Welcome to the Before and After School Program at St. Bernard’s school!
The Before and After School program in St. Bernard’s school has been operational since 2008. We share our program space with the school and have done so since our location opened. In our School Age program, we pride ourselves on providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our children and families. We are given daily access to the gym as well as both playgrounds (weather permitting), so we always have space for everyone to play, learn, and grow.
Being housed completely internally helps to ease the transition going to and from school and daycare. We always ensure the children feel comfortable while in our care, giving them a sense of belonging. We strive to build and maintain personal and lasting relationships with every child and their families. We have a structured, but laid-back and relaxed, environment and our mixed age grouping promotes different types of friendships to form, including the opportunity for children to role model and mentor others.
Building caring, trusting, and long-lasting relationships with the children and families in our program is essential to us. We believe that every child deserves to be heard, included, safe, and cared for always. We often have the pleasure of maintaining these relationships for several years as the children advance through their elementary school careers and it is heartwarming to have the chance to see them reach their goals and milestones over the years. We enjoy getting close with our children and families and being able to laugh, joke, and play together as well as share, listen, learn, understand, and empathise with tougher situations.
Our morning care begins at 7:30 AM and extends until children are dismissed to go outside (or if they are in JK/SK, to the gym to line up with their classes). Before dismissal, the children are welcome to partake in the health snack program hosted by the school which begins at 8:35 AM in our shared space.
Our afternoon care begins just before the school dismissal bell, when the JK and SK classes are led through our program area by their teachers, ECEs, or classroom aids to be dropped off in their designated areas. After the bell, children in grades one through six make their way down to the program and make themselves at home.
Each afternoon, we start by inviting the children to share any special news or items they may have with the group, giving them a sense of belonging, engagement with their peers, and an outlet for self-expression. The Show and Share period is followed by some brief afternoon announcements and a healthy snack with a proper hygiene routine.
Once everyone has had some time to unwind at the snack tables, we tidy up and move on to the fun stuff! We believe in using a play-based curriculum to support children’s learning throughout the domains (dramatic play, language arts, blocks, sensory, science, outdoor/active play, music, art, and cognitive). Our daily activities derive from both planned and spontaneous ideas based off the children’s interests and coincide with one or more of the play domains and the curriculum objectives outlined below.
We base our curriculum activities on what the children are interested in at the time. Their interests are learned through observation and conversation. We believe in letting the children take the lead in what they would like to do each day and providing them with any and all open-ended materials they require to meet those goals, be they creative, social, emotional, or physical outlets.
For more information and to read our Parent Handbook for the St. Bernard’s site, click here!
Testimonials from the Children
“What I like about the after school program is that it’s fun, has healthy snacks, we do special holiday activities, and there’s a great opportunity to make new friends!” – Hannah, age 11
“Daycare is the best place ever because it’s lots of fun!!” – Amelia, age 5
“It’s nice to get to see the rest of your friends who aren’t in your class!” – Bridget, age 6
“We get to do a lot of things at daycare that we don’t always get to at school. Like play on snow hills or in the gym lots.” – Danny, age 8
“You get to have free play in the gym! You can also do your homework here instead of at home and the educators will help you.” – Natalia, age 9