Early Learning Program

Early Learning Program

Mission and Vision

The Early Learning Program (previously known as Preschool) aims to prepare children who would not otherwise be prepared for Kindergarten. 

Early Learning programming supports children by providing hands-on, play-based, developmentally appropriate activities that allow children to engage with peers. These programs also help children develop social/emotional skills, cognitive skills, physical/motor skills and speech/language skills.


Changes to the Program

In 2020, Alberta Education announced changes to its Pre-Kindergarten funding and program mandate for children three years eight months to five years of age. During the transition period, Westwind has tried to maintain consistency for children and families. However, with increasing student needs and a reduction in funding, our Early Learning Programs (previously known as Preschool) must be adapted. 


Moving forward, Westwind will now admit students into Early Learning Programs based on need first, as identified through a screening and assessment process. Then, based on space and available staffing supports, community play partners (children without identified needs) will be admitted to the program once staff have completed screening and assessment processes.

How to Register your Child for Preschool

Step 1: All parents must register their child for preschool using the NEW STUDENT REGISTRATION link. *Please do not contact Central Office*

Step 2: School staff will contact parents directly to set up a screening appointment for every child. Screenings will take place before June.

Step 3: Based on needs identified through the screening and assessment process, schools will register students into Early Learning Programs. Students who do not qualify will be placed on a waitlist as community play partners (children without identified needs).  

Step 4: Schools will admit community play partner students to Early Learning Programs based on space and available staffing supports. The start date for community play partners will be determined by individual schools.


Programs

Westwind will offer two different Early Learning Programs by age groups as defined by Alberta Education:

  • Children who turn three years old by Dec. 31 of the current school year 
    • This program is for children with severe delays in speech/language, behaviour, or have a current medical or physical diagnosis.
    • This is called the PUF program.
  • Children who turn four years old by Dec. 31 of the current school year
    • This program is for children with mild/moderate or severe needs and includes delays in speech/language, behaviour, or an existing medical or physical diagnosis). 
    • This program is referred to as the four-year-old mild/moderate PUF program.

Fees

Individual schools will collect fees in September. The Early Learning Program is:

  • At no cost for students with severe needs (PUF Program)
    $100 per year for students with mild/moderate needs 
    $100 per month for Community Play Partners 

Locations

Westwind offers Early Childhood Programs in six locations: Cardston Elementary SchoolMountain View SchoolSpring Glen Elementary SchoolMagrath Elementary SchoolRaymond Elementary School and Stirling School.

For information regarding a specific program please contact the school closest to your home address.

Contact

Questions regarding children experiencing developmental delays prior to kindergarten entry should be directed to:

Sandi Letioa, Early Learning Supervisor,  (403) 653-5634 (Cardston, Mountain View, Hillspring, Glenwood, Magrath)

Sue Koegler, Early Learning Coordinator, (403) 752-3004 (Raymond & Stirling)