Classrooms

Thistleoaks offers Infant, Toddler, and Preschool programs, as well as Before and After School care.

 

Age ranges for each classroom are as follows:

  • Infants: 6 weeks to 18 months

  • Toddlers: 18 months to 2.5 years 

  • Preschool: 2.5 years to Kindergarten 

Classroom Programming 

This age mix within each classroom allows for a more unique, child-centred approach. Educators follow the emergent curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education, and use this as a guide to observe and plan for the individual skills and interests within their classroom. The mixed-age grouping is beneficial to the children as it provides increased opportunities for them to:

  • Engage in social and complex problem solving

  • Find their place within the social constructs of the classroom

  • Inspire opportunities for leadership

  • Use and develop critical thinking skills. 

Classroom Transitions 

In the past, we have structured our classrooms such that children moved through the centre roughly every six months. However, we found that the large number of classroom transitions added unnecessary stress to children, the families, and the educators. This new approach reduces the number of transitions to only two or three (for a child that starts in Infants and then leaves to start Kindergarten), where previously a child starting in Infants would have gone through four to seven transitions in that same time period. 

Benefits of Mixed-Age Programming 

The increased time the educators get to spend with the children and their families allows us to:

  • Build more authentic and responsive child-educator relationships

  • Increase support for the sense of belonging and well-being of our children, families, and educators

  • Provide opportunities for deeper engagement and more meaningful interactions 

  • Provide more consistency and stability for the children 

  • Create more opportunities to provide targeted, appropriate, and engaging programming within the classroom

Benefits for younger children in the classroom

  • Increased opportunities to observe the language, actions, emotions, and skills of older role models

  • Natural encouragement for stepping outside typical comfort zones in trying to copy older peers, and to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills 

  • Larger acquisition of language skills from listening to, engaging with, and conversing with older peers

  • Heightened ability to make connections with older peers that otherwise would not be available

  • More reflective of a home environment with a mix of ages (older siblings) 

Benefits for older children in the classroom

  • Increased opportunities to engage in leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving

  • The ability to ability to engage in and observing their surroundings through a different lens

  • Increased social awareness and empathy skills, including mindfulness of others 

  • Opportunities to influence and lend their voice to the classroom, contributing to and developing their co-constructed environment alongside the educators and other children 

All classrooms follow the curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education, including Quality First, How Does Learning Happen, and The Four Foundations of Learning

Enrollment 

Seeing is believing. We strongly encourage all prospective families to come for a tour to see for themselves how we operate and to witness our educators and children in action. Every family has their own definition of 'quality' - this is your opportunity to see if our approach and philosophy matches your expectations. When you feel like you and your children are receiving quality care, you become a partner of Thistleoaks - we want you to feel happy with your choice, and to feel like a part of our family.  

We offer both part time and full time spaces in all of our classrooms with the exception of Infants, which is full time only. Please refer to our Fee Schedule for our complete list of daily rates. Part-time children must be matched with a complimentary child so their combined schedules fill all days of the week. 

Contact us to arrange a tour and see what we have to offer you and your family. You can also complete our online Waitlist form.  

Room Descriptions 

Age range: 6 weeks to 18 months

Room: Applewood 

Ratio: 1:3

Class size: 10

Infants 

Our infants are cared for in a cozy yet stimulating environment, which includes a separate sleep room with individual cribs to accommodate different sleep schedules, and a private outdoor play area. 

While the lunches and snacks served to the infants are the same as the rest of the centre, the preparation of the food is catered to the ages and abilities of the children in the room, whether that be purees or diced portions. We encourage the children to feed themselves, and challenge them with a variety of flavours and textures. 

Our Toddler program is focused on social, cognitive, and physical growth, and is designed to develop their social interactions.  Through indoor and outdoor play, the children can explore the world around them in a safe and stimulating environment. 

Meals are served on low tables and chairs in small groups to encourage and develop the social side of eating. The children continue to hone skills in using cutlery and drinking from open-top cups. 

The day includes a regular two-hour nap on individual cots. Educators support the development of toilet training. 

Age range: 18 months to 2.5 years 

Rooms: Willow and Birch 

Ratio: 1:5

Class size: 15, two rooms total

Toddlers

Infants

Age range: 6 weeks to 18 months
Ratio: 1-to-3
Class size: 10

Our infants are cared for in a cozy yet stimulating environment. The classroom provides a routine that is flexible and adaptable for each child. 

While the lunches and snacks served to the infants are the same as the rest of the centre, the preparation of the food is catered to the ages of the children in the room, whether that be purees or diced portions. We encourage the children to feed themselves, and challenge them with a variety flavours and textures. 

The Infant room also includes a separate sleep room, equipped with individual cribs to accommodate different sleep schedules. 

Preschool

Age range: 2.5 years to Kindergarten

Rooms: Spruce, Cedar, and Maple 

Ratio: 1:8

Class size: 16, three rooms total

Our Preschool program focuses on learning and building on many concepts including colours, shapes, numbers, size, position, patterning, sequencing, and skills such as vocabulary, number and letter recognition, and listening. There is also plenty of time for running, jumping, climbing, dancing, and developing social skills by functioning as part of a group. All of these skills are presented in a fun-filled way, both inside the classroom and out in the playground.

Meals are served on low tables, and nap or rest time is part of the daily routine. 

The Preschool program also supports ongoing toilet training. 

Kindergarten
Before & After School

Age range: 4 to 6 years (JK & SK)

Room: Maple 

Ratio: 1:13

Class size: 26

The Kindergarten Before & After School program is run throughout the year, including coverage for school PA days and holidays. 

This program is a recreational program, structured around the children's interests and needs, including extra-curricular activities and field trips for school breaks. 

The program operates every regular school day between September and June from 7:00am until school begins, and from the end of the school day until 6:00pm. School bus service is provided for Oakwood, St Nicholas, Pinegrove, and Morden.

Afternoon snack is provided throughout the school year. During PA days and school breaks, lunches and two snacks are provided.

Age range: 6 to 12 years  

Room: Redwood 

Ratio: 1:15

Class size: 45

Thistleoaks' School Age program provides a recreational-based program that fosters social development and problem solving skills.

The program operates every regular school day between September and June from 7:00am until school begins, and from the end of the school day until 6:00pm. School bus service is provided for Oakwood, St Nicholas, Pinegrove, and Morden.

 

We operate on PA days throughout the school year as per the host school’s schedule and offer care for early dismissal days and March Break. A recreational summer program is also available on a ‘weeks you need’ basis.

School Age
Before & After School

Schedule a tour to see what we have to offer you and your family.
Contact Us or Call Now: 905-842-7303
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