Preschool Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to enrol and what are the ratios?

Children must be at least 2 1/2 years old when they start Building Blocks Nursery School. Our student-teacher ratio in the preschool class is 8 to 1.

A resource/assistant teacher must accompany children with special needs. We have children in our preschool program that have come to us from Erin Oaks, Brampton Caledon Community Living and Peel Infant/Toddler Preschool.

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Who are the teachers and how are they qualified?

Mrs. Joanne Freer ECE C (ECE- Early Childhood Education, Certified) and Mrs. Karen Sanger ECE started the school in 1986 because there was nothing available in Brampton at the time. They wanted to offer a half-day quality program that focused on families and offered both structure and valued free play. When we expanded our program in 2001, Mrs. Lorraine Quibell was hired. She had worked previously with special needs children in the Out Reach Program for Erin Oak. She had already been at Building Blocks one to one with a child with special needs, and we felt that she had the right fit for our school. Ms. Julie Kuehni was hired as an assistant teacher in 2007, previously working with children with special needs through an outside agency. Ms. Kuehni had her own children attend Building Blocks before working for us. Mrs. Jennifer Lam joined us in 2012. She is a certified Elementary school teacher and has worked for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB. We take workshops that interest us in the evenings, do much research in Child Development and are current in First Aid.

We all comment on how we love what we do for a living.

Please see About Our Staff for more information on our teaching staff.

We all comment on how we love what we do for a living.

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What do you do in Circle Time?

There are three circle times at Building Blocks.

At Opening Circle we sing the same introduction song every day. Children love consistency and this helps them to adapt to our program. During this time they sit on a mat and learn their peers’ names and teachers’ names. We then introduce them to the various activities in the room, and show them the “art activity” they will be doing that day. We ask them to think about where they would like to play and count 1, 2, and 3, go play.

Children attending Building Blocks are taught how to learn and pay attention.

In the midpoint in their day, children go to small circle time. Each circle group consists of 8 children of similar age groupings. The children usually stay in the same grouping for the year. The dynamics of each group determines what will be taught. For example, a group of 2 year-olds will have much more active songs, shorter stories and concrete (hands on) activities. All groups will learn colours and counting, have a calendar time, and experience turn taking. This is taught in a fun way. Circle times are mandatory and as the year progresses they last longer and longer. It is a time enjoyed by all.

At the end of the program we have our third circle time, the closing circle. This is the time for games and action songs. We end with quiet songs and a goodbye song and then the children wait as their names are called for dismissal.

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How is the Preschool Program integrated with the JK/SK Program?

Both programs run separately, however we do follow the same weekly themes. Circle time is geared towards each age, as are the different art activities. Both groups go on field trips, and celebrate Hallowe’en and Valentine’s Day with their particular class. We also do our Mother’s Day, Parent Interactive Day and concerts at Christmas and Year End together.

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What age should my child start at Building Blocks?
We find all children love their time with us. Some children initially have a hard time with separation from their parents. We find with patience and time that all the children do come to enjoy their day with us. We all have experience with young children and know that coming to a school like Building Blocks is so very positive for your child. Some children do require a parent to stay at school for a short period of time. Many families start their second child with us at a younger age because they like what we do.

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Do I choose 2, 3 or 5 half days a week?
Children benefit and adapt to whatever program they are in. It is the parents decision as to what program they would like their child to attend.

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Comments from Therapists, Resource Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Ministry of Education staff, Parents, and Former Students:

  • The children are so happy.
  • I can’t believe how long they sit in circle and how they enjoy it.
  • The children play so well.
  • Do you have any more openings?
  • I wish my other children had come here.
  • Can my child sign up?
  • I LOVE my school!
  • Building Blocks was absolutely the most wonderful preschool experience.

To view other comments about our school, please see the Testimonials page.

We invite you to consider having your child’s preschool education with us. If you have any further questions we are happy to answer them for you. Please feel free to contact us.

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