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Dorchester Co-op
Nursery School

Our Program

We are licensed by the Ministry of Education to operate a preschool for 16 children, ages 2-5 years old, taught by two qualified ECE teachers. We offer morning classes from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Monday to Friday. You choose which days you would like your child to attend. Parents are not required to participate in the classroom (i.e. no duty days). Classes run from September to June. We are closed on statutory holidays, including Family Day and Easter Monday, Christmas Break and March Break.


Tuition 2019-2020

1 day per week =   TBD/month

2 days per week = TBD/month

3 days per week = TBD/month

4 days per week = TBD/month

5 days per week = TBD/month

We are now accepting registrations for the 2019-2020 school year.  Please complete the Registration Form and submit it with payment directly to the school.


Program Statement

​Dorchester Cooperative Nursery School (DCNS) is committed to supporting children’s learning, development, health and well-being through compassionate and responsive caregivers and a curriculum that focuses on active, play-based learning.  DCNS offers children a variety of age appropriate experiences that promote their social, emotional, creative, physical and intellectual growth.  In a safe and nurturing environment, children are encouraged to express themselves while respecting others.  DCNS is a non-profit, non-discriminatory, non-political and non-denominational organization.

It is our goal at DCNS to meet and exceed the health and safety regulations set by the Ministry of Education and local government bylaws.  We follow all Health Unit directives regarding toy disinfecting, hand washing, diaper changing and water testing. All staff members and volunteers complete the necessary police background checks and staff members hold valid CPR and First Aid certificates.  We further promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of each child by providing a clean and safe environment and by encouraging parents to supply nutritious snacks including either a fruit or vegetable and another snack compliant with Canada’s food guide.  Filtered water is supplied to all children as a beverage during snack time.  These recommendations are discussed with parents at our Parent Meeting every year prior to the beginning of school. 

All staff support positive and responsive interactions among children, parents and child care providers.  DCNS fosters collaborative and co-operative relationships among all our members and promotes a sense of belonging for children and their families by creating positive interactions.  DCNS is committed to working together with our families to provide the best child care services for our members.  DCNS is a co-operative, which means shared enjoyment and responsibility.  Parents take an active role by being a member of a committee and by attending Parent Meetings in which they are encouraged to provide feedback on our program.

At DCNS we encourage children to interact and communicate in a positive way and we support their ability to self-regulate.  We recognize each child as having equal rights to participate in all program activities, trips and events.  We acknowledge and respect the unique qualities of each child and family and establish programming strategies to foster an inclusive learning environment.  DCNS believes that respect for diversity, equity and inclusion is essential for optimal development and learning.   Self regulation is supported and encouraged by staff members in a respectful and peaceful environment.

All staff foster the children’s exploration, play and inquiry by providing a variety of activities, and an environment rich in content, that encourages choices, and active play, supported by qualified, attentive and interactive care givers.  Play based learning allows children to actively construct, challenge and expand their own understanding and enables them to investigate, ask questions, solve problems and engage their own critical thinking.

DCNS staff will provide child-initiated and adult supported experiences. The Early Childhood Educator will observe the children and use that information to plan and create a positive learning environment that is based on the interests of the child, and that is supported by all staff members in the child care environment. Care givers will be responsible for introducing new ideas, interests, facts, concepts, skills and experiences to widen the child’s knowledge and life experiences.

All staff at DCNS learns about children through listening, observation, documentation, and discussion with others, families in particular, to understand children as unique individuals. Staff members observe, listen and encourage positive communication and interaction in a calm environment while modeling appropriate and supportive behaviour.  DCNS staff members watch how children create meaning through their experiences in the environment around them, and use these observations to engage children on a daily basis.

Children at DCNS will engage in both indoor and 20-30 minutes of outdoor play (weather permitting) on a daily basis.  Quiet and active times are incorporated into our program, always being mindful of each child’s individual needs as well as parent direction.

DCNS aims to engage and communicate with families about our program and their child’s learning experiences.  Respect, care, empathy, trust and integrity are core values of our interactions with families.  Opportunities for daily interaction with staff and parent feedback are always available.  Communication may be provided in person, by phone, email, text message or through written messages.

DCNS views the community as a valuable resource and staff plan learning initiatives within the community into our program.  We work with the local high school cooperative program to provide an engaging learning environment for students on placement.  We also work with local community members to create experiences for children to expand their understanding of the community helpers within their own neighbourhood.  DCNS is supportive of all children and families; parents in need of additional services for their child are directed to resources outside of DCNS if necessary.

DCNS is committed to hiring staff that have a positive and sensitive attitude toward children.  DCNS works to build an atmosphere of trust, honesty and respect, creating a safe, healthy, secure and inviting environment for children.  At least one member of DCNS staff will have completed studies in the field of early childhood education and be registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators.  DCNS believes that formal professional learning is important but that most central professional growth happens day to day as our staff interacts and co-learns with the children and each other. 

Daily observations of children in the program are used by staff members for future planning.  DCNS staff and executive members meet on a monthly basis to review and evaluate the impact of any strategies implemented within our program and to provide a forum for any contributions to be made towards the evolution and effectiveness of our program.