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Welcome to Kindergarten! Full-Day Kindergarten Program for 4 and 5 year olds is offered in all OCDSB schools. The Extended Day Program is an integral part of the Full-Day -Kindergarten program. It completes a seamless program for full-day learning for 4 and 5 year olds.

To learn about the Extended Day Program please visit the Extended Day Program webpage.

registrationIf your child will be 4 years old by December 31st 2017, they are eligible to start Kindergarten in September. Parents are welcome to register their children at any time. You can register your local school. Before you visit, make sure you call the school to ensure someone will be available to process your registration and answer questions you may have. To find your local school, try our handy School Locator. You will be asked for your home address and the type of program. 

Play-based Learning

Children are full of natural curiosity and they explore this curiosity through play. In our full-day kindergarten program, teachers and early childhood educators structure play to create learning moments.  Our Kindergarten program provides children with educational activities appropriate for young learners, taking into account their physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs. Their world is one of curiosity, exploration and imagination. Children investigate and develop an understanding of their world through play. Educators observe the children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual interactions within a classroom setting, assessing their stages of development aligned with the curriculum, and supports and encourages experiences to further their growth.

Our French program

Effective September 2016, all of our kindergarten classes incorporate 50% French language instruction.  This means that children will experience the program equally in French and in English, providing a rich exposure to both of Canada's official languages. Our program is designed for children of all languages.

A Team Approach

Each kindergarten class is led by a team composed of a teacher and an Early Childhood Educator (ECE). The team works together to plan for and provide meaningful learning opportunities for the children and to create a positive, welcoming and safe learning environment.

The program aims to provide every child with the support they need in order to develop self-regulation; health, well-being and sense of security; emotional and social competence; curiosity and confidence in learning; respect for diversity of his or her peers.

Many schools host Kindergarten Information Nights in January.

School bus transportation is available to all kindergarten students who live more than 0.8 km from their school. Information is available at your school or from the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority.

If you are new to Canada, have a school-aged child, and English is not your first language, the OCDSB’s Family Reception Centre can assist you with enrolling your child in school. The Centre’s staff will provide student assessment and guidance for English language learners and their families. Please call 613-239-2416 for assistance.



 Great Beginnings


Great Beginnings Start with Caring Staff

All Kindergarten classes include a caring team of teachers and early childhood educators. These Early Years Educator Teams have a genuine love for young learners and model patience, kindness and empathy toward the needs of young children. They understand that Kindergarten is the child’s first introduction to formal schooling. The transition from home to school requires that the classroom provide a warm, safe, caring and nurturing environment, essentially, an extension of the home, in order for the child to fully develop in the areas outlined above. Our staff is dedicated to assisting your child in developing self-regulation, emotional and social competence, curiosity and confidence in learning, respect for the diversity of his or her classmates, health, well-being and a sense of security.

Your Child’s Introduction to Kindergarten

Once your child is registered in kindergarten, you will be notified regarding school entry procedures. You and your child will have an opportunity to meet your child’s educator(s) alone, prior to regular attendance of all children. This meeting will occur during the first week of school. Its primary focus is to share information about your child including preschool and health history including allergies, developmental milestones, and pertinent details relating to your child’s history in your family. At this time, there is no attempt by the educator to assess your child’s academic readiness for formal learning. Rather, the emphasis is on creating a relaxed, joyful transition from home to school. In order to foster a climate of warmth and comfort, the entry of kindergarten children is staggered over several days. This means each child enters school for the first time as one of a smaller group, whose needs can better be met by the educators during the first busy days of school.

The Learning Environment

The Kindergarten program is designed to ensure that the strengths, needs and interests of the child are addressed. The Kindergarten schedule is flexible and open-ended, allowing for extension or revisiting of an activity, educator-team and child initiated activities, daily blocks of time dedicated to planned, purposeful play, as well as literacy and numeracy instruction, which may take place in large or small groups and at learning centers. Learning centers may include water, sand, crafts, blocks and other building tools, nature, puppets, dramatic play, library, puzzles, climbing and computers. The focus of the centers is inquiry based and modified to accommodate the changing needs and interests of the students. During play, the Educator Teams observe, monitor, document and assess children’s progress towards the achievement of the learning expectations and feedback is provided on an ongoing basis. Further learning opportunities are then planned to enhance future growth and development.


 Ottawa Public Health


All children attending school in Ontario must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella, unless there is a valid exemption. Nurses from the Ottawa Public Health Immunization Program collect and assess immunization information in accordance with the Immunization of School Pupils Act. Your child’s complete immunization record must be provided to Ottawa Public Health Immunization Program. Please also remember to notify Ottawa Public Health Immunization Program every time your child receives a vaccination. For more information, please contact the Immunization Program at 613-580-6744 or by e-mail or visit their website.

Here are the ways you can update your child's immunication record:

- Completing the Online Immunization Reporting to Ottawa Public Health

- Fax: 613-580-9660

- Mail: Immunization Program, 100 Constellation Dr., Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8, mail code 26-44

- Phone 613-580-6744 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm 

- ImmunizeCA App:

New - There has been a change to the Ottawa Public Health requirements for those children who have lived or travelled outside Canada or in a First Nations/Inuit community in Canada for three months or longer during the past five years - you will no longer need to provide the school with a Certificate of Immunization and Tuberculosis Assessment for School Entry.

Ottawa Public Health no longer provides visual and auditory screening. Parents who notice their child having difficulty seeing or hearing should contact their health care provider. Ideally, the health care provider should perform vision and hearing check-ups at each visit, with special vision testing as soon as possible after a child’s third birthday. Parents who are concerned about their child’s communication development before the age of five years should contact the First Words Program through Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744,  in addition to their health care provider. 



 More Information


The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s Kindergarten program provides children with educational activities appropriate for young learners, taking into account their physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs. The young child’s natural world is one of curiosity, exploration and imagination and the richest gains are likely to occur when these capacities are promoted in a play-based, inquiry focused classroom. Children investigate and develop an understanding of their world through play. Play provides the context in which the educator observes the children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual interactions within a classroom setting, assesses their stages of development aligned with the curriculum, and supports and encourages experiences to further their growth.

Personal and Social Development: In order to learn effectively, children must feel good about themselves, about school, and about others. A prime goal of kindergarten is to foster social and emotional growth. In Kindergarten, children practice socially appropriate behaviour and develop self-regulation skills to assist them in working with new people and situations.

Cognitive Development: Kindergarten encourages children to develop critical thinking skills such as observation, compare/contrast, categorization and sequencing skills, to question, to experiment, and to develop creativity through language, music, the arts, and drama. Children explore topics of natural interest to young learners through inquiry, connecting prior knowledge to new contexts in order to further understand their world.

Language and Mathematical Development: The Kindergarten program enhances communication skills in early learners. Language skills such as speaking, listening and concepts of print, are explored through games, music, stories, and discussions, building the necessary emergent literacy skills required for later instruction in reading, writing, and oral communication. Children’s conceptual understanding of mathematical thinking is developed through investigation of number, measurement, geometry and spatial sense, patterning, data management and probability. Children are provided with opportunities to explore these concepts in a variety of ways, such as the use of manipulatives, sand and water, dramatic play.

Science and Technology: Children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder is enhanced through Science and Technology in Kindergarten. Through hands-on investigation, focused and free exploration, observation, questioning, and predicting, children will develop their awareness of the natural and built environment and the need to care for and respect the world around them.

Health and Physical Development: In Kindergarten, children also begin to explore concepts related to their own health and well-being such as healthy physical activity and nutrition. Children will use a variety of materials such as balls, hoops, water, sand and climbers to further their large muscle, gross motor control. Fine motor development is enhanced through activities such as painting, cutting, gluing, keyboarding, tracing, manipulating small objects (eg. buttons, zippers), puzzles.

The Arts: Early Learners are naturally drawn to artistic activities. In Kindergarten, children are given opportunities to express their growing sense of self through drama, dance, music and visual arts. Early learners have access to a wide variety of materials, resources, experiences and open-ended activities allowing them to express themselves and foster their imagination, creativity, and diversity. Through the arts, thinking and communication, as well as early literacy and numeracy skills, are enhanced.

French as a Second Language Instruction: All children in junior and senior kindergarten will receive 50% of their instruction in English and 50% of their instruction in French. They learn through songs, rhymes, movement, stories, and a variety of other activities. Our child-centered FSL program serve to develop students’ communication skills in the French language, focusing on the concurrent development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The programs promote an appreciation of French culture in Canada and in other regions of the world.