatever reason, especially sickness, please notify the office or your child teacher. It is essential that we monitor the types of illnesses within the centre so that we may make other parents aware of possible exposure to certain communicable diseases and what symptoms to look for in their own child/ren.
Medication that the centre administers MUST:
- Be in its original container labeled with the child's name, name of medication, the dosage, date of purchase, and instructions for storage and administration. It is recommended that you ask the pharmacy to divide the medication between two bottles so that one can remain at the school.
- Have a Medication Administering Form filled out with written consent from the parent to administer the medication.
- All medications are to be stored in a locked container while at the centre, or to be worn in a fanny pack by the staff at the centre. Do not leave the medication in your child's bag where it might be located by another child. The school will not administer Tylenol or over the counter medications, unless it is accompanied by a doctor’s note and a written permission form from the parent.
If your child should become ill during the day, s/he will be isolated with a staff member and you will be contacted by phone to make arrangements for them to be taken home as soon as possible. If you cannot be reached, and depending on the severity, your emergency contact will be notified.
In Case of Serious Illness/Injury during School Hours, the following procedure will be followed:
- The school will try to contact one or both parents
- If parents cannot be reached, one of the emergency contacts will be notified
- Attempt to contact the child's physician
Failure to contact any of the above, we will do ANY or ALL of the following:
- Call an ambulance
- Take your child to the hospital in the company of a staff member.
- Administer reasonable first aid.
Common Communicable Diseases and illnesses requiring exclusion of children from child care include, but are not limited to:
- Cold and Influenza - if sent home from child care
- Fever - 24 hours
- Conjunctivitis - 24 hours once treated if eyes are discharge free
- Severe coughing
- Diarrhea- if sent home from child care
- Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
- Scabies and Ringworm
- Lice - until treated and all nits are removed
- Strep Throat
- Whooping Cough
- Chicken Pox - 5 to 7 days or until all sores are dry and crusted
A doctor’s note must accompany the child’s return if the child has suffered from a contagious or infectious disease or if the child has been absent for more than three consecutive days.
It is our policy that ill children be cared for at home. We try to balance the need for parent’s work responsibilities with the child’s need to be excluded from care, however all of the children’s health and well being are our first priority.
Each staff member upon being hired by the Company will be required to provide:
- Proof of Registration with the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators (If applicable)
- A certificate of training in First Aid And CPR (to be renewed annually)
- Proof of a current Criminal Reference Check
- Current Medical Review with TB Testing
Staff will sign the following school policies on a yearly basis:
- Pledge of Confidentiality
- Code of Conduct
- Child Abuse Reporting
- Behavior Management
- Playground safety
- Anaphalaxis training and review
- No Cell Phone Use Policy
- Supervision of Students/Volunteer Policy
- Serious Occurance Reporting Policy
The Infant Room requires a ratio of 1 teacher to 3 children.
The Toddler Room requires a ratio of 1 teacher to 5 children.
A Preschool Age Grouping requires a ratio of 1 teacher to 8 children.
Professional Supervision of Students and Volunteers Policy
Our schools invite students of local community colleges, high school co-op placements, and sometimes volunteers to participate in onsite work training opportunities.
The Discovery Preschool ensures that all employees are made aware of, and follow the professional protocol for supervising volunteers and student placements while they are present in any child care program within the organization.
All volunteers and/or students will not have unsupervised access to children at any time (ie. being alone with any child for any duration of time). Only employees of The Discovery Preschool may be permitted to be alone with the children. No child will be supervised by a person under 18 years of age. Any adult over the age of 18, who is not a paid employee of the organization, will be considered a guest visitor. Guest visitors are not to be counted in regulated staff ratios at any time. Guest visitors may include, but are not limited to: volunteers, students on training placements, parent of children attending the Centre, or employees of community agencies (ie. Kinark, etc).
Things to Bring to School
- Diapers and Wipes (if applicable)
- An extra set of clothing
- Proper outdoor attire. The children do go outside each necessary.
- A soft cozy blanket to sleep with. We provide a cot sheet that is laundered regularly.
- A picture of your family.
Arrival and Departure:
- Please announce your family's arrival to the teachers and bring your child into the room so that we can give them a warm welcome and pass on any information regarding the day.
- Once you have picked up your child at the end of the day, please be advised that your child's well being is now your responsibility. Should your child be injured in the school, we will not be held responsible.
- Our nut safe policy restricts food being brought to the school. Please see the office when bringing food to the school for means of a birthday celebration or holiday. We ask that children do not bring a breakfast or lunch from Tim Hortons etc. into the school for reasons above.
Your family has the right to be involved in your experience at the school. You have the opportunity of involvement in many creative ways. Our family meetings encourage parents to come and be a part of project projection and activity enhancement. Many of the projects may require building or collecting materials. The more resources that the school can draw from, the richer the experience. Please feel free to bring in recycled materials, offer to help out in the garden, or to provide a service to the school by means of your profession and hobbies. Your communication is valued and is a valuable resource in the life of our school
Activity Permission Policy : Outings
We request parent permission for the children to use climbing structures at a nearby park or school as well as participate in neighborhood walks under the supervision of a staff member. Please see our Registration Form for your permission release.
Any excursions that require special equipment or transportation will be posted in advance and a parent signature will be required for the child to participate.
Children are photographed often during projects for the purpose of documentation and curriculum. Your signature acknowledges your permission to use photographs or video footage of your child/ren for the uses indicated above, or to promote our school within the community.
We ask that you apply sunblock before your child arrives to school. A touch up will be performed for the afternoon outdoor period. Sun block will be provided by the school and is applied to all the children. If your child must use a certain type of sunscreen, please provide us with a supply for your child's use only. Please be sure that it is nut free.
Please label all your child’s possessions and clothing.
Serious Occurrence Notification Form
Effective November 1, 2011, all Child Care operators are required to post a new Serious Occurrence Notification Form in the centre following a Serious Occurrence. Currently when a Serious Occurrence has happened, the operator has the responsibility to report the occurrence and details to the Ministry of Community and Social Services within 24 hours of the operator deeming it to be so. NEW: Details of the incident will now be posted beside our Child Care License in the front hallway of the school.
Definition of a Serious Occurrence:
- Any Serious Injury that requires professional medical treatment
- Any injury caused by a staff member
- Accidental Injury
- Injury that is self inflicted, or unexplained
- All allegations and accusations of abuse or mistreatment while in our care
- Any situation where a child is missing
- All disasters of fire, flooding, or incident that interferes the daily routine
- Any complaint made concerning operational, safety and or physical standards of the program
- Any use of physical restraint against a child. The Discovery Preschool does not permit the use of physical restraints with children.
When an occurrence does happen the centre currently takes the following action:
- Render first aid or protect the child from further incident
- Report the situation to the Supervisor
- Parents will be notified
- Director will be contacted
- Supervisor/Director will ensure that a report is taken and the proper notification is faxed to the Ministry within 24 hours.
NEW: A Serious Occurrence Notification Report will be posted for 10 business days. This report will not identify any or the parties involved but give objective details that an occurrence has taken place and the diligence of the school to rectify and prevent another incident from happening.
For more information, please ask the Supervisor about our Policy and Procedure Binder.
Thank you for being part of our schools.
no way. the hundred is there.
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking
a hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
a hundred worlds
The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety- nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child: to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
that do not belong together.
And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The hundred is there.
Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach