Our energetic kids start the morning with activities of their choice while socializing with friends. Most of our families like to arrive before 9:00 AM so the children have an opportunity to enter their classrooms in a relaxed way before morning snack and circle times. Songs, stories, finger play, the calendar, the weather and special events of the day make up the morning meetings and circle times plus participation in activities related to learning themes for the week. Children have lots of time to choose learning activities individually or with friends in small groups during the day. We keep transitions as short as possible and help the children to gain self-help skills as we prepare for eating, toileting and outdoor play.

We are a hardy bunch in the mountains and play outside in our two well outfitted play yards almost every day of the year. Children bring outdoor gear for cold or wet weather and we learn to enjoy our natural surroundings come rain or come shine. Our three older groups regularly walk to the library, parks in town and other local sites or events to play an active role in our unique community in Banff. When weather is just too cold, we make good use of our large muscle multi-purpose room where we are supplied with bean bags, cones, balls, balance boards and lots of physical development activities as well as our one-of-a-kind preschool size climbing wall.

In our natural mountain setting, many of our children ski, ice skate, swim, play soccer and enjoy hiking or camping with their families. We build on these activities by learning balance, yoga, throwing and catching skills and hand/eye coordination which helps our children gain confidence in their physical development to enjoy the outdoors and current and future physical activity and healthy lifestyle.

Throughout each day, our children participate in creative, developmentally appropriate learning activities which to young children are activities which draw on their natural curiosity about nature and the world around them. In a play based emergent curriculum, we plan our environments to include activities in which we know that children are learning the skills they will need to succeed in school and in life – and yet to them it all feels like play! In each of our six age groups, our teachers watch and listen for topics that interest the children and build learning activities around those themes. Each room posts their learning plan for the week in their room showing the activities that the children will participate in from the various domains of development.

Children best learn the basics of reading, math, social studies and other academic areas through participation in problem solving activities and rich discussion on the what’s, why’s and how’s of their world. We use literature, role playing, creative arts and learning centres to offer our children a broad range of experiences to learn in the best research based ways for children ages 1-5.

We invite visitors from our community into our Centre to share their knowledge and experiences with our children. We have guest artists, musicians, story tellers, Banff National Park naturalists, the Banff Fire Department, the RCMP, the Banff Library, even a rescue dog visits us to demonstrate his abilities.

Some of the most important skills for success in school and life are communication and social skills. We guide children in getting along well with peers, developing empathy, making friends, problem solving, learning social graces, and developing comfort level with new people and situations. Children also learn to be alert to their surroundings and develop skills for safety in their community.

Our children have fun while becoming well prepared to make their way into their future successfully and happily building on their preschool experience at the Banff Child Care Centre.

Sample Child’s Day in our Classrooms

7:30 – 9:00 Arrival, Greeting friends and Free Play in Learning Centres
8:45 – 9:30 Circle and Morning Snack
9:30 – 10:00 Multi Room Play, Free Play in Learning Centres, Open ended Art, Music
10:00 – 11:15 Morning walk, Indoor Learning Centres, Outdoor Activities, Movement
11:15 – 12:15 Circle time and lunch
12:15 – 2:30 Nap/Quiet Time
2:30 – 3:00 Quiet Activities, Group Songs & Stories
3:00 – 3:30 Afternoon Snack
3:30 – 4:30 Art, Sensory Activities, Multi Room Large Muscle Play
4:30 – 6:00 Outdoor Play/Indoor play, Free Play/Good-bye for the day

Routines are approximate and may change with weather, children’s ideas and needs.