Family Guide


Welcome

Dear families,

Welcome to V’la l’bon vent Preschool. We are looking forward to meeting your children and offering them a great quality program in a warm and safe environment.

We hope you will take the time to read this Family Guide, which will let you know more about our preschool’s policies and give you information about our program

If you have any questions, worries or suggestions, don’t hesitate to talk to the preschool’s staff.

History

The idea of housing a preschool (as well as an after-school program) inside Rose-des-Vents school was born in the spring of 2002 after a group of parents noticed that there was a strong need for French preschool services in Vancouver. They created the Association des parents de V’là l’bon vent, which was incorporated in May 2002. Thanks to the sustained efforts of these volunteer parents, V’là l’bon vent, first accredited French preschool on the West side of Vancouver, opened its doors to 3- to 5-year olds on October 21, 2002, after seven months of hard labour.

Philosophy

At V’là l’bon vent preschool, we know that all children are full-fledged human beings taking their first steps in a new learning environment. They bring with them their own experiences, knowledge and personality.

Therefore, we believe that:

Children are entitled to an environment and activities which will encourage a positive emotional, creative, social, cognitive and physical development while promoting inclusivity, multiculturalism, interdependency and dignity.

Families must participate in a meaningful way to their children’s learning experience and are entitled to a quality program as well as excellent communication.

Staff members must work in an environment that acknowledges their training, abilities and commitment to support the families who play an essential role in children’s development.

The preschool contributes to improving the quality of life of children, their families and the community by offering essential support services to the community.

Objectives

V’là l’bon vent is a French language preschool for children 3 to 5 who plan to attend a school of the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. The program offers French-speaking children a chance to socialize, play and learn in French. It also aims at helping children develop and grow while offering an important service to a French community in English-speaking Vancouver.

Therefore, we are committed to:

  • offering a quality program to each and every child;
  • using and promoting a commitment and guidance strategy tailored to each child and their family;
  • offering opportunities for families to improve their knowledge of topics linked to children health and development;
  • maintaining close links with community organizations, people and other agencies whose contribution is essential to the wellbeing of children and their families;
  • increasing awareness of community resources and promoting their use as needed.

Admissibility

Given that our preschool aims at preparing children to attend the French public school program offered by the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, we have set the same admissibility requirements as that program. Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom guarantees Canadian citizens and landed immigrants who settle in British Columbia the right to have their children attend a French school program:

  • if their first language learned and still understood is French;
  • if they have attended elementary school in French in Canada;
  • if one of their children has attended elementary or secondary school in French in Canada;
  • if one of their children has attended school in French in Canada.

Registration

In the menu, item Registration and Fees, you will find all necessary information to register your child or children.

Staff

Vl’la l’bon vent Preschool staff has extensive early childhood education training as well as a wealth of work experience with children of that age group. Our teacher holds valid certificates in early childhood education as well as first aid.

If available, qualified French-speaking substitute teachers will stand in whenever our regular staff is ill, away or pursuing professional development opportunities. We will always maintain the ratio of 10 children per teacher established for this program by Child Care Licensing, taking into account the size of our premises.

Volunteers and interns

Once in a while, V’la l’bon vent Preschool might secure the help of interns or trained volunteers to participate in enrichment activities linked to our program. Interns or volunteers may be tasked with, among other things, helping prepare special activities or events, cleaning up after such activities, reading to children or accompanying the group during outings.

Parent’s role

V’là le bon vent is a parent-run preschool. Parent’s role is critical all through the year to ensure the smooth functioning of the preschool in the best interest of the children. They imperatively attend parent meetings: Orientation session; Annual general meetings. As members of the board, they volunteer to undertake the preschool management. Otherwise, as non-board members, they are available to accomplish administrative the tasks and daily activities of the preschool.

Positions on the Board will be filled every year at the annual general meeting. Vacant positions will be posted in the preschool’s premises some time before the meeting and the vacancies will also be communicated by email and regular mail.

Parents who sit on the Board one year will be given priority when choosing their child’s schedule for the next year as a way to thank them for their contribution and encourage parents to volunteer for Board positions.

Fundraising activities are essential since they allow the preschool to work well and continue to offer a high level of service without charging overly high fees. Therefore, families will be asked to participate in at least one fundraiser per year (benefit gala, pizza sale, etc.). If a family makes a donation of $20 or more to the preschool at any time during the year, it will be given a tax receipt.

Criminal record check

According to daycare accreditation rules, all staff, interns and volunteers (other than parents of children registered in the program) will be subjected to a criminal record check before they start working at V’la l’bon vent preschool.

Program

V’la l’bon vent preschool offers a program designed to allow each and every child to live diverse enriching experiences through a wide range of activities they can take part in. Our program includes free play as well as structured learning activities. In that kind of environment, we encourage children to learn at their own rhythm and to develop new aspects of their personality. V’là l’bon vent Preschool offers a fun and stimulating first learning experience.

Not only do we lead playful pre-writing, pre-reading and pre-math activities, we also develop children’s social abilities and give them an environment where they can interact while enriching their personal development thanks to a direct experience of music, arts and acting. All that is done in a way to promotes French culture and with French the only language spoken.

We will show children an exemple of positive social values focusing on self-respect and respect of others, equality of rights and chances and acceptance of differences. Children will also have a chance to explore the outside playground as well as the school gym.

Greetings

Greeting and helping the child upon arrival followed by an activity of her (his) choice and some school activities to ease the transition.

Circle

Welcome song, saying her (his) name, small motor songs; As time progresses into the Automn, the schedule (4-5 y.o) begins, learning sequences, introducing figures associated with dates and letters with days ; Presentation of activities, theme related-crafts, sometimes with open table crafts, workshop set-ups (modelling clay, exploration container), choice of activity (ies) ; After activity games, collective crafts or games on some days (domino, matching game, hoops, gross motor skills activities, sounds listening game, images) or music, yoga.

A story each day or Paul and Suzanne’s book or puppets.

At the beginning of each month, you will receive the schedule for the month along with the themes and description of some activities or workshops. In case of need, this schedule is shown on the window at the entrance of the classroom.  

Opening days and hours

On regular school days (Monday to Friday), the preschool is open from 9 to 11:30 for the morning class and 12 to 3pm for the afternoon class*.

The preschool is closed for the months of July and August as well as for the following holidays:

Labour Day Christmas Good Friday
Thanksgivings New Year’s Day Easter Monday
Remembrance Day Spring Break Victoria Day

*The times could be slightly modified depending on Rose-des-vents’ school schedule.

CLASS STRUCTURE

This is to give an idea about how one class session is structured. Of course, it is flexible according the spirits of the children, or on what they are interested in, etc.

Morning

9:00 – 9:15: Greetings

9:15 – 9:35: Free play or outdoor time depending on the weather (!)

9:35 – 9:50: Circle, Theme, presentation of semi-guided activities or group activities

10:00 Snack

10:20: Transition period / Free play followed by story

10:45: Group activity, crafts, game, music or yoga

11:15: Back home preparation

11:30: Parents – Pick-up time

Afternoon

12:00-12:10: Greetings

12:10-12:30: Free play

12:30-13:00: Preparation for lunch – Meal

13:00: Circle, schedule, guided educative activities followed by crafts or

           practical work

13:30: Semi-guided or free workshops

14:00: Book reading, collective group game, yoga or music

14:20: Getting ready for outdoor time

14:25-14:50: School yard

14:50-15:00: Back home preparation

*Yoga: Simples positions with or without music

*Music: Rhythm instruments, physical movement encouraging songs (gross motor skills), piano and songs along with matching games…

*4-5 y.o. group: Small schoolbook for each child, with the child’s works collected throughout the year

*Montessori and other educative materials to build awareness concerning educative trainings (letters, figures, forms and shapes, colours, etc.)

Photography

With your consent, given in the contract, the staff and some parents may take group photos or photos of your child only to post them in the classroom for everyone to see. If we want to use photos of your child for other purposes, we will ask you to sign a written release.

Clothing and personal effects

Every day, your child will be taking part in various indoors and outdoors activities. They should be wearing washable and confortable clothing suitable for the weather.

  • Inside: pair shoes with flexible, non-slip soles
  • Rainy days: rain boots and raincoat
  • Winter: mittens, tuque and warm winter jacket
  • Spring: sun hat
  • Sunny days: sun hat and sun screen

Please identify clearly all of your child’s belongings.

We recommend that you leave a change of clothes for your child (underwear, pants, shirt and socks) at the preschool at all times in a bag identified in his or her name with a string that allows hanging it to a hook.

Gradual entry

In order to make the first day of class easier for the children, a gathering will take place at V’là l’bon vent at the end of August to allow your child to get acquainted with the educator and play on the premises with the other children in her (his) group in your presence.

On the first day of the first week, the children of the group of 3-4 y.o. will stay for one hour. The parent will not stay. Depending on how your child is getting adapted and upon a prior discussion and arrangement with the educator, the regular schedule will apply the next day or it can be shorter to make her (him) comfortable.

Absence from preschool

Out of courtesy for the staff, we ask parents to, if possible, warn us when they know that their child will not attend preschool. If your child is sick or cannot attend preschool on any given day, you are asked to call the school and leave a message at 604-638-2056, via email at prematernellevlalbonvent@gmail.com. In addition, you can also contact us using whatsup application. You will be given further instruction about it at the beginning of the school year.

Drop-off and pick-up

Parents or guardians are responsible for dropping off their children at preschool and picking them up at the end of class. Please note that the classroom is open from 9 to 11:30 am and 12:00 to 3:00 pm exactly. Unfortunately, we do not offer daycare services on site before and after those times. You are asked to remain with your child until the doors open and pick him or her up on time.

If a person other than a parent or guardian must pick up your child, please advise the teacher ahead of time.

If the preschool staff does not know the person authorized to pick up your child, you will be asked to provide some information about him or her (name, address, phone number and description). Upon their arrival, that person will be asked to show ID and a letter signed by the parents or guardians confirming that they are allowed to be in charge of the child.

Tardiness

When parents are late to pick up their child, they must warn the staff. After two formal warnings for tardiness, fees of $1.00/minute will be charged.

In case of emergency or if a serious mishap prevents you from picking up your child on time, you have to let the staff know and make arrangements with them.

If, at 11:45 (or 3:15), parents of a child have not picked them and have not phoned the preschool, a staff member will phone all authorized people to ask them to pick up the child. If these people cannot be reached and we have still not heard from the parents at 12 or 3:30, we will be forced to contact the emergency service from the Ministry for Children and Families.

Outings

In order to enrich our program, we sometimes offer children outings outside of the preschool premises. We will tell parents and children ahead of time about these outings so that a parent or another designated person can go with the child.

If scheduling conflicts happen, we will make every efforts to find arrangements that satisfy the needs of each child and family. Families will have to sign a consent form authorizing a child to take part in an outing. Please note that entry fees for some outings are not included in regular monthly preschool charges.

Supervision

We encourage and motivate each child to develop positive relationships with the adults they see at preschool as well as with their classmates. Our objective is to offer a healthy living and learning environment in which children feel comfortable and can make friends, develop social abilities and become more self-sufficient. Parents will notice that the staff:

  • engages in respectful behaviour at all times;
  • encourages the development of positive social abilities including self-esteem, self control and safety notions;
  • helps children understand and follow the rules as well as fulfill positive expectations;
  • supervises children at all times.

The staff will also do its best to :

  • set clear and consistent expectations and establish appropriate consequences as needed;
  • discourage children from engaging in aggressive games and help them find peaceful ways to resolve their conflicts;
  • let children know that they understand their feelings and encourage them to express their ideas and emotions;
  • offer children choices adapted to their developmental stage;
  • show affection in a respectful manner towards each child;
  • generally guide children by giving them extra verbal direction.

We encourage parents and guardians to ask questions about supervision and the consequences used in class. This information will be discussed during the individual meeting with the teacher before the beginning of the school year, as well as during the year as problems arise. We are committed to working with each family in order to enrich their knowledge regarding children development and educational methods.

Toilet training

Although we understand that it can be extremely difficult to predict, at the time of registration, whether a child will be toilet-trained and relatively self-sufficient in using the washroom come September, it is extremely important to be clear that for logistical and safety reasons, children who are not toilet-trained at the beginning of the school year will not be admitted into the program. That said, we urge you to respect the natural rhythm of your child and not cause them emotional trauma by trying to toilet-train them before they are ready for it. Don’t hesitate to talk to the teacher or the other staff if you have questions about this issue.

Health and safety

Our preschool was designed carefully in order to offer a comfortable and safe environment that will fulfil the needs of every child.

Our objective being to promote health, safety and a healthy diet for children, we make sure to offer them safe, clean and well kept premises. We also give them opportunities to:

  • learn how to be responsible for their hygiene and develop self-sufficiency;
  • practice indoor and outdoor, high energy and quiet activities.

Diet and allergies

A healthy diet plays a important role in a child’s everyday life and development.

Therefore, we urge parents to prepare healthy snacks and avoid candy, chocolate, chips and gum. Please do not send any nuts to school. Each child eats their own snack.

Parents must let the staff know if their child has allergies or is not allowed to eat certain foods. Depending on allergies mentioned by parents, arrangements will be made at the beginning of the school year and clear directives will be given accordingly.

Immunisation

Given that immunisation is one of the easiest ways to stop the spread of contagious diseases, we strongly recommend that you ensure your child is up to date on their immunisation before they start preschool. Once your child is registered in the program, you will have to fill an immunisation form required by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. It is in everyone’s best interest that this information be collected.

Head lice

If you believe your child has head lice or if you know that they have been in contact with other children who do, please let the preschool staff know as soon as possible. Do not fear that you child will be shamed or isolated. The earliest we know, the better our chances of avoiding or containing the spread of that parasite. The preschool staff has information brochures on how to proceed in this situation.

Illness

Although we understand the pressures that illness can cause in a family, we must stress the fact that our preschool is not accredited to watch sick children. In case of illness, you are asked to keep your child at home or make alternate arrangements, especially if your child:

  • has contracted an infectious disease, including conjunctivitis (eye infection);
  • has a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius;
  • throws up or has diarrhea;
  • has a skin infection or undiagnosed skin eruption;
  • does not feel good enough to participate in all planned activities, including outside playtime.

Please let the teacher know if your child has a contagious disease so we can inform other families as well as the community health authorities.

If your child becomes ill during preschool, we will try to get in touch with you. If that’s impossible, we will try to get in touch with the designated emergency contacts. We will sit your child down in a quiet area of the room and watch over them until someone can pick them up. If a child requires urgent medical attention, we will follow established procedures.

Medical emergencies

If your child gets injured or becomes ill during preschool, the staff will quickly assess the situation and make the necessary decisions regarding the appropriate intervention. Here are three procedures we might follow:

If first aid treatment is necessary, our trained staff will:

  • administer first aid;
  • listen to your child and reassure them;
  • closely monitor your child to make sure they do not require further first aid or medical attention;
  • fill an incident report and ensure follow-up;
  • let parents know about the incident when they pick up their child.

If medical care is required, first-aid certified personnel will see to the child’s needs and make sure to:

  • get in touch with the parents or guardians, or with the designated emergency contacts if parents or guardians cannot be reached;
  • contact the child’s doctor if it’s impossible to get in touch with the family or the designated emergency contacts;
  • if the child’s doctor is unavailable, treat the situation like a medical emergency;
  • if needed, see that the child be sent by taxi to the nearest hospital with a parent, guardian or designated person;
  • gather all documents pertaining to the child’s medical information and authorizations kept in the child’s file;
  • secure the help of someone who can chaperone the child and, if needed, the parent or guardian to the hospital, armed with the child’s medical information;
  • provide the doctor and family or designated emergency contact with the necessary information;
  • provide help to the child as well as their parent or designated emergency contact;
  • fill a report and ensure follow-up.

If emergency medical care is required, the first aid certified staff will give first aid treatment until paramedics arrive. They will secure help in order to:

  • call an ambulance;
  • contact the parents or guardians as well as the designated emergency contacts, and organise their transportation to hospital if needed;
  • gather medical information as previously mentioned;
  • take the child to the emergency room if needed.

The staff will also:

  • provide medical information to the doctor as well as the parents, guardians or designated emergency contacts;
  • provide support to the child and their family;
  • fill a report and ensure follow-ups.

Medication

If you want our staff to administer prescribed or over-the-counter medication to your child during preschool hours, please note that preschool’s accreditation rules state certain procedures that our staff will have to follow, as well as information they will have to gather from parents. A parent or guardian will have to fill a consent form and the medication will have to be provided in its original packaging along with dosing information. In some situation, for over-the-counter medication (for instance, cough syrup or Tylenol), the consent form will have to be signed by your doctor. If you want our staff to administer any type of medication while preschool is in session, please give it directly to the staff so they can put it away in a safe place.

Earthquake drill/Evacuation plan

Safety is at the heart of the preschool program, and information about fire drills and evacuation plans (approved by the Fire commissioner) will be posted in the classroom. These drills will be held at the same time as those of Rose-des-vents School.

Preschool closures

The preschool could have to be closed in case of fire, power outage, extended failure of the heating system, extreme weather conditions or evacuation rendering the premises unsafe. In such a case, the staff will continue watching over the children until their parents/guardians or designated emergency contact can pick them up. Evacuation procedures posted next to the classroom exits must be adhered to.

In case of snow storm, our preschool will follow the same closure recommandations as Rose-des-vents School. If you’re not sure whether or not the school is open, listen to Radio Canada’s Première Chaîne (97,7 FM) in the morning to find out which schools are open and which ones are closed.

Smoking

In keeping with the preschool accréditation rules, smoking is not permitted on our premises. It is, however, allowed outside of preschool grounds.

Preschool visitors

Safety of children, families and staff being of the utmost importance, all visitors must be given special permission by the teacher before visiting the preschool. Community resource workers, partners and membres of the child’s immediate family are welcome as long as arrangements are taken with the staff beforehand. Visitors who were not pre-authorized will be asked to leave the premises.

Unauthorized visitors

If a person who has not been authorized beforehand shows up at preschool to pick up a child, that child will remain under supervision of the preschool’s staff. The teacher will explain to the visitor that in keeping with established policies, nobody can pick up a child without written autorisation signed by the parents or guardians. If this causes issues, we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the child, other children and staff. If needed, in extreme cases, we could request police intervention.

Suspected child abuse

The Child, Family and Community Service Act states that all children living in British Columbia have a right to be protected against abuse, neglect, violence or threats of violence. The Act also states that anyone who has reasons to believe a child requires protection must report the situation to the Ministry for Children and Families as soon as possible. If you have any question or if you need extra information on this issue, don’t hesitate to enquire with the staff.

Removal by an agent of the Ministry for Children and Families

The Child, Family and Community Service Act establishes in what situation a child requires protection. Therefore, the Ministry for Children and Families decides when, where and how to remove a child from their family. If a social worker from the Ministry decides to remove a child from their family’s care on preschool premises, the staff is required to collaborate. Before the child leaves the classroom, the staff will confirm with a Ministry supervisor that the removal has been authorized. The Ministry must do everything in its power to inform the family of the removal.

V’là l’bon vent Preschool will assume that the information provided by the parent who filled the registration form is accurate in cases where parents are separated or divorced. If no copy of a custody agreement or court order is filed with preschool, the staff cannot stop the other parent from visiting the child. If one of the parents is not legally allowed to visit with them, we will apply the unauthorized visitor policy.

In cases where custody of the child has not been legally established and parents or family members are involved in an obvious conflict, the child will not be allowed to attend V’là l’bon vent Preschool unless the staff is presented with an agreement signed by both parents or other family members confirming the necessary arrangements (i.e. child pickup authorization, access to children related information, etc.).

If a child is the subject of a custody agreement or a court order, a copy of these documents must be kept in that child’s file.

Conflict resolution

We encourage families to discuss with the staff any question or preoccupation related to any aspect of the preschool program. If a problem occurs, we aim to resolve disagreements and conflicts peacefully and find mutually satisfying solutions. For this purpose, we follow these steps :

Step 1

Meeting of parents or guardians and preschool staff in order to identify the issue and allow everyone to give their opinion.

Step 2

Finding a solution or securing the help of necessary resources.

Step 3

Adopting an action plan in agreement with parents or guardians and staff.

Step 4

If the parties cannot agree on the action plan to follow, the Board of Directors of the Preschool will be asked to study the disagreement during a Board meeting.

Withdrawal from preschool before the end of year

Families must give written notice to the preschool at least one month before a child is to be withdrawn from preschool, OR they will be charge a month’s fees. V’là l’bon vent Preschool reserves the right to request that a child stops attending our program if that child has an unexpectedly hard time following the rules.

Preschool fees

A $75 amount is charged when a child begins preschool (if a spot has been secured with the child’s registration, the $25 amount payed for reservation is deducted from that amount). Monthly payments are made by 9 checks postdated to the first of the month, starting September 1st. The payment for June is payed before the beginning of the school year and serves as a deposit in case a registration is canceled without a month’s notice.

Please also be advised that starting with school year 2010-2011, families with two children registered at V’là l’bon vent Preschool at the same time, whether they are twins or siblings a year apart (in which case one would be in the 3-year-old class while the other is in the 4-year-old class) will receive a 30% discount on the fees charged for the second child (based on the most expensive registration).

Government subsidy program

The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development offers government subsidies to low-income families who are eligible to attend the French preschool program. It is the family, and not the preschool staff, that must make the arrangements necessary to secure this subsidy. For more information, to find out if you’re eligible or to request a subsidy, visite www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare (under “Child care subsidy”) or, from the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area, dial 604-660-2421.

Termination

V’là l’bon vent Preschool’s staff is committed to offering every family a warm and positive environment. However, the preschool could be forced to remove a child from its program in either of the following circumstances:

  • preschool fees are not paid and no reasonable arrangement can be made;
  • preschool staff is unable to resolve a problem in a mutually agreeable way for the parents or guardians after following the conflict resolution steps mentioned above.

If, for any reason, the Association des parents de V’là l’bon vent plans to remove a child from the program, it will give written notice to the parents or guardians at least one month before the termination and reimburse the preschool fees for the current month, prorated to the number of classes still to be had.

Communication with staff

We believe that excellent communication between the preschool staff and the parents or guardians is in the best interest of the child and key to offering the child a most positive preschool experience.

At some point during the year, the teacher will meet with the parents of 4-year-old children getting ready to start kindergarten the following year. At any other time, families who feel the need to discuss specific issues pertaining to their child are welcome to meet with the teacher after 3 pm on school days.

Communication with families

A bulletin board as well as a monthly newsletter will be used to let families know about the program, activities and news pertaining to V’là l’bon vent Preschool. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, don’t hesitate to mention them to the staff or any member of the Association des parents de V’là l’bon vent.

Program evaluation

Your comments pertaining to the program are extremely important to us. The preschool staff will ask for your feedback and give you opportunities to share your opinions or suggestions during a yearly evaluation.

Comments obtained during the program evaluation will help us develop policies and procedures in order to make sure V’là l’bon vent preschool can even better fulfill the needs of the francophone families and community.

We are looking forward to welcoming your children and working with you in their best interest.