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Early Childhood Education

Fostering all aspects of your child's development 

Our early childhood education fosters students’ growth across all areas of early development and learning, keeping French language acquisition at the core of all we do. Carefully planned learning experiences target children’s individual needs and interests, in the areas of language development, social-emotional competence, early literacy, early numeracy, scientific exploration, gross and fine motor skills, health and well-being, and artistic appreciation and expression.

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme

Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, all CFIS students in Preschool to Grade 5 will be part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). This exciting approach to student learning encourages children to develop their critical thinking through inspired curiosity and wonder. The PYP is an authentic, inquiry-based learning and teaching programme that is engaging, challenging, and relevant. It promotes students’ learning by inquiry and reflecting on their own learning. PYP students develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, and skills to make a difference in their own lives and their communities, and beyond.

In our Early Childhood Education Division (ECE) we:

  • Offer an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to early French immersion education

  • Emphasize internationalism and character development

  • Provide meaningful interactions with people and objects

  • Encourage leadership development

  • Create an environment full of happiness and joy

  • Employ research-based pedagogy 

  • Follow a play-based, emergent-curriculum model

  • Strive to balance physical, intellectual and emotional learning

  • Observe and document each child’s progress during authentic play-based tasks

  • Offer music, visual arts, and physical education classes with dedicated specialist teachers

  • Communicate intentionally and regularly with parents

  • Include hands-on learning through field trips and invited classroom guests

Our ECE programming includes a variety of program options:

  • Preschool: half-day (morning 8:30-11:30AM) and full-day (8:30AM-3:30PM) programs

  • Junior Kindergarten: half-day (morning 8:30-11:30AM) and full-day (8:30AM-3:30PM) programs.

  • Multi-age full-day program for three and four year olds

  • Kindergarten: full-day program

  • Before- and after-school care (additional fees)

Learn more about our Early Childhood emergent curriculum learning environment here

Grade-levels 

Preschool

Preschool at CFIS is a play-based program where students begin to acquire French-language skills, in either full-day or half-day morning classes. It is an educationally-based program that is licensed under the Alberta Childcare Licensing Act. To attend preschool at CFIS, students must be 3 years old by December 31 of that school year and fully toilet trained. Please note that while a placement may be secured for the entire year, a student may only begin attending after their 3rd birthday.

Junior Kindergarten

To attend Junior Kindergarten at CFIS, students must be four years old by December 31 of that school year, and need not have any French-language skills. Similar to CFIS Preschool programming, our Junior Kindergarten classes are offered for full days and half-day mornings, and are licensed under the Alberta Childcare Licensing Act. Junior Kindergarten at CFIS is an enriched and well-rounded program that prepares students for success in our full French immersion Kindergarten classes.

Kindergarten

To attend Kindergarten at CFIS, students must be five years old by December 31 of that school year, and need not have any French-language skills. The program is full-day only, offering our students opportunities for academic instruction balanced with exploration and play. This French immersion experience enables students to build their language and confidence to move into our full French immersion Elementary classes. 

Early Learning and Child Care Grant Eligibility

CFIS preschool and junior kindergarten programs are licensed under the Childcare Licensing Act in Alberta and allow all families with little ones to benefit from the current childcare grants and subsidies. The Canada–Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, announced in November 2021, applies to CFIS preschool and junior kindergarten students. This means that families with preschool and JK-aged children are eligible for grant funding, and can be part of CFIS' play-based, emergent curriculum while they learn French.